Chipotle makes everything better. We always have a container of chipotle in the refrigerator since most recipes don’t use up an entire can. If I don’t have plans for the rest of the can, I put the container in the freezer. It’s easy enough to pry out a frozen chunk if you need any.
I wouldn’t classify this as a quick dinner recipe since it takes about 1-1/2 hours to prepare but most of that time is hands-off. Besides the time spent chopping a huge onion and several cloves of garlic, the only other time-consuming tasks were skinning the chicken thighs and trimming the fat.
The original recipe from Gourmet was for more servings than we needed. Instead I used four thighs and originally thought I would only use half the sauce ingredients. But once the sauce started simmering, it smelled so good that I quickly added more ingredients to the mix. Gourmet’s version of the sauce looks really reduced in the photo on their website, mine was saucier, more like the photo below from the Elly Says Opa blog. Elly was kind enough to let me use this photo, thanks!
These ingredients reflect my estimated final quantities. We ended up with enough sauce for probably two extra thighs, but used it all up by mixing it into our roasted potatoes (leftovers from two nights ago) and boring steamed broccoli.
I served this with frozen corn that I first thawed and then added to sautéed onion, red bell pepper, garlic and cumin. I finished the dish by mixing in fresh chopped cilantro. It went really well with the chicken.
Caramelized Chipotle Chicken
- 2 Tbsp cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 4-6 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1 large onion, chopped (about 1-1/2 cup)
- 1 cup ketchup
- 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
- 2 Tbsps packed dark brown sugar
- 3 Tbsps chopped canned chipotle chiles in adobo, or less, depending on your heat tolerance
- 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 2 Tbsps cider vinegar
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp salt
- ¾ tsp black pepper
- 4-6 bone-in chicken thighs, with skin removed, fat trimmed – or you could use any other part of the chicken, bone-in or boneless, but lessen the cooking time for boneless pieces.
Heat the oil in a large pan over medium heat. Saute the onions, stirring occasionally, until golden-brown, about 10 minutes. One minute before they’re done, add the garlic and cook one minute, or until just turning slightly golden.
Add the remaining ingredients, except the chicken, to the pan and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is slightly thickened, about 20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 450.
Place the chicken in the baking dish and coat with half of the sauce. Roast for about 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and cover with the remaining sauce. Continue roasting until the chicken is cooked through and well browned in spots, about 25 minutes more, or until it reaches 165 on an instant-read thermometer.
Make ahead note: Sauce can be made 1 day ahead and chilled.
Original recipe: Gourmet, September 2009
Photo credit: Elly Says Opa