These Orange Chipotle Chicken Thighs combine sweet and salty flavors for a delicious, hearty dinner that the whole family will love.
I am ALL about sweet and savory flavor combos, and this Orange Chipotle Chicken is just that. In this recipe, bone-in chicken thighs are pan-seared to perfection and slathered with a delicious orange chipotle sauce.
The two main ingredients in the sauce are orange marmalade and chipotle chilis in adobo sauce. If you’ve never cooked with these chilis, they come in a can and you can usually find them near the Mexican food in the grocery store. You only need about a teaspoon for this recipe, so I recommend refrigerating the remaining chilis in a glass jar because they’ll keep longer that way.
This chicken recipe is delicious enough to serve to guests, but easy enough to make on a weeknight. I like to make enough so we have leftovers for lunch the next day. I think chicken thighs are best reheated in an oven, but if you plan on reheating in an office microwave, then you may want to cut the chicken off the bone before storing it.
What should I serve with this chicken?
Can I use boneless, skinless chicken breasts?
I’ve made this recipe with both chicken thighs and chicken breasts, and I don’t recommend using boneless, skinless chicken breasts as the pieces tend to dry out. If that’s all you have on hand, then don’t put the chicken in the oven at the end. Instead, cook the chicken in the skillet until a meat thermometer registers 165 degrees F. (Just don’t be mad at me if your chicken dries out!)
If you make this recipe, I’d love to hear your thoughts. Let me know in the comments below or share a picture on Instagram and tag me!
These Orange Chipotle Chicken Thighs combine sweet and salty flavors for a delicious, hearty dinner that the whole family will love. | Gluten-Free + Dairy-Free |
- 3 lbs bone-in chicken thighs, skin removed
- Salt and Pepper
- 2 Tablespoons avocado oil, divided
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3/4 cup orange marmalade
- 1 teaspoon chipotle chilis in adobo sauce*, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
Remove the skin from the chicken thighs and cut off extra fat. I like to do this using kitchen shears. Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper on both sides.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Heat 1 Tablespoon of avocado oil in a large oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, add the thighs to the pan and sear for about 5 minutes on one side. Avoid moving the chicken so it can get a nice sear. Flip the chicken and cook on the other side for 5 minutes. Don't crowd the pan – if needed, remove the first batch of chicken to a plate and repeat with remaining chicken thighs.
Place the skillet in oven and cook the thighs for about 15 minutes (this will depend on the size of your chicken pieces. Remove the chicken from the oven once it registers 165 degrees F on a meat thermometer and the juices run clear.
While the chicken is cooking, make the orange chipotle sauce. Heat a small saucepan over medium-low heat and add 1 Tablespoon of avocado oil. Add the minced garlic to the oil, and cook, stirring regularly for 1 minute. Add the orange marmalade, chipotle chili, cumin, salt and pepper to the saucepan. Cook for 2-3 minutes, until slightly thickened, stirring often. Remove from the heat and stir in the 2 Tablespoons of red wine vinegar.
Once the chicken is done cooking, pour the orange chipotle sauce all over the chicken thighs and serve warm.
*Adobo chilies come in a can and can often be found near BBQ sauces and/or in the Mexican/ethnic food section. Remove the seeds for more mild spice, but keep if you prefer your food extra spicy.
** Recipe adapted from Real Simple.
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