The weather in the Bay Area has been unusually foggy (and that's saying a lot), which has me craving a warm, soothing meal. If you're in a similar autumnal mood, try this tender, chipotle braised chicken tonight. The chicken is browned in garlic- and bay-leaf-infused olive oil, then braised in a spicy chipotle and onion mixture.
Add a squeeze of lime and a handful of cilantro to the cooking liquid to make a fresh, flavorful sauce to top it all off. Serve with roasted potatoes and squash, and add a glass of a woody, bright Pinot or a Tommy's-style margarita to end your weekend on a high note. Hungry yet? Then keep reading for the uncomplicated recipe.
1 large onion, halved lengthwise, then thinly sliced lengthwise
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 Turkish or 1/2 California bay leaf
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
3 lb chicken parts
1 teaspoon chipotle chile powder
1 cup water
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- Cook onion, garlic, and bay leaf in butter and 1/2 Tbsp oil with 1/8 tsp salt in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until onion is beginning to brown, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
- Pat chicken dry and season with 1 tsp salt. Brown chicken in remaining Tbsp oil in 2 batches, 5 to 6 minutes per batch, transferring to a plate as browned.
- Discard all but 2 Tbsp fat from skillet, then stir in chile powder and onion mixture and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Stir in water and bring to a simmer, scraping up brown bits.
- Add chicken and cook, covered, over low heat, turning chicken once, until just cooked through, 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer chicken and onions with a slotted spoon to a platter. Skim off and discard fat from sauce, then boil until slightly thickened. Stir in lime juice and cilantro and spoon sauce over chicken.
- Poultry, Main Dishes