This is one of the recipes that won the Frontera Farmer Foundation's Recipe Contest.
Since the focus of the recipe contest was to devise a recipe that highlights items from the farmers market. I thought in that spirit of that I would go to my local farmer’s market with no real plan and pick out items that looked good and devise a meal on the fly from what was available. The goal was to make the dish using most if not all of the ingredients from that trip to the market. For the meat I chose some good looking chicken breasts from a local farm. I decided a green chile cream sauce sounded good with it, but none of the venders had and chilies for sale or any cream. I improvised by purchasing a great New Mexican Style green chile salsa (I live in Denver so the green chile is great out here) and a great goats milk yogurt as a cream substitute. The spinach was looking great so I bought a bag of that to infuse into the green chili sauce. I also picked up some great asparagus and a great mushroom farm from nearby had a pile of some good looking mushrooms so I had to grab some shrooms as I thought they would go great with the spinach green chile cream. I could decide on the oyster or shiitake, so I got a mix of both. I thought a wilting some spinach with the garlic mushrooms would tie the dish together.
1. The marinade and marinate the chicken. If the salsa is chunky, smooth it out in a blender or food processor. Mix that with the olive oil and 1 teaspoon of salt and cover the chicken with it while you preheat a charcoal or gas grill to medium-hot heat, and prep the other ingredients.
2. The Sauce. In blender pour the 2 cups of the salsa, 1 cup of chicken broth and the 1 1/2 cups of spinach and blend until very smooth. Pour that into a medium sauce pan at a medium high heat bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat and simmer for 15 mins stirring occasionally.
3. The Asparagus and Chipotle Vinaigrette. While the sauce is simmering and the grill is heating up. Mix the 3 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar with the 1/4 cup olive oil and the 1/8 teaspoon of chipotle powder until combined well. Season heavily will salt and toss the asparagus in the vinaigrette. Set aside for grilling.
4. Sautéing the mushrooms and spinach. In a large skillet over medium heat heat the olive oil. Add the garlic and cook until very aromatic about 1 to 1 1/2 mins. Add the mushrooms and cook for 3 to 4 mins till they reduce and start to brown. Add the spinach and cook for another minute more. Remove from the heat and cover to let the spinach wilt and all of the mix to steam in its own juices.
5. Finishing the sauce. Add the goats milk yogurt to the sauce, stir until fully combined, cover and reduce the heat to low to keep warm while you grill the chicken and asparagus.
6. Grilling the Asparagus and the Chicken. Removing the chicken from the marinade, grill the chicken about 6-8 mins each side depending on the heat of your grill. After turning the chicken add the asparagus to the grill turning frequently until tender as you like. About 3-5 mins and then remove and wrap in tin foil to keep warm. When the chicken is done, remove from the heat and let rest under foil for few mins.
7. Finishing the dish. Ladle on a liberal spoonful of the green chile spinach cream sauce to cover the bottom of a plate. Place down a chicken breast with a portion of the mushrooms and wilted spinach and a few of the grilled asparagus stalks. Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve with a refreshing beverage.