For years, this was my go-to dish for guests. I’m not sure why I decided to branch out… It is SO delicious! I’ve been making it since 1999! Crazy. I think that this dish started my love of creme fraiche. It is a good meal to serve for company because the chicken is prepared hours in advance and broiled just before serving.
This recipe was adapted from Rick Bayless, via Martha Stewart Living. I updated this version to use chicken thighs instead of breasts and to include an entire 1 1/2 pound bag of “power greens” (baby kale, chard, and spinach) or two bunches (or more!) of rainbow chard. It would be wonderful with any combination of greens. I serve it with Cilantro-Lime Brown Basmati rice to soak up the wonderful sauce.
Yield: Serves 6
For the Chicken:
- 3 chipotle chiles in adobo, finely chopped (about 2 tablespoons) (see Note)
- 7.5 oz (about 1 cup) creme fraiche
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 10 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 2 1/2 pounds)
- 1/4 cup chicken stock
- 1 1/2 pounds (about 12 cups) fresh greens such as baby kale, chard or spinach, stems removed, well rinsed
- coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the Cilantro-Lime Rice:
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 1 cup brown Basmati Rice
- juice of 1/2 lime
- 2-3 T chopped cilantro leaves
- Two to Three Hours before cooking, make the marinade: Start by finely chopping the chipotle chiles in a mini food processor.
- Place the chopped chipotles and 2 tablespoons creme fraiche in a small bowl, and mix to combine.
- Lightly season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper.
- Place the seasoned chicken in a large bowl, and pour the chipotle mixture over it, making sure to coat the chicken well. Cover with plastic wrap, and transfer dish to the refrigerator. Marinate the chicken 2 to 3 hours.
- Prepare the rice: Bring the 2 cups of stock to a boil; add rice and cover. Turn heat to low and cook, undisturbed, for 30 to 35 minutes.
- Heat the broiler. Place the chicken on a rimmed sheet pan just large enough to accommodate them. Place the pan 6 inches away from the broiler, and broil chicken until deep brown in color, about 6 to 7 minutes.
- Remove pan from broiler. Turn chicken thighs, and drizzle remaining creme fraiche along with the 1/2 cup heavy cream around the chicken.
- Return the pan to the broiler, and broil until chicken is deep golden and no longer squishy when you lightly press it with your finger, 6 to 7 minutes more.
- Transfer the chicken to a warm plate, and place in a warm oven or warming drawer.
- Scrape the cream mixture from the pan into a 4-quart sauté pan.
- Add the chicken stock and half of the greens. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat, and cook, stirring constantly, until the greens have started to wilt and the cream has reduced and thickened, about 5 minutes, adding the rest of the greens as room is created in the pan.
- Season the creamy greens mixture with salt, to taste.
- Finish the Rice: After the rice has completely cooked, remove from heat. Add lime juice and cilantro. Mix to combine.
- Place rice over the surface of a serving platter. Top with the creamy greens and the broiled chicken. Garnish with cilantro, if desired.
Note: If you don’t care for very spicy dishes, you can reduce the heat by splitting the peppers in half and scraping out the seeds with the back of a knife before chopping.
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