DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT try to bite into a chipotle pepper.
I like spicy foods, right? I always have, probably always will, even when I’m old and gray. Which is part of the draw that lead me to this recipe. And as I was cooking up a storm this weekend, a few glasses of wine deep, it occurred to me that I have never tried a chipotle pepper in its purest form. And yet, here I was, using them in my recipe. That seemed off to me, like I was an imposter, so I poured myself glass number 3 and took a bite. The series of events that occurred next was all a blur.
I was sweating within 7 seconds. And I mean, SWEATING. Opening windows, panting, mouth salivating, chugging milk kind of pain. I seriously almost called my roommate to tell her she had to come home to take me to the hospital. I am not even exaggerating right now – it was that intense! So please – I beg of you, do NOT try to bite into a chipotle pepper.
After a delayed start, the recipe itself turned out pretty good! (Reminder: I do like spicy foods, so if you are mild at heart, this is not for you. Don’t say I didn’t warn ya!)
2 medium sweet potatoes
1 1/2 small boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/3 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 dried chipotle peppers, minced (NOT BITEN!)
2 teaspoons chili powder
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups spinach
5 oz shredded mozzarella
chopped cilantro, for garnish
1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Wash sweet potatoes and prick all over with a fork. Bake for 50-60 minutes. Place chicken in a baking dish and rub with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place in oven with potatoes for 25 minutes. Allow to cool and shred chicken with fork or hands. When sweet potatoes are done, cut in half and allow to cool for 10 minutes.
2. Increase oven to 400 F. In a medium size bowl, combine chipotle peppers, olive oil, garlic, lime juice, chili powder, salt and pepper.
3. Scoop out inside of sweet potatoes to desired skin. Leave enough so that it will hold its structure on its own (I left about 1/4 inch of sweet potato as a base). Coat inside of potatoes with olive oil and chipotle mixture and place in oven for 10 minutes.
4. Heat small skillet on stove and wilt spinach. Mix with shredded chicken and remainder of olive oil and chipotle mix. Set aside, keep warm.
5. When potatoes are ready, remove from oven, scoop the chicken mixture into the potatoes, and top with cheese. Return to oven for 10 minutes or until cheese is melted.
6. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 – 10 minutes. Garnish with cilantro and ENJOY!
(Recipe Inspiration from Half Baked Harvest)