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Chipotle Chicken Recipe

Discover the appeal of Chipotle Chicken, a recipe that’s gained 35% more popularity in five years.

It’s not just the heat but the smoky depth that transforms chicken into a culinary delight.

This guide offers insights to ensure every bite is flavorful.

Join this spicy journey and see why it’s a must-try in your kitchen.

Chipotle Chicken

Chipotle Chicken

Jumping into the spice-filled world of Chipotle Chicken, this recipe is like a flavor adventure waiting to happen. It’s all about soaking those dried chilies until they’re just right and getting the chicken to soak up all those spicy, yummy juices.

Sure, it takes a bit of waiting around, especially with those chilies taking their sweet time and the chicken needing to chill in the marinade. But trust me, it’s totally worth it. When you grill the chicken, it’s like everything comes together – the smokiness, the kick from the chipotle and ancho peppers, all of it.

Every bite is like a high-five to your taste buds, showing just how much love and effort went into making it. It turns dinner into something way more – like a memorable feast!

Ingredients You’ll Need (+ Possible Substitutes)

Alright, let’s dive into the must-haves and the ‘I-don’t-have-this-so-what-now?’ alternatives for whipping up a drool-worthy Chipotle Chicken.


  • 1 oz of those spicy dried chipotle chile peppers
  • 1 oz of its cousin, the dried ancho chile pepper
  • A splash of water (1/2 cup, to be exact)
  • A small red onion, chopped up into chunky bits
  • 4 garlic cloves (because garlic is life)
  • 2 tsp of sea salt to bring out all the flavors
  • 1 tsp of that earthy ground cumin
  • 1 tsp of dried oregano for a hint of herbiness
  • 1 tsp of ground black pepper for a little kick
  • 2 tbsp of olive oil to get everything sizzling
  • 2 1/2 lbs of boneless, skinless chicken thighs (the juicier, the better)

‘Oh no, I don’t have that!’ Substitutes:

  • No dried chipotle? Chipotle powder will do the trick (use 1 tbsp).
  • Out of ancho chile pepper? Paprika or guajillo chile can pinch-hit.
  • Only got a white onion? It’ll work just fine.
  • Garlic cloves MIA? Garlic powder to the rescue (1/2 tsp for each clove).
  • Sea salt AWOL? Kosher salt can step in (just taste as you go).
  • Olive oil gone? Canola oil’s got your back.

Trust me, these swaps will still make your Chipotle Chicken taste like a little piece of heaven.

How To Make It

Alright, let’s dive into making that mouth-watering Chipotle Chicken. Here’s my secret playbook:

  • First up, grab those chipotle and ancho chile peppers and dunk them in a bowl of water. They need to chill there for a good 10-12 hours to get all nice and soft. Once they’ve had their spa day, drain ’em, split ’em open, and get rid of all those seeds.
  • Next, it’s time to make some magic in the food processor. Toss in the softened chiles, some chunks of red onion, a few garlic cloves, a sprinkle of sea salt, a pinch of ground cumin, a dash of dried oregano, and a bit of black pepper. Give it all a good whirl until it’s kind of chunky, then keep going while you pour in some olive oil, turning it into this wicked smooth marinade.
  • Grab your chicken thighs, give them a little press to flatten them out, and pop them in a bag. Pour that spicy concoction over them, making sure they’re all snuggly coated. They’re gonna need to marinate in this zesty hot tub for at least 8 hours to really soak up all that flavor.

And that’s it! You’re on your way to some seriously tasty Chipotle Chicken.

Tips For Success

To nail that Chipotle Chicken and make your taste buds sing, here’s the inside scoop:

  1. Soak Those Chilies Like a Boss: Give those dried chilies a good soak. Trust me, it’s the secret sauce to a killer marinade that’s smooth and packed with flavor.
  2. Flatten ‘Em Out: Smash those chicken thighs down to an even 1/2-inch thickness. It’s all about getting that cook time just right, so every bite is as juicy as the last.
  3. Marination Station: Don’t rush the flavor train. Let those flavors get cozy with the chicken for at least 8 hours, or better yet, overnight. It’s like a flavor party, and you’re invited.
  4. Chill Before You Slice: Grilled your chicken to perfection? Great. Now give it a 5-minute nap. It’ll lock in those juices, so your chicken is mouth-wateringly tender.

Follow these steps, and you’re on your way to Chipotle Chicken greatness. Trust me, your friends will want in on your secret.

Serving Suggestions

perfect pairing for meals

Once you’ve nailed the perfect Chipotle Chicken recipe, it’s all about figuring out the best ways to serve up this tasty treat.

I’ve found that this spicy, smoky chicken goes great with lots of different sides. For something on the lighter side, I usually go for a crisp green salad or some tangy coleslaw. They’re just the thing to cut through the chicken’s heat and richness.

When I’m in the mood for something a bit more filling, plopping the chicken on some cilantro-lime rice or next to a bunch of warm, grilled veggies does the job.

And for a really fun meal, I love setting up a taco bar. Everyone can grab a soft tortilla and load it up with chipotle chicken slices, then top it off with their faves like avocado, salsa, and sour cream. It’s always a crowd-pleaser!

Storing, Freezing & Reheating

Keeping your Chipotle Chicken as yummy as the day you made it’s a bit of a magic trick, but totally doable with these simple steps. Let’s dive in:

  1. Chill Out: First, let your chicken hang out on the counter until it cools down. This keeps away the dreaded sogginess by saying no to extra moisture.
  2. Fridge Time: Pop it into a tight-sealing container and into the fridge it goes if you’re munching on it within the next 3 days.
  3. Freezer Bound: Got long-term plans? Wrap it up snug in freezer paper or slide it into a freezer bag. It’ll be your dinner champ for up to 3 months.
  4. Warm It Up: If it’s coming from the freezer, let it thaw in the fridge overnight. When you’re ready, heat it in the oven at 350°F or zap it in the microwave till it hits 165°F on the inside. Make sure it’s hot all over before you dig in.

And there you have it, keep these tips in your back pocket and you’ll be enjoying that Chipotle Chicken like it’s fresh any day of the week!