Chicken with Red Pepper Cream Sauce
In this healthy chicken with red pepper cream sauce recipe, roasted red pepper and chipotle give this creamy sauce a beautiful red hue and give it a slightly sweet and smoky flavor. The sauce can be made ahead, then served with seared chicken, as we do in this recipe, or with grilled fish or ravioli. This recipe makes more Cream Sauce without the Cream than you’ll need for the red pepper sauce. Refrigerate or freeze the extra sauce and use it in place of heavy cream in any sauce or soup that calls for cream.
Yield: 6 servings, 3 oz. chicken & 1/3 cup sauce each
Active Time: 80
Total Time: 105
Cream Sauce without the Cream
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 cup finely chopped onion
- 2/3 cup long- or medium-grain white rice
- 5 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1/4 teaspoon salt, or more to taste
- Freshly ground pepper, preferably white
Red Pepper Sauce & Chicken
- 1 large red bell pepper, halved
- 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil plus 2 tablespoons, divided
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon honey or sugar, or to taste
- 1-2 teaspoons minced chipotle pepper in adobo sauce (see Tip)
- 1 cup Cream Sauce without the Cream
- 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 1/2 pounds total), trimmed
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- Chopped fresh cilantro or scallion greens for garnish
- To prepare cream sauce: Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add 1 cup finely chopped onion and cook, stirring, until soft but not browned, about 5 minutes. Add rice and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes more. Add broth and wine and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer until the rice is very soft and the liquid is greatly reduced, about 25 minutes. Cool slightly.
- Transfer the mixture to a blender and puree, in batches if necessary, until smooth. (Alternatively, puree in the pot with an immersion blender.) The consistency should be similar to a pourable sauce; add more broth or water as needed. Season with 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper, preferably white pepper.
- To prepare red pepper sauce & chicken: Position rack in upper third of oven; preheat to 400°F.
- Rub bell pepper halves with 1 teaspoon oil and place cut-side down on a baking sheet. Roast until soft, about 10 minutes. Turn on broiler and, watching carefully, broil until the skin is charred in spots, 2 to 7 minutes, depending on your broiler. Let cool, then peel (it’s OK if bits of charred skin remain). Chop the pepper.
- Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add 1 cup chopped onion and garlic and cook, stirring, until soft and just beginning to brown, about 5 minutes.
- Place the roasted pepper, onion mixture, honey (or sugar), chipotle to taste and 1 cup of the Cream Sauce in a blender; puree until very smooth. Adjust the consistency with additional Cream Sauce if desired. Return to the pan and warm over low heat.
- Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken, reduce the heat to medium and cook, turning once or twice, until browned on both sides and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 165°F, 12 to 16 minutes total. Transfer to a clean cutting board, tent with foil and let rest for 5 minutes.
- Slice the chicken and serve with the red pepper sauce. Garnish with cilantro (or scallion greens), if desired.
Tips & Notes
- Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate cream sauce (Steps 1 & 2) or red pepper sauce (Steps 3-6) for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost overnight in the refrigerator or using the defrost setting on your microwave.
- Tip: Chipotle chile peppers in adobo sauce are smoked jalapeños packed in a flavorful, spicy sauce. Look for the small cans with Mexican foods at large supermarkets. Once opened, they’ll keep up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator or 6 months in the freezer.
Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (80% daily value), Vitamin A (23% dv)
1 Carbohydrate Serving
Exchanges: 1 1/2 vegetable, 3 1/2 lean meat, 1 fat