Chicken in Chipotle Cream Sauce

As holidays of dubious historical significance that serve as little more than an excuse for copious daytime imbibing, Cinco de Mayo is my second least favorite. I prefer daytime drinking that is forthright and without (much) pretense. (One must have a little pretense, or else they take you to Promises). Appropriate situations include: baseball games, company picnics, a really rainy Saturday, having to go to the mall against your will and finding an adjacent Ruby Tuesday with a chatty bartender named Steve or Alyssa, being at the airport, being on vacation, and a one-year-old’s birthday party. Both the Fifth of May and the Seventeenth of March are strictly for amateurs. You can keep your well tequila and green tinted lager. Give me an honest fishbowl of Mai Tai and a complimentary plate of miso honey chicken wings on the Thirtieth of June. Many bottles of beer is also a good way to go on such happy occasions.

So, anyway, I was at Hacienda Pancho Villa two Saturdays ago for Cinco de Mayo. I was there with my family, soaking up the authentic Mexican ambience. I placed a risky order, as I sometimes do, just for kicks. And this one happened to pay off. In cream sauce. Their chicken in chipotle cream sauce was pretty in pink with an abundance of meaty mushrooms. It was surprisingly spicy and rich and none of us could stop eating it. I knew this was a dish I should recreate at home. I still think chipotle is smoky sweet and fabulous, though it has become somewhat ubiquitous. (Isn’t McDonald’s offering it as a dipper with their nugget reboot? You go, girl). Here we have a kind of a Tex-Mex stroganoff. Does that make you like it better or worse? It’s terrific, honestly. It’s comfort food. You can serve it over rice, or as tacos, tucked into flour tortillas. Buen Provecho.

Chicken in Chipotle Cream Sauce


  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 a 7 oz can chipotle in adobo (whole peppers and sauce)
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 white or yellow onion, sliced
  • 8 oz white button mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon flour
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • Flour tortillas


Whiz chipotles and adobo sauce with garlic and milk in a food processor. Cook seasoned chicken breasts over medium heat in 1 tablespoon vegetable oil; remove to a plate and shred into big pieces. Add the other teaspoon of oil to the pan and saute onions and mushrooms, approximately 10 minutes. Return roughly shredded chicken to the pan and turn down the heat. Add the flour and stir for one-two minutes, then pour in the chipotle mixture. Increase the heat and bring to a boil; let the mixture simmer and reduce. Turn off the heat and stir in the sour cream. Serve with a side of refried beans.

Jillian Bedell

Jillian Bedell is a writer and mother living in a farmhouse in Cushing, Maine. She is very good at talking about herself in the third person. She is co-author of Eating in Maine: At Home, On the Town, and On the Road.


  1. This recipe looks awesome. And I happen to have half a jar of chipotle in my fridge right now!
    I’ve only recently started cooking with chipotle, but I’ve been on a huge chipotle kick for the past couple of months.

  2. You guys are incredible. I could not love your blog any more than I do right now. I want to make this immediately, but I’m contemplating a mixture of breasts and thighs because I’m a glutton for punishment.

  3. This chicken looks amazing! What a wonderful recipe :-). And it’s just one of so many.. I found your blog only now, but I am already a big fan: you have so many delicious and heary recipes! I am very glad I found you 🙂

    I would like to invite you to share this post (and other posts 🙂 ) on a new photo based recipe sharing site that launched only last week. The idea is simple: all recipe photographs are published within minutes of submission. And, of course, the images link back to the author’s site.

    It’s called RecipeNewZ (with Z) –

    I hope you get a chance to visit and to share some of your delicious posts with our viewers. It would be a pleasure to have you on board 🙂

  4. Hi – Love your recipes (usually). We both like spicy foods and thought that the Chicken in chipotle sauce sounded great. After the first bite, we both reacted as if we had been burned. “Water, bananas, sour cream, anything!! Help.” Are you sure that the recipe should call for 1/2 a can of chipotle peppers???? I must say that the sandwich turned into an emotional experience. I repeat – we both relly like spicy food. We try most of your recipes and this was the first one that nearly did us in.
    Other than that, your site/blog is terrific. Something to look forward to every day. Much congratulations on your success.

    1. Hi AlBea! Thanks for writing, and I’m so sorry to hear that the dish was inedibly hot. I double checked with Jillian, and she is almost certain the recipe is correct, because she remembered removing all of the chipotles from the can to see how many there were. The only thing I am thinking might have been different, is that she may not have used as much of the sauce that comes in the can of chipotle. We are going to re-test this recipe, and we’ll report back. Again, I’m sorry it didn’t work out, and I hope it doesn’t discourage you from trying something else!

  5. I am TOTALLY going to try this soon (once the weather gets out of the 90’s lol)! I have some masa harina too so I can make homemade corn tortillas. This is going to taste awesome!

  6. Tried this recipe tonight, and LOVED it! We also thought it was a tad hot, but we just put in a little more sour cream, and that did it. It was perfect, and amazingly yummy! Next time, we’ll use the smaller 1/2 of the can of chipotles, and maybe a splash more milk, but this is a keeper for sure. Thanks!

    1. Thanks Sheri! We do have a tendency to skew things a little spicy…but it’s nothing a little more sour cream won’t fix! Glad to hear this recipe was a success for you!

  7. I’ve made this several times and it’s great! I only use 2 or 3 chipotles and it’s plenty spicy for me. My rule of thumb when cooking with chipotles is to start out easy and taste. You can always add more to your specific level of tolerance.

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