Chicken Pieces with Peruvian Flavors

Chipotles en Adobo

Chipotles en Adobo

By Cat, Sept 2016 (Photo, right, from Wikimedia Commons)

I’m always on the lookout for quick and flavorful baked or roasted chicken recipes. I found this one in our local newspaper. It appealed to me because I don’t have many South American recipes, so it could be a welcome change from my usual Mediterranean-style recipes. It is flavored with lime juice, honey, thyme and chipotle en adobo sauce. Mmm.

Recipe includes instructions for making your own chipotle en adobo sauce using powdered chipotle spice.

See also: 1. Poultry and Fowl Menu2. Latin American Ethnic Menu; 3. Chipotle en Adobo Sauce

Chicken Pieces with Peruvian Flavors

I’ve adapted this recipe from one in the Daily Inter Lake, originally by Marge Perry for a Special to Newsday (1). The original recipe uses a whole 4-pound chicken, cut up to use breasts and legs (save the other pieces for chicken soup or stock) to serve 6. Alternately you could use all breasts or all legs, or just thighs, or include wings in the mix.

My recipe for Chipotle in Adobo Sauce makes a lot more than is needed for this chicken recipe. Since I don’t use this sauce often, I make a quarter-recipe (¾ – 1 cup; see below), using dried chipotle powder, and use 2 – 4 Tbsp of the sauce in this chicken recipe.

Ingredients & Equipment

  • 2 cloves garlic (omit if you use my chipotle in adobo sauce recipe)
  • 2 Tbsp Organic Tamari or Organic soy sauce (or Braggs Amino)
  • 2 Tbsp lime juice (from 1 – 2 fresh limes)
  • 2 – 4 Tbsp chipotle in adobo sauce* (see recipe below, which is ¼ the original recipe)
  • 1 Tbsp raw local honey (reduce to 2 tsp if using my chipotle in adobo sauce recipe)
  • ½ tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp unrefined sea salt
  • breasts and legs of one 4-lb whole chicken, cut up; brine at least the breasts
  • Equipment:
  • baking sheet
  • large bowl
  • meat thermometer

‘* NOTE: my recipe for chipotle en adobo sauce makes a lot (3 cups).  See below for a quarter-recipe, to make ¾ cup of the sauce, using dried chipotle powder


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease baking sheet/pan with coconut oil or lard.
  2. Prep: Cut up chicken; brine at least the breasts. You can cut the legs into drumstick and thigh, or leave them combined.
  3. Mince garlic then combine with Organic Tamari/soy sauce, chipotle en adobo sauce, honey, thyme, paprika and salt in a large bowl.
  4. Add chicken to bowl of seasoning mixture and toss to combine. If desired, place in fridge to marinate 1 – 24 hours, but be sure to take it out of the fridge about 30 minutes before you’re ready to bake it, so it can warm to room temp.
  5. Bake: Place prepped chicken pieces on sheet, leaving lots of space between the pieces.
  6. Bake in preheated oven, basting every 10 min until done, about 35 – 60 minutes (or more if pieces are quite large). A meat thermometer placed in thickest part of:
    • breast should read 160°F, and
    • thigh should read 175 – 180°F.

Accompaniment Suggestions

  • Spanish rice or quinoa
  • Wild rice with cashews
  • Cooked black or pinto beans
  • Braised kale or chard
  • Sautéed Organic zucchini or other summer squash, red or green pepper, onion and asparagus or green beans
  • Salad of spring greens.

Chipotle en Adobo Sauce (using dried chipotle powder)

This makes one-quarter of my original chipotle in adobo sauce recipe.

Puree the following in a blender. Start with the smaller amounts where a range is given, then adjust to taste. Makes about 1 cup of sauce, of which you use only a portion for the chicken recipe, above.

  • ½ cup chopped fresh tomatoes or strained canned tomatoes; or 2 Tbsp tomato paste diluted with filtered water to make ½ cup
  • 1 – 1 ½ Tbsp chile powder (depending on how hot you want it)
  • ½ – 1 tsp chipotle powder (depending on how hot you want it)
  • ¾ tsp local honey
  • ¼ tsp molasses
  • 2 tsp red wine vinegar
  • ⅛-¼ tsp cayenne (depending on how hot you want it)
  • dash cumin (optional)
  • 1 Tbsp chopped or minced garlic (4-6 cloves), or to taste
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil


9/19/16: Made using two large half-breasts, cut each in half, for a half-recipe. Made the quarter-recipe of chipotle en adobo sauce without any changes; used diluted tomato paste and 4 medium-size cloves of garlic, chopped. It made almost a cup of sauce, and I used 1½ Tbsp of that for the chicken. Also made the chicken recipe as written, but as a half-recipe and didn’t add salt because I brined the breasts; and used Braggs amino because I didn’t have any soy/tamari sauce. Into oven at 7 PM. Basted with more sauce at 7:20 PM. Tested for doneness at 7:35 PM; needs more time. Removed at 7:45. Total baking time: 45 min. Result: The chipotle en adobo has great flavor and is very spicy on its own. Baked chicken is very tender and delicious, but I would like to have more of the sauce on the chicken. Next time, I’ll double the sauce, and baste every 10 minutes. Updated recipe accordingly.

2/25/17: This time used 4 bone-in/skin-on thighs and 2 bone-in/skin-on large half-breasts (cut in half again, crosswise for 4 total breast pieces), and used more adobo sauce on each piece. Into oven at 7 PM, basting and adding more sauce every 10 minutes. Checked at 7:45, but only up to 140°F in both thighs and breasts. Same at 7:55. So removed all but one thigh and one breast piece (removed pieces transferred to fridge for future), and continued to bake remaining thigh & breast for another 15 minutes. Breast finally reached 160°F. Total time: 70 min. It could be my oven just doesn’t get up to temp (it’s 70 years old). Result: So delicious!

5/13/18: Used 4 bone-in/skin-on thighs and 1 large bone-in/skin-on half-breast (cut in half again), about 4 Tbsp adobo sauce and otherwise as written. After tossing chicken in sauce, I placed in fridge at 12:30 PM to marinate. Removed to counter at 4:30 and into preheated oven at 5:30 PM; the chicken didn’t want to heat above 160F, but it otherwise seemed to be done, so I removed from oven at 6:40 (65 min); probably could have removed it sooner, but it was not overly-done. I think my thermometer is malfunctioning. Result: Delicious as always. Served with braised broccolini, steamed beetroot and steamed wild rice.

3/2-3/19: This time used cut-up and brined half-Hutterite chicken (with very large breasts), and canned Chipotle en Adobo (I’m out of dried, ground chipotle to make my own), along with the other ingredients for the marinade. Cut up and mashed 4 Tbsp canned chipotle, and added other marinade ingredients, to toss with chicken pieces. Marinated overnight, then removed from fridge at 4 PM, to let warm up on counter. The half-breast is so large, I cut it into 4 pieces before baking. Transferred to oiled oval CorningWare baking pan. Into oven at 5:30 PM. Done at 6:20 PM. Result: as delicious as always. Nicely warm. Unfortunately, the canned Chipotle contains HFCS and soy oil (both GMOs).


  1. Recipe by Marge Perry for Newsday (

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