Maple Chipotle Chiken, Beer and Buttermilk Biscuits, and Sage Gravy

Morita chiles are red, fully mature Chipotles. This gives them a unique, medium – hot smokey flavor which is popular in many Southwestern dishes. These can be added to sauces (including Mole) to add smokey flavor and maintain the red color of the sauces. These peppers are about 2-4 inches in length, 1 inch in width, and have a deep brick reddish brown color. The word Chipotle translated to smoked chile. Consider the Chipotle a 6.5 on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the hottest). Scoville heat units 7,000-25,000.

Suggested Use:
Use Morita in enchilada sauces, chili, stews, barbecue ribs, and corn bread. Their smoky quality combines well with poultry, meats and fall squash.

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Serves: 4-5 servings


For the Maple-Chipotle Chicken:

¾ lb. chicken tenders
1 C buttermilk
1½ C panko
3 cloves garlic, chopped
4 oz jar chipotle chiles, rehydrated in hot water (reserve soaking water)
¼ C maple syrup
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
½ tsp worcestershire
salt & pepper
scallions, garnish

For the Sage Gravy:

3 TBS butter
3 (.66 oz) packages sage, minced
3 TBS flour
3 C whole milk (hot)
salt & pepper

For the Biscuits:

12 oz. flour
½ tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 TBS sugar
4 oz. butter
4 oz. buttermilk
4 oz. wheat beer

For the Maple-Chipotle Chicken:

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
Set up a breading station with two bowls and a sheet tray. Pour the buttermilk with salt & pepper into one bowl, panko with salt & pepper in the second bowl.
Season the chicken with salt & pepper. Dunk each piece of chicken in the buttermilk and let soak for a few minutes. Lift one piece out and completely coat it with breadcrumbs. Then place it on a non-stick sheet tray. Repeat with all chicken.
Bake in the oven for 10 minutes, flip the tenders over and bake for another 10 minutes.
Combine the garlic, chipotle with 2 Tbsp of soaking water, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, worcestershire, salt & pepper in a blender until perfectly smooth.
Pour the sauce all over both sides of the chicken and put back in the oven for 3 minutes.

For the Sage Gravy:

Melt the butter in a cast iron pan (or a sauce pan). Cook the minced sage in the butter.
Sprinkle flour on top of sage and stir for a few minutes.
While whisking, pour the hot milk in the pan. Stir occasionally until thickens to desired consistency. (won’t start to thicken until it comes to a boil)
Season with salt & pepper.

For the Beer & Buttermilk Biscuits:

Put the butter in the freezer.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Take the dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking powder, & sugar), sift or whisk them together.
Take the frozen stick of butter, cube it into tiny pieces and “cut in” to the dry ingredients.
Make a well and pour the buttermilk & beer into it, small quantities at a time, stirring to incorporate completely. Do not overwork the batter – it should appear clumpy.
Dust a surface with flour and pour the batter out onto floured surface. Flour a rolling pin (or in our case, a liquor bottle) and roll out to the depth of two fingers.
Use a glass, mason jar, or cookie cutter to cut out biscuits. If necessary, flour the cutter as well.
Repeat process with scraps. Should make 8 biscuits – depending on size of the cutter.
Place biscuits on a lined sheet tray and bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

To assemble:

Put the bottom half of a biscuit in a shallow bowl. Place chicken tenders on top. Cover with sage gravy. Garnish with scallions. Top with biscuit top.

Adapted from