Calling all spicy food lovers!
Let’s talk about Mexican Deviled Chicken, also known as Pollo a la Diabla. I’ve made this dish several times since my original blog post in March 2016. I thought the post could use some new photos and some copy editing, so I am reintroducing this amazing Mexican dish.
Mexican deviled chicken is an authentic taste of Mexico, with deep rich flavor using fresh ingredients. This easy-to-make one-pot wonder dish is made of tender, juicy chicken, smothered in a smoky and spicy tomato sauce with sweet red onions, garlic, chipotles chilies, and lime juice.
I was craving chipotles when I first discovered this recipe for Mexican Deviled Chicken. However, I was a little scared by the name, because “Mexican Deviled Chicken” sounded so hot and spicy. The term “deviled” really intrigued my inner food geek curiosity and I did a little research. It turns out that the culinary term “deviled” has several meanings when used to describe a dish.
I stumbled across an online article by Judy Walker of The Times-Picayune down in New Orleans, Louisiana. In this article, Judy states that according to The Oxford Companion to Food, “devil” was first used as a culinary term in the 18th century as a noun. By the early 19th century that noun turned into a verb, “meaning to cook something with fiery hot spices or condiments.” This connection is related to “the devil and the excessive heat in hell.”
The term “Deviled” can warn people about the flavor of a dish. The term often refers to something spicy, but not always. If you look in various cookbooks, there will probably be at least one or more recipes that use “deviled” in the title. Recipes such as deviled ham, deviled eggs, deviled crab and even devils food cake! (In case you wonder, Devil’s Food Cake got its name from its red hue. It has nothing to do with heat or spice.)
Most often “deviled” implies a preparation with a sharp flavor, most often derived from mustard, vinegar, cayenne or other chilies. “Deviled” is also a term used to describe a heavily seasoned food, that’s dark, rich, chopped, ground, or whole mixture served hot or cold. Hence, the reason why many foods, including eggs and crab, are served “deviled.”
Surprisingly, this “deviled” chicken dish was nothing to fear, but a wonderful dish to embrace!
For spicy food lovers, you’ll be in heaven! Pair the Mexican Deviled Chicken with Mexican rice, fresh avocado or use the chicken as a filling inside a tortilla with refried beans, cheese, sour cream and any other topping you choose, to help balance out the spice. We have had deviled chicken all of these ways and anyway you serve this chicken is good!
If you are afraid of spice, I do not recommend this mildly spicy dish. However, it doesn’t seem as spicy if the chicken is paired with rice or when added to a tortilla with other toppings.
I have made this dish several times since I originally posted in 2016. This Mexican Deviled Chicken is Heavenly! Nothing hellacious about it at all. It has the perfect amount of heat and best of all it is really simple to make.
I hope you enjoyed the rejuvenated post and enjoy the recipe even more!
Mexican Deviled Chicken | Pollo a la Diabla
- 4 chicken thighs boneless-skinless
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large red onion chopped
- 2 Roma tomatoes chopped
- 6 cloves garlic minced
- 3 ½ ounces chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
- 1 cup chicken broth
- sea salt to taste
- 1-2 tablespoons fresh lime juice juice of ½ lime
- Heat the oil in a Dutch Oven or heavy pot, over medium-high heat. Add the onions and sauté until soft; about 5 to 7 minutes. Remove the onions from the pot and add the chicken to the pot; brown on all sides.
- While the chicken is browning, blend the chipotle peppers with the chicken broth using a hand blender or blender. Make sure there are no large pieces of chipotles left; blend until smooth. This may take several minutes.
- When the chicken has browned, add the onions back into the pot along with the garlic and tomatoes; season with salt, to taste. Cook for about 10 o 15 minutes.
- Add chipotle-broth mixture, stir to combine well. Simmer over low heat uncovered for 30 minutes, or until the sauce has nearly halved and thickened. The longer you simmer this sauce, the better it will be. You can make ahead of time just be sure to cover the pot with a lid after it has reduced.
- Before serving taste and adjust the salt as necessary. Squeeze in the lime juice; stir well to combine.
- Serve with a nice Mexican rice, fresh avocado or use the chicken as a filling inside a tortilla with refried beans, cheese, sour cream and any other topping you choose, to help balance out the spice.
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