Pollo Rojo (Red Pepper Chicken)

Red Pepper Chicken

Red Pepper Chicken ~ A Latin inspired dish with big personality. Healthy, hearty and habit-forming… in a good way.

I have a certain endearment to chile peppers.

Although I love spicy food, that is not the reason for my appreciation. My love for chiles has more to do with their color, intensity, versatility and universal appeal.

Every country, every culinary endeavor throughout history, has been affected by the chile pepper. Even European cuisine, although generally considered mild and rich, has been deeply influenced by this ancient self-pollinating crop. In certain regions, chiles have a long legacy as a dietary staple. Yet, once Columbus discovered the American varieties of chile peppers, their influence literally took over the world.

New Mexico Chiles

More than just heat, chile peppers lend vibrance to otherwise boring dishes. They offer deep smokey flavor, sweetness and even the acidic note that certain dishes need.

As for versatility, chile peppers are used for all sorts of things around the world including:  warding off pests in fields, as dyes, and to keep feet warm in socks. Loaded with Vitamin C and Capsaicin, (a powerful antioxidant) they are thought to cure:

  • Migraines
  • Sinus Issues
  • intestinal disease
  • Heart Attacks
  • Cancer
  • Stomach Ulcers
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Toothaches
  • Joint Pain
  • Promote Weight Loss

I love to grow fresh peppers in the summer. But this time of year, I rely heavily on the dried varieties.

Reconstituting Chiles

I recently bought a large bag of red “New Mexico” Chiles at the grocery store. It was somewhat of a perplexing experience, because the bag labeled “New Mexico” chiles read “Grown in Mexico” in small print.

Directly next to them on the shelf were bags of identical-looking “California” chiles, “Grown in Peru.” You see the problem here? Sometimes when you buy chiles in bulk, it’s hard to know exactly what you’re getting.

What I discovered was that these red chiles are all Anaheims. The heat may vary a tad, due to the climate in which they are grown. Yet they are the same pepper, and are considered the standard chile pepper for Latin-American and Southwest cooking.

Red Pepper Sauce

Reconstituting dried chiles unleashes a mass of flavor and untold possibilities. This easy Red Pepper Chicken recipe features a bold, deeply smokey, and mildly spicy, red pepper sauce, made out of reconstituted New Mexico chiles.

Sauteed Chicken

I simply sauteed some thinly sliced chicken cutlets and blanketed them with warm vivid red pepper sauce. The red pepper sauce offers a rustic quality with a touch of sweetness that makes the chicken ridiculously exciting. It’s a brilliant sauce for the Red Pepper Chicken, but is fantastic on beef and pork as well.

Red Pepper Chicken is my entry for Gojee’s Virtual Potluck next week. Starting on Thursday, January 26, check out other potluck dishes fellow Gojee contributors shared. Go to gojee.com and enter “Gojee Potluck” into I Crave. You can also follow #gojeepotluck on Twitter.

Red Pepper Chicken Recipe

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Yield: 4-6 servings

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Red Pepper Chicken

Ingredients:

For the Red Pepper Sauce:
14-15 dried New Mexico chiles (Anaheims, California)
2 cloves garlic
1 cup chicken stock (any stock would work)
1 Tb. ground cumin
2 Tb. honey
3 Tb. rice vinegar
1/2 tsp. salt

For the Red Pepper Chicken:
2 lbs. Chicken Cutlets (thinly sliced breast meat)
1 Tb. oil
1 Tb. butter
Salt and Pepper

Directions:

Prepare a bowl of boiling hot water. Place the chiles in the water and allow them to soak for 10-15 minutes--until soft to the touch.

Remove the stems, seeds, and membranes, rinsing each pepper in the bowl. Then place in a food processor.

Add the garlic cloves and half the chicken stock. Puree until smooth.

Then add the cumin, honey, vinegar, salt and remaining stock. Puree again until smooth. Taste and salt again if needed. The sauce should have a very intense flavor, but not be overly spicy if the seeds and membranes are properly removed.

Heat a large to medium-high heat. Pat the chicken cutlets dry and salt the pepper on both sides.

Add the oil and butter to the skillet. Once melted, place half the cutlets in the pan.

Saute for 2-3 minutes per side. Repeat with the remaining cutlets.

To serve: Warm the red pepper sauce and pour over the chicken. Garnish with cilantro leaves or queso fresco.

Red Chile Sauce

More Latin-Inspired Dishes:

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54 Responses to “Pollo Rojo (Red Pepper Chicken)”

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    1
    the wicked noodle — January 12, 2012 @ 8:09 am

    I want to eat that entire plate of food RIGHT NOW. I adore all things chile peppers and this dish looks absolutely amazing! Not to mention the gorgeous photos!

    Reply

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    Kiri W. — January 12, 2012 @ 8:18 am

    Mmm, looks amazing! I love red peppers, and cumin sounds like a grand way to accentuate them! I imagine this must pack such a flavor punch :) Looks wodnerful, I really need to expand my Latin cooking horizon!

    Reply

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    Cassie @ Bake Your Day — January 12, 2012 @ 8:37 am

    I would kill for this. It looks amazing. The honey sounds like a great touch!

    Reply

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    Bev Weidner — January 12, 2012 @ 8:38 am

    You’ve inspired me. BOOKMARKED. I’m freaking out.

    Reply

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    Liz — January 12, 2012 @ 8:40 am

    Beautiful, healthy AND yummy!!!

    Reply

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    Gina @ Running to the Kitchen — January 12, 2012 @ 8:50 am

    Gorgeous. I want to make something with them for that color alone!

    Reply

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    Italian Notes — January 12, 2012 @ 10:09 am

    I really have to try this, although my dried peppers are incredibly hot.

    Reply

    • Sommer — January 12th, 2012 @ 11:03 am

      These chiles are hot if you leave the seeds and membranes in. When removed, they are mild and smokey.

      Reply

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    Belinda @zomppa — January 12, 2012 @ 10:12 am

    I agree with you. And all the benefits of chili make it even hotter to have!

    Reply

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    Britney — January 12, 2012 @ 10:21 am

    This looks like a beautiful recipe, and I love that you served black beans! I grew up eating chilies and love seeing them used this way!

    Reply

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    Curt — January 12, 2012 @ 11:50 am

    Awesome recipe. That’s a lot of cumin. Just the way I like it!

    Reply

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    My German Kitchen...in the Rockies — January 12, 2012 @ 11:59 am

    We have a favorite Restaurant in Santa Fe, NM that has the best red chili sauce ever. That is a least what my husband says. He is the expert. We buy it in bulk and bring it home with us whenever we make it down there. Somehow I never thought of trying to make it myself. Don’t ask me why. It looks so easy. I will have to make yours and compare it. Thanks for the inspiration. Kirsten

    Reply

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    Paula- bell'alimento — January 12, 2012 @ 12:15 pm

    Oh Sommer, Swoon! I adore pollo rojo! Wishing I had that for lunch right about NOW.

    Reply

  13. #
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    Jeanette — January 12, 2012 @ 1:01 pm

    I love all peppers – this eye popping Red Pepper Sauce is gorgeous!

    Reply

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    domesticallyinept — January 12, 2012 @ 1:58 pm

    Fabulous! The color is amazing!

    Reply

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    Janet@FCTC — January 12, 2012 @ 2:59 pm

    This looks absolutely amazing! I love that this REALLY uses the peppers and doesn’t just sprinkle some piddle amount of flakes or something in it. Buzzed!

    Reply

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    Aldy @ Al Dente Gourmet — January 12, 2012 @ 3:01 pm

    What a beautiful recipe, Sommer! The chicken looks so moist and that sauce on top make ‘the pollo” even more delicious. Have a great day!

    HUGS <3

    Reply

  17. #
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    Krista — January 12, 2012 @ 4:51 pm

    This is beautiful and so simple! My hubby would absolutely love this dish. And I don’t doubt I would probably have seconds!

    Reply

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    Bonnie K — January 12, 2012 @ 6:21 pm

    Heaven! I love chiles. I will definitely want to prepare this dish.

    Reply

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    Deanna — January 12, 2012 @ 6:40 pm

    Yum! We grow chiles year round, and we normally have 8-10 different varieties of dried. I love the sound of this dish!

    Reply

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    LivedinItaly — January 12, 2012 @ 6:43 pm

    One tried and true source for New Mexico chiles is http://www.hatchchilefest.com/index.php.

    Reply

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    torviewtoronto — January 12, 2012 @ 7:26 pm

    delicious looking colourful presentation

    Reply

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    Baking Serendipity — January 12, 2012 @ 8:41 pm

    I am sometimes a wuss when it comes to spicy foods, but my husband loves them. He would go crazy for this chicken…and I love the bright red color in it! Definitely bookmarking for a surprise dinner :)

    Reply

  23. #
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    Cara — January 12, 2012 @ 9:06 pm

    Such simple ingredients yet tons of flavor… love it!

    Reply

  24. #
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    Patty — January 12, 2012 @ 9:28 pm

    We would love this for dinner!

    Reply

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    beti — January 12, 2012 @ 10:02 pm

    I love your food, all the spices mixed together. The food simply looks amazing un every single post and this chicken is no exception

    Reply

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    marla — January 12, 2012 @ 11:08 pm

    The color of this sauce is amazing I bet the flavor is even better! Nice to know the heat is manageable. Wish you could cook me dinner!

    Reply

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    Amy — January 13, 2012 @ 7:17 am

    Oh Sommer! This is making me drool, even early in the morning. I bought some dried chiles that have been hanging out in my pantry. Looks like I should get them out and get to cooking. YUM!

    Reply

  28. #
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    Memoria — January 13, 2012 @ 12:35 pm

    This dish reminds me of Pollo adobado. YUM! The sauce looks amazing.

    Reply

  29. #
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    Wenderly — January 13, 2012 @ 1:31 pm

    I could inhale this every. single. day. *love*

    Reply

  30. #
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    Maria — January 13, 2012 @ 1:59 pm

    Love that sauce!

    Reply

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    Jersey Girl Cooks — January 13, 2012 @ 3:24 pm

    Great sauce. Bookmarked!

    Reply

  32. #
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    Suzanne — January 13, 2012 @ 4:40 pm

    Wow, simple and beautiful my kind of cooking, thanks for the inspiration :).

    Reply

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    leslie — January 13, 2012 @ 6:59 pm

    Ohhh sweet..so I can live n peppers and not have migraines?? That would be wonderful! What a beautiful and tasty dish!

    Reply

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    Katie — January 14, 2012 @ 2:54 am

    I can’t get peppers like that here, but I can get jars of roasted pimientos, which will be perfect for this – the hubs can add Tabasco (which is the only hot sauce we can get LOL)

    Reply

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    sweetsugarbelle — January 14, 2012 @ 4:01 am

    I use red chiles all the time for enchiladas! This is wonderful!!!

    Reply

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    Dmarie — January 14, 2012 @ 5:44 am

    oh, that looks delish!

    Reply

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    Tricia @ Saving room for dessert — January 14, 2012 @ 7:12 pm

    I saw this photo and then read your description. I was grasping for the words but you said it right. This looks like it has tons of personality. Yum! The colors are terrific. Dinner at your house must be so fun!

    Reply

  38. #
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    Kim Bee — January 14, 2012 @ 7:19 pm

    This is gorgeous, I cannot get over how vibrant this dish is. Your photos are stunning.

    Reply

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    Jen at The Three Little Piglets — January 14, 2012 @ 9:28 pm

    It is pretty amazing what you can do with chilies! I love that they’re so unbelievably packed with flavor and yet so inexpensive. One of the best bargains in the market if you ask me…

    Reply

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    Carrie — January 15, 2012 @ 1:28 pm

    Wow, this is a beautiful dish! I just love the red color of the sauce. Looks fantastic.

    Reply

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    Katrina — January 15, 2012 @ 11:13 pm

    Yum! I’ve never bought those bags of dried chilis but I’m going to have to try this–looks delicious!

    Reply

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    vianney — January 16, 2012 @ 12:42 am

    You can never go wrong with chiles.. great round up of latin inspired dishes…

    Reply

  43. #
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    Lindsay @ Pinch of Yum — January 16, 2012 @ 9:30 am

    Yumm! Looks awesome!!!

    Reply

  44. #
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    Ken Scrivner — January 16, 2012 @ 11:29 am

    I’m heading out the door right now to buy a batch of those wonderful pepper.

    Reply

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    Monet — January 18, 2012 @ 10:08 pm

    As has already been said, the color of that sauce is amazing! And I’m sure it tastes even better! This looks so tasty…I just wish we lived closer. Thank you for making me smile after a long day at work…sorry I haven’t stopped by sooner. I’ve been adjusting to my crazy-busy schedule. Hugs and love!

    Reply

  46. #
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    Aileen — January 23, 2012 @ 11:39 pm

    I could almost smell the spicy goodness of this dish :-)

    Reply

  47. #
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    Brandon @ Kitchen Konfidence — January 24, 2012 @ 5:03 pm

    YUM!! I make a similar sauce for chilequiles :)

    Reply

  48. #
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    RisaG — February 9, 2012 @ 6:03 pm

    I am a card-carrying Chile-Head and adore them all – from the mildest to the hottest – and this looks wonderful to me.

    Reply

  49. #
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    Jenny — February 21, 2012 @ 7:00 pm

    I just made the sauce and it’s watery. Is there a thickening agent you used? I used 1 cup stock and the other ingredients and it’s not thick like the picture.

    Reply

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    Nik — April 28, 2012 @ 9:07 am

    Recipe looks fabulous. Found it on Pinterest. Can’t wait to try it!

    Reply

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    Melissa — August 24, 2012 @ 2:14 pm

    I followed to recipe to the t, but it looks nothing like the photo. The sauce turned out watery for me. Any suggestions?

    Reply

    • Sommer — August 24th, 2012 @ 2:22 pm

      Hey Melissa, I’m not sure why that would have happened. But what I would do to thicken the sauce is to place a sieve over a bowl and line in with a paper towel. Pour the sauce into the sieve and drain until the desired consistency is reached.

      Let me know how it turns out!

      Reply

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