This marinade is absolutely one of my favorite things to make due to its simplicity and versatility. It only takes a few minutes of prep time and it will cover almost 10lbs of chicken. I know its seems like a lot, but this stuff can be frozen for several months at a time. My favorite use is the one that follows. This is most likely because it is a fairly accurate lookalike to one of my favorite “fast food”meals! In my opinion, the best outcome is with dark meat, but if you are looking for a leaner cut of meat, chicken breasts work perfectly fine too. Typically, I mix my chicken 50/50 between thighs and breasts. This is a little bit of extra work as I cook each one differently. Ultimately, the choice is yours!
– 4-5 lbs chicken (any kind of cuts you prefer)
– 7 oz. can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
– 1/3 cup canola oil
– 1 red onion, rough chopped
– 6 cloves garlic
– 1/4 cup ancho chile powder
– 2 tsp cumin
– 2.5 tsp dried oregano
– 1 tbsp salt
– 1tsp pepper
– 1 lemon, juiced
– Open and drain the can of chipotle peppers and collect the sauce in a bowl through a strainer. Press peppers down into the strainer with a fork to try to extract all of the juices you can. You can save the peppers for another use, or add some of the seeds to the marinade for a spicier chicken. I prefer the spicier version so I add quite a few whole peppers.
– Add strained adobo sauce, canola oil, red onion, garlic, ancho chile powder, cumin, oregano, lemon juice, salt, and pepper to your blender/food processor. Blend until smooth. Easy, right?
– Divide the marinade in half, and place one half in the freezer for another time. With the remaining half, add to a plastic bag (a heavy duty one works best with 5lbs of chicken) with the chicken. Marinate for 24 hours. If you need to cook the chicken sooner, that is fine, but you will lose some intensity in the flavor.
– Obviously the chicken, breast or thigh, is best cooked on the grill! If this is not an option, I recommend cooking the breasts in a 400 degree oven for 35 minutes. Cover with parchment paper while cooking so the breasts will retain more moisture. Trust me, this makes a huge difference. If cooking thighs indoors, use an oiled, heavy skillet (cast iron or the like) over medium high heat. Turn chicken a few times until cooked through. Any method should result in an internal temp of 165 degrees F for safety.
– Once the chicken is done, the breasts or thighs can be eaten as is, or they can be rough chopped. My favorite finished product definitely resembles the iconic Chipotle burrito bowl. That being said, the chopped chicken is great in a wrap, a southwest omelette or chili. Again, you can do so much with the chicken that it is worth making 5lbs at a time!