Chipotle Chicken Skewers with Creamy Dipping Sauce

IMG_3372 (575x383)Attention!  Calling all fans of sweet heat—I’ve got a chicken recipe for you that made my taste buds do a jig.  It also made my daughter who is not crazy about chicken go back for seconds!

If any of you pay attention to the sources for some of my recipes, you will have noticed that I’ve posted quite a few of them from one of my very favorite blogs, Mel’s Kitchen CaféMel has a keen eye for great recipes, the vast majority of which contain everyday pantry items and don’t require Cordon Bleu cooking expertise.  Mel’s got five young children, so she’s got to get dinner on the table in a reasonable amount of time to feed a lot of hungry people.  A minimum of fuss, however, does not equate to a minimum of flavor and deliciousness.

I have never been disappointed in a single recipe that Mel has posted, so I was a bit surprised when she said that if readers made only one recipe from her site they had to make this one.  Well, with an endorsement like that, how could I not make it—and soon!

If this recipe had appeared on any other site, I probably would have passed it by since chipotle peppers and I are not on good terms.  In fact, making this chicken induced me to buy my first ever can of chipotle peppers in adobe sauce.  Now, that’s saying something about blind faith!

I was very careful to scrape out the seeds from the pepper as the recipe instructs, and I added the 2 teaspoons of adobo sauce, resisting any temptation to leave it out.  As I was doing so, I tried to remember what leftovers I had in the fridge in case I wimped out on what potentially could have been chicken too hot for me to eat.

Roger did the grilling, and it was with great anticipation that I awaited my first bite.  All I can say is, “WOW, WOW, WOW, was this good!”  Sweet but not overwhelming heat describes it very well.  If I didn’t think it was too hot, I can’t imagine who would.  In any event, the dipping sauce is available to tamp down any unwanted heat.  Speaking of which, there were five of us enjoying this Memorial Day BBQ, and we were split on the sauce.  Some of us wanted the sauce all to ourselves, and others preferred the chicken without the sauce.  So, you’ll just have to make it and decide for yourself.  But, whatever you do—you must make this chipotle chicken or you’ll be missing out!

One year ago:  Pesto Spaghetti Squash

Two years ago:  Killer Buzzwiches

Chipotle Chicken Skewers with Creamy Dipping Sauce

Printer-friendly version

Ingredients for Chicken Skewers

  • 2 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts [4-5 medium chicken breasts (I bought 2 lbs. of chicken tenders and did not need to do any cutting before skewering)]
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tbl. fresh cilantro, minced
  • 1 chipotle chile in adobo sauce, minced (scrape out the seeds before mincing to reduce spiciness)
  • 2 tsp. adobo sauce
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 to 2 tbl. of canola oil, optional
  • 12 bamboo or metal skewers

Ingredients for Creamy Dipping Sauce

  • 3/4 cup sour cream (can sub low fat)
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise or Greek yogurt (can sub low fat)
  • 1/4 cup lime juice, from 2-3 limes
  • 1/8 tsp. garlic powder
  • 2 tbl. cilantro leaves, minced
  • 2 green onions, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. ground black pepper


Slice the chicken breasts into long, thin strips, about 1/2-inch thick.  You should have right around 30 strips.  In a small bowl, stir together the brown sugar, cilantro, chipotle chile, adobo sauce, salt, chili powder, garlic powder, and pepper.

IMG_3345 (575x413)

Toss the chicken with the brown sugar mixture coating all the pieces evenly.  Cover the chicken (or place in a ziploc bag) and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 24 hours.

For the dipping sauce, in a bowl, stir all the ingredients together.  Cover the mixture and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes until the flavors combine.  Alternately, you can make the dipping sauce in advance and refrigerate for up to 2 days.  Be sure to season the dipping sauce with additional lime juice, salt and pepper to taste before serving.

About 30 minutes before grilling, cover the bamboo skewers with water and soak.  Skip this step if using metal skewers.

Preheat an oven broiler or gas/charcoal grill.  Weave two strips of chicken onto each skewer. Broil or grill the chicken for 5-8 minutes until cooked through, using nonstick cooking spray on a foil-lined pan if you are broiling.  Serve immediately (if you broil, you may need to cook in batches) with the dipping sauce.

Yield:  Makes about 15-16 skewers, serving 4-6

IMG_3375 (575x383)Fran’s Notes

The brown sugar mixture is very thick, more of a rub than a marinade.  I ended up adding a tablespoon of oil—and even with that it was still really thick and I had trouble adhering it to the chicken.  Then I noticed that the chicken I had “coated” (and I use that term loosely) had released some liquid in the bowl, and that helped distribute the brown sugar mixture a little more evenly.

Source:  Another great recipe from Mel’s Kitchen Café which came to her via a reader via American’s Test Kitchen

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *