Creamy Corn Skillet Chicken

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 4 hr 5 min (includes marinating time)
  • Active: 45 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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Ingredients

3 tablespoons soy sauce

3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar 

2 tablespoons light brown sugar 

4 cloves garlic, crushed, plus 3 whole cloves garlic

Juice from 3 lemons

4 boneless chicken breasts 

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 

Oil, for oiling grill grates

2 tablespoons unsalted butter 

2 Fresno chiles, seeded and cut into 1/4-inch strips 

2 poblano chiles, seeded and small diced 

1 small Maui or other sweet onion, minced 

1/2 cup sherry wine 

4 ears fresh sweet corn, shucked and kernels cut off cobs 

1 medium yellow squash, sliced into 3/4-inch half-moons

1 medium zucchini, sliced into 3/4-inch half-moons

1 cup heavy cream 

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan

1/2 cup chicken stock, plus more for thinning sauce if needed 

1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves

1/2 cup corn nuts, crushed in a plastic bag until sandy 

Directions

Special equipment:
a smoker box or small foil pan; 1 cup hickory or apple wood chips
  1. Whisk together the soy sauce, balsamic, sugar, crushed garlic and juice of 2 lemons in a bowl until the sugar is dissolved. Add the chicken and marinade to a resealable plastic bag and marinate in the fridge for 3 hours.
  2. Take the chicken out of the marinade and dry off. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  3. Preheat a grill to high heat. Place a large cast-iron skillet on one side of the grill. Place a smoker box or foil pan with wood chips on the grill.
  4. Once the smoker has begun to produce smoke, liberally oil the grill grates and place the chicken on the grates. (We are just looking for a quick hard sear on both sides to get that char flavor. The goal is to finish cooking in the creamy, smoky corn.)
  5. Add the butter to the skillet along with the Fresnos, poblanos, onions and remaining 3 whole cloves garlic. Saute until the onions are translucent and chiles are tender, about 10 minutes. Deglaze with the sherry and add the fresh corn, squash, zucchini, cream, 1/2 cup Parmesan and half of the stock. Season to taste.
  6. Add the chicken to the skillet and lower the grill to medium. Close the lid and smoke the skillet over medium heat, playing with the position of the skillet to ensure you get the liquid to simmer ever so slightly, until the chicken hits 160 to 165 degrees F, 10 to 15 minutes. Take the skillet off the grill and pour in a little chicken stock if the sauce is very thick. Add the remaining lemon juice on top and garnish with the cilantro, remaining 2 tablespoons Parmesan and crushed corn nuts.
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