Want to know how to make one heck of a delicious chicken dish?

Good. Because I was going to tell you anyway.

First up.

Chop up some jalapenos and other good stuff. Saute them in a little butter. Don’t stick your face over the pot. That is… unless you want to feel what it’s like for your entire head to burst into flames.

Caramelize some chicken. Yesss…. caramelize it. No secret over here that I like to caramelize, well… everything. I want to caramelize my life.

Then that whole jalapeno saute thing? Turn it into a creamy sauce. A fairly lighter creamy sauce, that is. Yep yep yep. It can be done.

Dump that sauce all over the CARAMELIZED chicken.

Mmmm. Let’s say it again. Caramelize.

Comfort food at it’s finest!

Isn’t that what life is all about? At least mine is.

And don’t worry about this meal being super spicy because frankly – it’s not. Not at all. The jalapenos are seeded and you simply get a touch of heat at the end of each bite. Just a leeeetle tiny bit. The flavor just about punches you in face though, so uh… watch out for that.

Caramelized Chicken with Jalapeno Cream

serves 4

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper

2 tablespoons canola oil

2 jalapenos, seeded and chopped

1 shallot, sliced

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 tablespoons butter

1 tablespoon flour (any kind will do, I used whole wheat)

1/4 cup low-fat or skim milk

1 12-ounce can fat-free evaporated milk

2 tablespoons finely grated parmesan cheese

Add chopped jalapenos, shallots and garlic to a food processor and pulse until very finely chopped (not pureed). Set aside.

Tenderize chicken breasts if desired and pat completely dry with paper towels. Season on both sides with salt and pepper. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add 1 tablespoon canola oil. Once the oil is hot, add chicken breasts (make sure they are COMPLETELY DRY) and cook for about 8-10 minutes per side, until each side is caramelized and golden. If needed, use the remaining canola oil when flipping the chicken.

While the chicken is cooking, heat a small saucepan over medium heat and add butter. Once sizzling, add in the chopped jalapeno mixture, stirring to coat, and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once fragrant (do NOT put your face directly over the jalapenos!), whisk in flour and stir continuously to create a roux. Cook mixture for 1-2 minutes, then add in milks, reducing the heat to medium-low. Continue to stir continuously until mixture begins to thicken (about 6-8 minutes), adding in parmesan cheese and reducing the heat even more. Once the desired thickness has been reached, turn off heat. Stir every so often – it may thicken even more while sitting – and you can add additional milk to thin it out if needed. Taste and season with salt and pepper as desired.

Serve chicken over rice, vegetables or pasta and top with jalapeno cream. This reheated beautifully for us!

Note: I got the idea to try out evaporated milk from Pam’s recent video post

P.S. you can’t even imagine how amazing that rice up there gets with the cream and stuff… oh mylanta.

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219 Responses to “Caramelized Chicken with Jalapeno Cream.”

  1. #
    Carly — January 12, 2012 @ 9:13 pm

    I found this a few days ago and have been dying to make it I finally did tonight and it was a big hit and I cant wait to make it again


  2. #
    meems — January 12, 2012 @ 9:14 pm

    Even better if you could sort out the correct apostrophes….


    • Olivia — January 13th, 2012 @ 7:40 pm



    • bobbi g — January 17th, 2012 @ 6:55 pm

      What is this grammar school???


    • JK — January 18th, 2012 @ 1:10 am

      What a jackass.


      • LH — January 20th, 2012 @ 2:23 am

        And I thought that the use of ellipses only contained 3 dots… if you want to get all anal about it.

        • Shari — February 5th, 2012 @ 3:04 pm

          hahaha (3 haha’s)!!!

        • MO — May 8th, 2012 @ 4:04 pm

          Actually, an ellipsis at the end of a sentence does not replace a period, but rather is added to it, which means one uses four dots instead of three. So meems was correct. If one wants to get all anal about it.

          Yay, arguing about punctuation on the internet!

    • kdj — January 27th, 2012 @ 6:20 pm

      I don’t see any incorrect usage of any apostrophes anyway, what kind of idiotic troll are you?


      • EH — February 3rd, 2012 @ 5:09 pm

        I found it!!! good thing you don’t need to have proper grammar to cook well. Otherwise we may have never been able to share in your delightful recipes! I use your blog as my newest addition to my cookbook collection by the way. Love it!

  3. #
    jill — January 13, 2012 @ 4:16 pm

    I made this last night and it was fabulous! My hubs couldn’t believe there wasn’t cream in it! It only took me 30 minutes! Thanks for another delicious recipe that my whole family loved :0)


  4. #
    Maria of Culture-ist — January 13, 2012 @ 4:39 pm

    This unusual recipe sounds fabulous. Delicious photos — thanks for sharing!


  5. #
    Nancy — January 13, 2012 @ 5:23 pm

    Holy cow. Your pictures are so perfect and crystal clear! Great blog and recipe!


  6. #
    Si — January 14, 2012 @ 10:23 am

    Hate to pedantic but you cannot ‘ caramelize ‘ meat , only foods actually containing sugars can do that ..


    • sam — January 21st, 2012 @ 3:39 am

      I hate to call you ‘stupid’ but you have been lied to. you most certainly can caramelize ‘most’ meats and ‘some’ vegetables.


    • ZL 'Kai' Burington — March 19th, 2012 @ 11:20 am

      Si is right. It’s the Maillard reaction, not carmelization. The former is an amino acid reaction with sugar; the latter is a heat breakdown of sugar, releasing volatiles. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maillard_reaction


      • foodgeek — July 18th, 2012 @ 7:58 pm

        Yep, the correct word for meat would be “browned” or “seared” rather than caramelized. Which wouldn’t really have been a big deal if it weren’t repeated so often in the post :\

  7. #
    Kristin @ Bake Something — January 14, 2012 @ 12:43 pm

    I made this dish last night for dinner and the other half and I loved it. I topped it with a little cilantro and a squeeze of lime. Yummy! Thanks for the recipe.


  8. #
    caroline moran — January 14, 2012 @ 8:44 pm



  9. #
    Ima Bettercookdanu — January 14, 2012 @ 11:31 pm

    Before you caramelize your life, you should learn what the heck it means to caramelize, or you are likely to malliard reductionize your life.


    • jules — January 16th, 2012 @ 6:43 pm

      maillard reaction


  10. #
    K. Marie — January 15, 2012 @ 9:08 am

    Thanks for the lovely recipe. I am looking forward to trying it for company in a few nights! (Please don’t let the unkind comments of others get to you. It’s one thing to offer suggestions but it’s never necessary to be unkind.)


  11. #
    Randi — January 15, 2012 @ 11:14 pm

    I don’t think there’s any reason for people to be so rude…obviously she uses the term caramelize to describe what it will look like when finished…I have been waiting all weekend toske this and finally did tonight…I only co
    oked two breasts but I plan on taking the left overs for lunch tomorrow…I actually used real garlic for the first time from a clove and it tasted so good! Thank you so much for sharing this….be well


  12. #
    Ana — January 16, 2012 @ 5:29 pm

    this was wonderful! we had it last night and my husband (who is super super picky) raved over it! and i’m actually dipping some french fries in the leftover sauce. so.good.


  13. #
    Adriane — January 16, 2012 @ 8:57 pm

    I made this tonight and it was delicious. Forget about the haters. Who cares about apostrophes and “caramelization?” This was delicious and I can’t wait to make it again!


  14. #
    Shea Goldstein — January 17, 2012 @ 4:37 pm



  15. #
    Kessi Payne — January 17, 2012 @ 7:13 pm

    Made this last night! My boyfriend and friend loved it!
    I didn’t have any evaporated milk, or a shallot. So I just used whole milk, and an onion, just too lazy to go buy stuff from the store.

    I mixed a boat load of sour cream into mine! It was delicious! I will for sure be making this again. I also put a little sugar on my chicken.

    Super easy with hardly any ingredients, I love it! My boyfrined has already requested I make it tomorrow.. Haha.


    • Kaye — June 4th, 2012 @ 10:24 am

      Can you make it with just the skim milk but without adding the condescend milk? Or will that not be creamy enough? I’m also debating trying it with plain greek yogurt to add protein and creaminess…..regardless it looks delicious I can’t wait to try it!


  16. #
    Lisa Duguay — January 18, 2012 @ 3:32 am

    I wonder if it would be still good with quinoa instead of rice? Does anyone try it?


    • Jessica — January 18th, 2012 @ 7:48 am

      I think it would!


      • janetha — February 27th, 2012 @ 10:50 pm

        We ended up doing quinoa and it was GREAT

  17. #
    xxxx — January 18, 2012 @ 3:14 pm

    Definition: Caramelization is a culinary phenomenon that occurs when carbohydrates like sugar are heated to temperatures of 300°F or higher, causing them to turn brown.

    I am not trying to be an ass. But it is important to use the language of your craft properly.


    • HPM — March 26th, 2012 @ 1:05 pm

      Unproccesed proteins, like chicken, have no dietary sugars. Therefore, they brown and not caramelize.


  18. #
    Shannon — January 18, 2012 @ 7:31 pm

    I made this the other day and it was fabulous! I had some left over Jalapeno cream and heated it up and put it on my tacos the next night! Very easy, very tasty. We will have this again!


  19. #
    c — January 19, 2012 @ 12:44 am

    This looks amazing! What vegetables would go good with this?


  20. #
    Si — January 19, 2012 @ 6:58 am

    Hey am sorry if my comment seemed rude , That was never my intention , My reaction merely came about because of a conversation i had with one of my nephews who is a food technologist ( he ‘ designs ‘ foods such as pizzas etc for supermarkets such as Waitrose ( here in the UK ) and he pointed out ( in his view ) that it was incorrect to use the term thus .
    The food does indeed look good , so much so that i tried it the other night , Tasted very nice too ! .
    Thanks very much .
    ( and sorry for any offence )


  21. #
    anonymous stumbler. — January 19, 2012 @ 12:00 pm

    You may want to look up what to caramelize means.


  22. #
    RO — January 19, 2012 @ 2:21 pm

    Oh wow. You nit-pickers need to get a life. She’s talking to us like friends. This wasn’t a Harvard presentation. Thanks for treating us like we are friends, I love that. Great dish by the way! Loved it!


  23. #
    Jason Reneman — January 20, 2012 @ 1:42 am

    I made this tonight for dinner and it was absolutely wonderful. I mixed fresh cilantro in with the rice and topped with avocados for color, freshness & presentation! This is going into my recipe book of favorite dinners. It’s easy enough for a weeknight dinner yet fancy enough for formal entertaining. This one’s a winner. Thanks for a great post.


  24. #
    Carolyn — January 20, 2012 @ 11:06 am

    You rock! Thanks for such an awesome recipe with great photos and instructions! I really appreciate having a new recipe in my repertoire. :-)


  25. #
    Jay Lichtmann — January 21, 2012 @ 9:42 pm

    Made this tonight and it was really, really good. I was surprised at how mild the sauce was even though I used two large jalapenos. The sauce had a marvelous flavor, loved it.


  26. #
    Mark Thein — January 21, 2012 @ 9:48 pm

    This may have been the best thing I have eaten in years. Soooo good! Thanks so much for sharing! My whole family loved it!


  27. #
    caz — January 22, 2012 @ 8:28 pm

    This looks sounds amazing. I am gonna give it a try.


  28. #
    Donna — January 22, 2012 @ 9:17 pm

    Jessica, forgive the dumb question – but which kind of parmesan cheese did you mean? The block kind you grate yourself or the powdery kind that comes in the plastic jar (Kraft)? (PS I made it with what I had on hand and my husband like it!) (PS 2 – ignore the rude people who commented. I was “skimming” and saw what looked like rude comments.)


  29. #
    Courtney @ LivingABonaFideLife — January 24, 2012 @ 9:42 pm

    Hey! I made this recipe tonight and it was great! :)


  30. #
    CCN — January 26, 2012 @ 7:54 pm

    I’m going to try this with poblano peppers…because I heart poblanos! Here’s hoping it tastes good. Thanks for the recipe!


  31. #
    Kris — January 28, 2012 @ 2:43 pm

    Oh my!! My mouth is watering…this sounds SO good! I believe this will be our dinner tonight! (On a side note, please ignore those who choose to spend their lives posting negative things on someone else’s site after they have been kind enough to share their time and talents!)


  32. #
    Sam — January 28, 2012 @ 6:12 pm

    Just made this a half hour ago – boyfriend and I devoured it quickly it was so delicious haha! And I usually hate anything with jalapenos (the guy in the house lovesss them) so I figured I’d give it a shot and it was perfect! I served it over a mexican-tomato rice that I usually make and oh my goodness you were right about the sauce + rice mixture! Thanks for another wonderful meal to add to the list!!


  33. #
    Mary — January 30, 2012 @ 12:51 am

    Just made this recipe for dinner and it turned out awesome. The sauce could be a bit thicker but I am sure its something I did. However everything turned out great! it was so yummy we had it with some mexican rice! THANKS!


  34. #
    David — January 31, 2012 @ 8:07 pm



  35. #
    Karissa Ferguson — February 1, 2012 @ 11:40 pm

    I was so thrilled to try this recipe out but my sauce didn’t thicken…i have some serious sauce issues with them staying liquidy. Suggestions to fix my issues? I so badly want to make this and love it!!! By the way, I am really excited to try your Cake Batter Martinis and Creamsicle Mimosas. Your site is officially my go to for drink recipes. Thanks for that :)


  36. #
    Shari — February 5, 2012 @ 3:04 pm

    hahaha (3 haha’s)


  37. #
    Jo — February 7, 2012 @ 9:10 pm

    I finally got around to making this, and IT IS WONDERFUL! I served it on a bed of fresh spinach, and we were licking our plates clean. Great recipe!


  38. #
    Ann — February 9, 2012 @ 11:55 pm

    Can’t wait to try it. Love the mouth-watering photos. What lens do you use?


    • Jessica — February 10th, 2012 @ 8:34 am

      Thanks! I use a 35mm f/1.8.


  39. #
    Annie K — February 20, 2012 @ 11:30 am

    Made this dish (FINALLY!) on friday night – and man am I sad I waited so long! It’s so delicious! I can’t wait to have it again! I made a sandwich over the weekend on a pretzel roll and used the cream as a dipping sauce – AMAZING!! love love Love this recipe!!!


  40. #
    Lindsay — February 25, 2012 @ 2:58 pm

    I made this last night and it was FANTASTIC!! Thank you for an awesome new recipe! The boyfriend thanks you too :)


  41. #
    janetha — February 27, 2012 @ 10:53 pm

    it was great, jess! thanks for the recipe. love you! OH and by the way.. learn WTF caramelization means and how to use apostrophes. SHEESH. (what the haters?)


  42. #
    Sara — March 22, 2012 @ 11:20 am

    Your recipes are always delicious and your pictures are beautiful. I’m making this recipe tonight. I hope by now you are able to ignore all the awful comments, because most of us genuinely love reading everything you write.


  43. #
    Leonie — March 26, 2012 @ 12:17 pm

    looks gorgeous… can’\t wait to try it! Thank you for sharing! :-)


  44. #
    Stumbler — March 27, 2012 @ 7:18 am

    CARAMELIZZZED,,,,,,,,,, Nope it’s not :)

    But let’s say it again,,,,,,,,,CAAAAARAMELIZZZZED,,,,,,,,, Still no.


  45. #
    Tina — May 25, 2012 @ 8:16 pm

    I don’t care if it’s called caramelization or not. Made this twice and it’s delicious!


  46. #
    Jaime @ Mom's Test Kitchen — June 7, 2012 @ 8:41 pm

    I was so excited when I saw this on Pinterest! I added it to my menu for this week – I was going to make caramelized onion & sweet pepper quesadillas with the jalapeno cream to drizzle over for extra flavor. I don’t know what I did wrong though but I could never get my sauce to thicken :( I followed your recipe pretty much to the letter so I’m guessing it was a matter of my own patience that caused the fail – I am horrible at standing there ‘constantly stirring’ something ;)

    I’ll just have to try again! :) Thanks for sharing such inspiring recipes!


  47. #
    Megan — June 21, 2012 @ 12:59 am

    I made this for dinner tonight and it was great! I did have a problem with the sauce thickening like others had mentioned, but i added another tablespoon of flour, let it sit and it thickened nicely. :)


  48. #
    Nitish Kapoor Pardaphash — June 25, 2012 @ 11:23 am



  49. #
    Jon North — June 26, 2012 @ 10:06 pm

    Tried it out several times, always make extra sauce to keep to dip random stuff in because its AMAZING. Kudos


  50. #
    LiLi — August 7, 2012 @ 8:12 am

    Okay, fo’ serious… I’ve been wanting to make this recipe for 8 months – ever since you posted it. Last night… I finally did. Let me preface the following comment by saying I am food-blog crazy. I have hundreds of recipes bookmarked and have “auditioned” many, most of which have been adapted from a legit recipe… and to much dismay, most turn out with unfortunate results. This recipe was amazing. Even with a few tweaks (the addition of more jalapeno, ‘cos we like it hot!), it turned out peeeerfect.

    P.S. I’m pretty sure that if Ted Allen is allowed to call a protein “caramelized”, you are, too. Haters gon’ hate. http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/caramelized-pork-loin-recipe/index.html



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