Both Mexican and New Mexican inspired, this oven braised chicken recipe is really simple to make and delivers rustic succulent tender chicken with a crisped red chile skin as well as an assertive picante sauce to boot. Serve with frijoles (beans) ola, or frijoles refritos (see here), along with rice and you have a truly Mexican meal you will be revisiting again and a gain.
Oven Braised Red Chile Chicken serves 4
- 4 chicken thighs with legs attached
- 1 onion, peeled and finely diced
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
- 2 teaspoons cumin seeds, toasted and coarsely ground
- 2 tablespoons crushed fresh sage leaves
- 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon sea salt + more to taste
- 2-3 tablespoons pure red chile powder (New Mexican if available)
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 ½ cups chicken stock or water
Rinse the chicken and pat dry with paper towels.
Select a deep clay or ceramic baking dish that will be large enough to hold the chicken along with the stock.
Combine the onions, garlic, cumin seeds, sage, lime juice, honey, and oil in the baking dish and stir until well combined. Stir in the salt and red chile powder and taste, adding more salt and chile to your liking.
Add the chicken to the baking dish and using you hands (you may want to use disposable gloves) turn the chicken in the marinade while massaging the ingredients into the flesh. Then press the chicken into the marinade until evenly covered. Cover the baking dish with cling film and refrigerate for several hours.
Preheat the oven to 375 f/190 c with the rack in the center of the oven.
Remove the marinated chicken from the fridge and bring to room temperature.
Toss the chicken once again in the marinade and then turn the chicken skin side up in the baking dish. Tuck the bay leaves between the chicken pieces and spoon some of the marinade including the onions etc over the chicken.
Pour the stock into the baking dish around the edges leaving the top skin of the chicken exposed and transfer the baking dish to the oven.
Roast for 1 hour and 15 minutes. This may seem like a long time but the chicken braising in the liquid produces a very tender flesh while the exposed skin will be very crisp and partially charred which adds a rustic flavor to the dish as a whole.
Transfer the chicken to a platter and tent with foil loosely.
Skim off the chicken fat that has risen to the top of the sauce and discard or save for another purpose.
Place the chicken on individual serving plates. Add the beans and rice around it and spoon the sauce generously over the chicken and serve.