Cheesy Chicken in Chipotle Cream Sauce

Pan seared chicken, basking in an insanely delicious, creamy, dreamy, chipotle chili-spiked cheese sauce. Like if you took Queso dip and turned it into a wholly satisfying chicken dinner. Simply awesome on every level.

No joke, this creamy cheese sauce tastes like the best warm Queso dip ever. That wasn't my intention starting out, but as I starting building the sauce, I imagined how wonderful it would be if I combined two concepts: chicken with a creamy gravy + a cheesy, mildly spicy Queso dip. The next thing I knew, this phenomenal sauce came together. And it evolved quickly, with very few ingredients!

About the rice: I served this dish over rice because I wanted the fluffy grains to soak up the incredible cheese sauce. You can also serve the dish over quinoa, couscous, OR like a stew with a chunk of bread or tortilla chips on the side (how good would THAT be?).

Cheesy Chicken in Chipotle Cream Sauce 

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons minced chipotle chilies in adobo sauce
1/2 teaspoon onion powder or dried minced onion
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder or dried minced garlic
1 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend
Cooked rice for serving (see note above)
2-3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro for serving

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook until golden brown on all sides, stirring frequently. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside.
Melt the butter in the same skillet over medium heat. When the butter is bubbly, whisk in the flour until smooth. Whisk in the chicken broth and milk and bring to a simmer. Whisk in the chipotle chilies, onion powder and garlic powder. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes, until thickened. Stir in the cheese and cook until the cheese melts. Return the chicken to the pan with any accumulated juices from the plate. Simmer for 2 to 3 minutes to heat through. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Spoon the chicken and cheese sauce over the rice and top with the cilantro.
Serves 4