Friday, December 28, 2007

Real Simple Smoky Chicken Corn Cakes

Back in the spring when my wife's May 2007 issue of Real Simple magazine arrived in the mail, she tore out some recipes that sounded interesting and left the pages for me in the kitchen; a subtle hint that she'd like me to make them.

The first of these recipes that we tried is for Smoky Chicken Corn Cakes. The smoky comes from canned chipotles which smoked jalapeño peppers and packed in a very spicy, smokey tomato sauce called adobo. Be careful if you can't handle heat, these little guys, and the sauce, pack a LOT of punch!

Real Simple only publishes recipes that it considers easy. So as I read the recipe, I figured this would be a quick and easy dinner. It was certainly easy, but not so quick. The author says that the total time to make this dish should be 35 minutes; it took me over an hour to get this delicious dish onto the table. Granted I was probably paying more attention to my caipirinha than to the task at hand, but you would need to be a prep wizard to prepare this entire dish in 35 minutes. And I'll tell you I'm no slouch when it comes to prep work.

The recipe calls for some ricotta in the corn cakes, since J can't have ricotta I left it out. The cakes were delicious without it. In fact, they were so good, I could see myself making them for breakfast one day; wrap one of those cakes around a sausage link and you've got yourself one delicious breakfast. I also substituted a can of corn for the frozen corn because it's what I had on hand.

smoky chicken corn cakes
1 3 1/2- to 4-pound rotisserie chicken
1 tablespoon chopped canned chipotle chilies in adobo sauce
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
4 Roma (plum) tomatoes, diced
1/3 cup fresh cilantro leaves

For the corn cakes:
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
4 large eggs
1 cup part-skim ricotta
10 ounces frozen corn, thawed (or one can sweet corn)
2 teaspoons canola oil
1/2 cup sour cream (optional)

Using a fork or your fingers, shred the chicken meat, discarding the skin and bones.

In a medium bowl, combine the chicken, chipotle, lime juice, 1/4 teaspoon of the salt, the onion, tomatoes, and cilantro; set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, pepper, and the remaining salt. Stir in the eggs and ricotta until no lumps remain. Fold in the corn.

Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. For each corn cake, spoon about 1/4 cup of the batter onto the skillet and cook until golden brown and set on one side, 2 to 3 minutes. Using a spatula, flip the cakes and cook 1 minute more. Divide the cakes among individual plates and top with the chicken mixture. Serve with sour cream, if desired.

Tip: Turn down the heat in this dish by reducing the chopped chipotle by half or dropping it entirely and using just 1 tablespoon of the adobo sauce. Or if you like it really spicy, and an extra chipotle and a little more sauce. Try adding mined fresh jalapeño for a fresh, fruity heat.

Yield: Makes 4 servings

CALORIES 591(30% from fat); FAT 20g (sat 6g); SUGAR 8g; PROTEIN 59g; CHOLESTEROL 1,147mg; SODIUM 762mg; FIBER 5g; CARBOHYDRATE 43g

Kate Merker
Real Simple, MAY 2007


  1. hmmmm...that chicken would be great on CORN TORTILLAS!!


  2. Hi Jaden, these would be great with corn tortillas, wouldn't they! :)