Leftovers day! My P.S. (Provider of Sustenance/hubby) often bakes or grills chicken and almost usually makes too many pieces. We’re left with 1 large chicken breast or 3 thighs or 2 drumsticks in a container in the fridge. That would be handy if we were snacky people, but we’re only home for breakfast and dinner and rarely snack.
There’s not enough chicken for a full meal for 2 unless we add a lot of sides. We don’t often think ahead to make rice so it’s cold and ready for chicken fried rice. By the time I get home from the office it is an hour until my P.S. goes to bed at 7 pm, so anything that takes too long or needs too much chopping up will cut into the hour we have to eat and watch an installment of one of our recorded tv shows. Hey, we have our priorities.
But having to throw out those random pieces of chicken after they’ve gotten lost in the back of the fridge for a week is just not good. I usually try to use them up and have created some odd things as a result. The spectacularly delicious hot chicken dip I made one Saturday was an unexpected success. The P.S. was impressed with having a hot appetizer before dinner and I was happy no chicken had lost its life unnecessarily.
I’d glanced over a few recipes that had southwestern flairs to them and then went ahead and created my own version. I call it southwestern because it has 1) chipotle peppers, 2) black beans, and 3) southwestern just sounds fancier than “Up North”. It’s all in a name, or so the food blog advice sites claim. If I’d called it “Fargo Chicken Dip” wouldn’t you have assumed it was made with a wood chipper? And probably thought that it maybe should be thrown back into a wood chipper? Location, location.. applies to food names as well.
I had 2 grilled boneless chicken breasts that I removed the skin and random cartilage bits from, then diced up finely. I diced sweet bell peppers and onions and sautéed them in a skillet with a little olive oil until they were beginning to brown.
Next I took an 8 ounce brick of cream cheese and softened it in the microwave. I run it for 20 seconds, mash it a bit, give in another 20 seconds, mash it some more, then a final 20 seconds. It’s not hot or melty, just softened.
I mixed the cream cheese, Parmesan and white cheddar together with the mayo in an ovenproof dish.
I diced some fresh parsley then a handful of cilantro and and stirred the mixture well.
I decided to add spinach to the dip and chopped up a handful of that as well. I added the diced chicken, 2 diced chipotle peppers (they were small) with a little of the adobo sauce they were in, and the rest of the ingredients. I stirred them together and taste tested for seasoning.
The dip was ready to heat. I put it into the oven at 350°F for 25 minutes until it was browning around the edges and bubbling away. It smelled very promising!
I let it rest on the back of the stove while I went about finishing up a pot of soup for dinner. When my P.S. came home we had happy hour with the dip and some chips I’d picked up to try out. They are called PopCorners and I’ve only found the butter and sea salt flavored varieties in a local grocery. I’d love to try some of their other flavor as these were excellent.
We used the butter flavored chips to scoop the warm and cheesy chicken dip. It was tasty and we ate way more appetizer than we should have. We just couldn’t stop! It had a nice heat to it but not in a horribly burning kind of way. You could use more chipotle peppers if you like the pain of a good heat. We usually disagree on the heat level but I’d hit right in the middle this time and it pleased us both. The 3 cheeses melted together into a cheese lover’s feast that almost stole the show. Honestly, we did taste the chicken in it but I think I could even make this dip without the chicken and it would be equally satisfying. It would probably work as a meatless dip!
Southwestern Chicken Dip
1/2 cup sweet bell peppers; finely diced
1/2 cup onion; finely diced
1 Tbs olive oil
8 oz cream cheese
1/3 cup Mayo
1/2 cup Parmesan
1 cup white cheddar; shredded
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 cup roasted chicken breast; chopped
1/4 cup cilantro; choppped
1/2 cup parsley; chopped
1 cup spinach; chopped
1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce; chopped (I used two since they were very small)
1 can black beans; rinsed and drained
Preheat oven to 350° F.
Saute onion and sweet pepper in oil over medium heat until it begins to brown. Remove from heat and set aside
Microwave cream cheese in a microwave and oven safe container until softened; stir in mayo, parmesan, white cheddar, salt and garlic powder.
Stir in rest of ingredients until well mixed and bake in oven 25-30 minutes until bubbling and beginning to brown on top.
Serve with crackers or chips for dipping.