In this Maple & Chipotle Barbecued Chicken the sweet and spicy combination of maple, molasses and chipotle chilies create a veritable flavor explosion! The chicken is rubbed with spices and then baked in a flavorful sauce.
Last night I made the most delectable twist on barbecued chicken that I have tasted in awhile. The sweet and spicy combination of maple, molasses and chipotle chilies create a veritable flavor explosion! If you read my previous Barbecued Chicken post several months ago, my enthusiasm should be no shock!
This Maple & Chipotle Barbecued Chicken recipe is from the Feb/March 2013 edition of Fine Cooking, which I picked up in an airport because I didn’t feel like reading my book. It’s not a heritage recipe but I feel that it is so amazing that no justification is necessary! The only thing that would make this better would be to serve it with my Sweet Southern Cornbread. Heavenly.
I didn’t follow the preparation directions because I wanted to use my cast iron skillet. I have an aversion to dry chicken. I don’t care how it’s flavored: if my chicken is dry, I am an unhappy diner. Over the years I have developed a no-fail method for cooking juicy, tender chicken every time. While any oven-proof pan will work, a cast iron skillet makes it that much better.
As a devoted follower of my blog, my Aunt S. recognized my obsession with my cast iron skillets and sent me a cartoon. I’ve been waiting to share it with you, and today it seemed more than apropos!
Maple & Chipotle Barbecued Chicken
For the Sauce:
- ½ cup ketchup
- ⅓ cup pure maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons unsulfured molasses
- 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon minced chipotle chilies (from a can of chipotles in adobo ~3 chilies)
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon dry mustard
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
For the Chicken:
- 1 Tablespoon sweet smoked paprika (a.k.a. Hungarian paprika)
- 1 Tablespoon packed dark brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon chipotle powder
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 4 chicken thighs ( boneless, skinless )
- 2 chicken breasts ( boneless, skinless chicken breasts)
- 2 Tablespoons canola oil
For Red Kale:
- 1 bunch Red Kale
- 1 ½ Tablespoons minced garlic
- 1 Tablespoons minced ginger
- ½ cup water
- ½ lemon (juiced)
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Make the Sauce: In a small saucepan whisk together all sauce ingredients. Bring to a boil over medium heat and then reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes to marry the flavors. Set aside. The sauce may be made up to 1 day ahead of time.
Season the Chicken:
- In a small bowl combine all ingredients under “For the Chicken” through black pepper. Dry chicken with a paper towel and place on a clean plate. Sprinkle seasoning generously over both sides of the chicken. Fine Cooking suggests covering the plate with plastic wrap and refrigerating for 2-3 hours. I didn’t have that kind of time, but it can only make it better, right?
Cook the Chicken:
- Heat your large cast iron skillet or oven-proof pan over medium heat. When the pan is hot, add 2 Tablespoons of canola oil and heat the oil until it shimmers.
- Add chicken to the pan. Brown both sides.
- Brush sauce generously over both sides of meat and place in preheated oven. After 5 minutes brush additional sauce over chicken and check for doneness. Chicken is done when an instant-read thermometer reads 165°F.
- Let chicken rest for 10 minutes.
- While chicken is baking and resting, I prepared the brown rice and red kale.
Ginger, Garlic, & Lemon Red Kale:
- Gently cook over medium heat 1.5 Tablespoon minced garlic and 1 Tablespoon minced fresh ginger in 1 Tablespoon canola oil until the garlic is just starting to brown.
- Add chopped kale (1 bunch or ~4 cups) to the pan and toss to coat. Add ~ ½ cup water to the bottom of the pan and stir. Squeeze the juice of ½ lemon over kale and stir. Kale will be done in 1-2 minutes.
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