Chipotle Chicken Cups

Self-contained appetizers hold a special place in many hearts. They are easy to serve and easy to plate. In many cases, they are easy to eat with one hand—a must during parties or gatherings where guests are meant to stand and mingle. Self-contained appetizers also take the guesswork out of portion sizes for your guests. “Do I eat this by itself? Or is it a topping for that?” are questions your guests won’t ponder when presented with these delectable chipotle chicken cups.

Another plus is that most of this appetizer can be made long in advance with final assembly taking only a few minutes. And if you have reasonably competent child labor, i.e. your kids, or an unpaid intern to help with cooking, you can enjoy these nibblies with your guests.

What gives these cups their shape is the wonton wrapper that is precooked in mini muffin pans. Wonton wrappers can be found in the produce section of most supermarkets. While it’s a bit confusing to put an uncooked flour product in the midst of fresh ginger, bok choy, and slaw mixes, that is typically what they are filled with. If your grocer doesn’t carry wonton wrappers, you can use egg roll wrappers—identical but larger—cut into four squares each. Each package of wonton wrappers contains about 60 sheets, exactly what we need for this appetizer.

You’ll also need about a pound of cooked chicken breast, shredded. You can either boil a whole breast, cube and shred it, or use a 13 oz can of cooked chicken breast, drained and shredded. Both are suitable for this dish. Lastly, we’ll need guacamole. Fresh, homemade is preferred, but store-bought works nicely here as well.

During assembly, less is more. Remember that your guests will need to eat these in one or two bites. Loading a whole bunch of chicken and cheese into the cup will make that nearly impossible, or at the very least, horribly messy. Using less than a teaspoon of the chicken mixture is about right. If you have any unfilled wrappers, consider making them quesadilla cups. Use about two teaspoons of the shredded cheese to fill these. After melting the cheese, top them with the guacamole and sour cream. A few drops of chipotle pepper sauce as garnish looks perfect.

If you’ve got a party or picnic coming up, consider giving these cute and delicious appetizers a try. Your guests won’t be disappointed.

Chipotle Chicken Cups

  •  1 pound cooked chicken breast, diced and shredded
  • 2-3 chipotles in adobo sauce, chopped
  • ¾ cup ketchup
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lite soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon dark chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil

For the toppings:

  • 8 ozs cheddar cheese, grated finely
  • 16 ozs sour cream
  • 16 ozs guacamole
  • Tabasco chipotle pepper sauce

In a medium skillet over medium heat, combine all the ingredients and simmer, uncovered for 25 minutes, stirring frequently. Turn off the heat, but leave the pan on the burner.

Preheat the oven to 405°F. Ease the wrappers into the mini muffin recesses, folding the wrappers to fit. Bake unfilled wrappers for 5 minutes. Remove them from the oven, but leave it on. Fill each wrapper with ½ – 1 teaspoon chicken filling and ½ teaspoon shredded cheese. Bake the chicken cups for an additional 5 minutes until the cheese is melted.

Immediately top with a small dollop of guacamole and sour cream and a drop or two of pepper sauce. Serve hot.