From Rick Bayless's Mexican Kitchen ,
by Rick Bayless

Serves 4

You have company coming, you want to do something special and there's no time. Here is a simple concoction that practically everyone takes to right away: smoky and spicy broiled chicken with creamy spinach. There is nothing particularly traditional here except the combination of chipotles and cream (considered a little "gourmet" in Mexico). It is just very good (comfort food with a kick) and very easy.


2 to 3 canned chipotles chilies en adobo, finely chopped (about 2 tablespoons)
1-1/4 cups thick cream, whipping cream, or creme fraiche
4 medium-large (about 1-1/3 pounds total) boneless, skinless, chicken-breast halves, trimmed of all extraneous fat
1/4 cup chicken broth
6 cups (about 10 ounces) stemmed spinach, well rinsed
Salt, about 1/2 teaspoon


1. Marinating the chicken: Combine the chopped canned chipotles with 2 tablespoons of the cream. Smear over the chicken breasts, cover and refrigerate for several hours, if time permits, for the chilies to season the chicken.

2. Finishing the dish: Lay the chicken breasts in a broiler-proof baking dish just large enough to hold them comfortably. Set 6 inches below a very hot broiler and cook until richly brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Turn the breasts over, drizzle the remaining 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons cream around them and set under the broiler. Cook until the chicken is deep golden and no longer squishy feeling when lightly pressed, 4 to 5 minutes.

Transfer the chicken to 4 warm dinner plates and keep warm in a low oven. Scrape the cream mixture into a medium-large (3- to 4- quart) saucepan and add the broth and the spinach. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook, stirring nearly constantly, until the spinach is wilted and the cream is reduced and thick, about 3 minutes. Taste and season with salt, then spoon around the chicken breasts and serve right away.