Spicy Chipotle Sauce with Grilled Chicken Tenders

Spicy Chipotle Chicken Tenders

Oh My Goodness is this Spicy Chipotle Sauce with Grilled Chicken Tenders addictive!

As a person who typically eats the same items everyday – i.e. egg whites, oatmeal, grilled chicken, salmon, steamed green beans, brown rice, and the list goes on – I’m always looking for new ways to re-invent my daily dishes while keeping them as healthy as possible. Let’s face it, if you don’t find a way to jazz these ingredients up, after a while they can become very boring!

Spicy Chipotle Chicken Tenders

I’ve had a simple Spicy Chipotle Spread in my recipe repertoire since forever, reserving it’s purpose solely for whenever I made chicken or steak sandwiches and wraps. Then on one particularly uneventful day I looked at the extra jar of Chipotle Spread in the fridge and decided to play around with it. This sauce was so great and had so much potential, who was I to relegate it’s future to being just a spread 🙂 – I’d also made wayyy to much that week and didn’t have the heart to throw it out. An hour later, my Spicy Chipotle Sauce was born!

Spicy Chipotle Chicken Tenders

I won’t lie to you, this sauce has some kick to it; however, it is so much more. The heat in the chipotles is smoothed out by the sweetness of dark amber honey, while creamy dijon mustard is woven in, adding a beautiful sharpness, acidity and tang to the sauce. To incorporate a more rounded spiciness to the Chipotle Sauce, I also include delicatessen mustard (I swear by Boar’s Head Deli Mustard) which produces a slight mustardy-bite. I know it sounds crazy but the deli mustard is incredible in it and adds that “je ne sais quoi” factor to the sauce. You don’t even really know it’s there; it blends in wonderfully within the sauce to create more depth. Finally, bright freshly squeezed lemon juice is mixed in to bring out a delightful citrus flavor – and let’s face it, fresh lemon juice makes everything even more delicious!

This is such a versatile sauce! I love to use it as a marinade for chicken (as in this recipe) as well as a flavor-enhancement for salmon, right before I roast it in the oven. This Spicy Chipotle Sauce adds so much pizazz to everything you marinate it in. In addition, you can still use this sauce as a spread for extra spice when making a grilled chicken or streak wrap. Just smother this tasty homemade condiment over your favorite meat or veggie-filled low-carb wrap and top with some smoked gouda and a dolop of Boar’s Head Deli Mustard. Throw the wrap on a panini press to melt the cheese and create a crunchy crust and voila…an amazingly flavorful and healthy lunch to help get you through the workday. And it packs well too!

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To make this recipe you will need light mayonnaise, chipotles in adobo sauce, Splenda, dark amber honey, dijon mustard, Boar’s Head deli mustard, kosher salt,  freshly squeezed lemon juice, and water.

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Making this Spicy Chipotle Sauce couldn’t be easier, just blend the light mayonnaise, the chipotles in adobo and the Splenda in a blender on low until just combined…I like to leave my sauce a little on the chunkier side to keep some texture.

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Scrape the chipotle mixture into a bowl and add the honey, dijon mustard, deli mustard, kosher salt, lemon juice and water to the chipotle mixture and stir until incorporated.

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If you wanted to make the Grilled Chicken Tenders, just take several large boneless skinless chicken breasts and create tenders by cutting each breast vertically into 2-3 strips, depending on the size of the breast. (Since I like a larger meatier tender made from breast meat, I prefer to manually cut my chicken breasts as oppose to buying actual chicken tenders from the store.)

NOTE: The chicken in this Spicy Chipotle Sauce with Chicken Tenders recipe can be grilled, sautéed, or baked/broiled.

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Place the newly formed chicken strips into a glass bowl and pour 1/3-1/2 of the Spicy Chipotle Sauce onto the chicken. Mix until the chicken is evenly coated. Cover and marinate for 2-4 hours in the refrigerator.

dsc_1261The sauce that is left over can be stored in an airtight container and used whenever you want to add some bold flavors to a dish. 

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If grilling with wooden skewers, soak the skewers for 30 minutes prior to use. (I personally prefer metal skewers, as they are much lower maintenance – you don’t need to soak them and they don’t burn on the grill.)

Preheat the grill on high.

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Remove the marinated chicken from the refrigerator and skewer the tenders evenly amongst 5-8 skewers. Drizzle a touch of olive oil over each skewer and sprinkle with kosher salt and cracked black pepper. Grill the skewers for 10-12 minutes, turning once after 5-6 minutes. Remove when the chicken is firm to the touch but not completely stiff.

If baking the tenders, add a touch of olive oil, kosher salt and cracked black pepper to both sides of the chicken and arrange on a baking sheet lined with foil. Bake for 15-20 minutes at 450 degrees F. When the chicken is cooked through, turn the broiler on for 1-2 minutes to brown the chicken (if needed) – this will help to deepen the flavor. Make sure not to burn the chicken!!!

If you are using a skillet, sprinkle the marinated tenders with kosher salt and pepper and sauté in 1-2 teaspoons of olive oil until the chicken is cooked through, 10-12 minutes, flipping over once halfway through the cooking process.

Spicy Chipotle Chicken Tenders

Allow the tenders to cool for several minutes before removing them from the cooking skewers. When I entertain with this dish, I use it as an appetizer and will replace the metal skewers used in cooking with fresh decorative wooden skewers so guests can eat them mess-free. It’s always a crowd favorite.

Spicy Chipotle Chicken Tenders

As a meal, I’ll often pair these tenders with brown basmati rice and steamed broccoli or place them in a low-carb wrap along with sautéed spinach, onions and tomatoes…topped with extra Spicy Chipotle Sauce of course!

Whichever way you prefer, these Spicy Chipotle Chicken Tenders will be a culinary highlight for any occasion.

Spicy Chipotle Sauce with Grilled Chicken Tenders
Author: 
Recipe type: Chicken, Lunch, Dinner
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6-8 servings
 
Ingredients
  • ⅔ cup light Mayonnaise (Brand: Hellman's Light)
  • 7 ounce can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (Brand: La Morena)
  • 1 teaspoon Splenda
  • 4 teaspoons organic dark amber honey
  • 2 teaspoons dijon mustard (Brand: Grey Poupon)
  • 2 teaspoons deli mustard (Brand: Boar's Head)
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons water
  • 3-4 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice, 1½-2 lemons
Instructions
  1. Blend the light mayonnaise, chipotles in adobo and Splenda in a blender on low until just combined.
  2. Scrape the mixture in a bowl and add the honey, dijon mustard, deli mustard, kosher salt, lemon juice and water to the mixture. Stir until evenly incorporated.
  3. To make the Grilled Chicken Tenders: take several large boneless skinless chicken breasts and create tenders by cutting each breast vertically into 2-3 strips, depending on the size of the breast.
  4. Place newly formed strips into a glass bowl and pour ⅓-1/2 of the Spicy Chipotle Sauce onto the chicken. Mix until chicken is evenly coated. Cover and marinate for 2-4 hours in the refrigerator. (Store extra Spicy Chipotle Sauce in airtight container in refrigerator.)
  5. If grilling: soak wooden skewers for 30 minutes prior to use. Preheat grill on high. Remove marinated chicken from the refrigerator and skewer the tenders (using either metal or soaked wood skewers) evenly amongst 5-8 skewers. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper then grill for 10-12 minutes, turning once after 5-6 minutes. Remove when chicken is firm to the touch but not completely stiff. Allow the tenders to cool for several minutes before removing them from the cooking skewers.
  6. If baking: Add a touch of olive oil, salt and pepper to marinated tenders and arrange on a baking sheet lined with foil. Bake for 15-20 minutes at 450 degrees F. When chicken is cooked through, turn on the broiler for 1-2 minutes to brown the sauce (optional).
  7. If using a skillet on stovetop: Sprinkle marinated tenders with salt and pepper and sauté in 1-2 teaspoons of olive oil until chicken is cooked through, 10-12 minutes, flipping over once halfway through cooking process.
  8. Allow to cool for several minutes before serving.

 

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