chipotle orange chicken recipe

Chipotle Orange Chicken

As some of you know, I write an op-ed column for The Daily Camera, covering political, economic and environmental issues. As we face increasing food prices and shortages worldwide, food becomes a more important aspect of such aforementioned matters.

This week, my column was called, The Politics of High Fructose Corn Syrup. In it, I discussed our government’s gigantic corn subsidy and our country’s growing waistlines. When I awoke this morning, my husband asked if I had received any online comments to the article. Here is a portion of the only response I have received thus far:

“Ms. Amsterdam is wearing blinders”

Such remarks make me think of Dooce. She prints out all her nasty comments and runs over them in her driveway. I won’t be doing this. I don’t have a driveway.

Besides, things are actually looking up; spring is here (for today at least). The sun is shining. My children are on a street corner shouting their heads off selling lemonade (that they made themselves while I was still lollygagging in bed reading the paper) and hawking their ultra-expensive, politically correct, wooden Waldorf toys to increase profit margins.

I myself am on a baking marathon this weekend. Yesterday I made Kelly’s Bars three times. My baseball team (I’m coaching little league) gave their tacit seal of approval, devouring bars 2.0 even though they were a bit underdone. When I came home, I made bars 3.0 and am probably just one trial away from posting them here.

Today, however, I am sharing my roasted chicken recipe with all of you. This dish, which is my children’s current favorite entrée, will be the main course at our Passover Seder. Its sweet flavors are just right for a festive celebration.

Chipotle Orange Chicken
  1. Rinse chicken and pat dry with a paper towel
  2. Place chicken in an 9 x 13 inch baking dish
  3. In a small bowl, combine garlic, herbes de provence, agave, salt and chipolte
  4. Pour orange juice over chicken
  5. Rub mixture onto chicken
  6. Marinate chicken in the refrigerator, time permitting for up to 3 hours
  7. Bake at 350° for 1.5 to 2 hours
  8. Serve

A while back, after posting my Rosemary Apple Chicken recipe, one of my favorite readers (she comments frequently under the name ~M), asked if I had other suggestions for roasted chicken recipes with fruit; she inspired me to come up with this tasty dish. Happy Pesach ~M!


  1. Mary Beth says

    I’m making this tomorrow but I would like to prep it in the morning so all I have to do is pop it in the oven when I get the recipe it is suggested that you only let it marinade for three hours. Does anyone know what will happen if the marinade sits on it for longer than three hours? Would the acid in the orange juice make the chicken taste badly?

    • MB says

      Just to follow up, I made this for a dinner party and it was a huge hit. My guests were standing over the pan devouring the final pieces even after dinner was over. I followed M’s suggestion of cooking it in the Le Creusent pan and it was perfect. I served with orange slices, brown rice, a simple salad and garlic mustard Brussels sprouts. I served Elana’s Carmel Paleo brownies for dessert. What a feast!!

  2. Bettie says

    This looks so yummy and pretty! Being a diabetic, I always wince when I see as a sweetener you always suggest Agave Nectar or Honey…..I’m hoping I can use Stevia (or Splenda) in some form instead? Agave Nectar is not a healthy item and Honey is so sweet and expensive.

  3. Beth says

    This is my favorite roasted chicken recipe, EVER! The flavor is amazing! I make it every other week using a 4-5lb chicken and I get at least three more meals out of it. Thank you so much for sharing!

  4. christal says

    I’ve been looking at this recipe for a while now, but we don’t really do spicy so I was hesitant. Finally, I did it, and we loved it. All the roasters at my grocers were >6 lbs, but it still cooked in just under 2 hours in my convection oven, at 325. I cooked it in my regular roasting pan, on the rack. The meat was moist and flavorful. Now I’m glad I have so much of it left over! I’m betting it will taste amazing cold out of the fridge, too!

  5. Tammy says

    I made your Rosemary Apple Roasted Chicken last night and it was DELICIUOS!!! It was so most and so good! I am anxious to try this Chipotle Orange recipe. Love your site and easy to follow recipes!

  6. says

    Love this recipe! I found the chipotle chili pepper in the bulk spice area at my local natural store. I only bought a little because I wasn’t sure if it was a spice I’d use regularly. Now I’ll have to go back and get more as this recipe is going to be a regular.

    The cooking spice wafted through the house and made my eyes teary like an onion would, but I knew it was going to be dericious when it came out. I can joined the burned fingers club as I couldn’t wait for it to cool to try some (my puppy loved it too!).

    This recipe sealed my fate: I must buy a dutch oven soon. I love the idea of being able to use the one pot for everything, like making gravy and stock or soup. One day soon…

    Thanks for another yummy recipe!

  7. Sherry says

    Elana, I have just discovered you, and WOW, was this FANTASTIC!!! I was reading between this and your rosemary lemon chicken, and ended up using breasts for this, not a whole chicken. AND, my man grilled them… Yum, yum, yum, yum, YUMMMMM!!!

    Can’t wait to try your biscuits!

    Delighted to have found you…


  8. Noel says

    This looks tasty.
    I looked for chipotle chile in the store and only found whole dried chiles. I’m gonna try to grind them up. We’ll see!
    Love all your baked chicken recipes — helps me to have bones available for homemade broth, and my family appreciates the variety.

    : )

  9. CoconutGal says

    My first whole-chicken experience was a success, thanks to this recipe! I was scared I would ruin it, but it turned out great.
    You know it’s going to be good when the husband comes home from a long day at work and the first thing he says – “What is that AMAZING smell?!” as he opens the door.
    I’m always coming up with ways to use the whole food (and my juicer is terrible) so threw 2 peeled oranges into the blender and used them as the orange juice. It worked fine! A great way to not waste.
    My husband enjoyed the sauce/juices drizzled over cooked quinoa with dinner while I enjoyed it drizzled over steamed kale. Tasty!
    Although I have always bought organic chicken, this was our first local and it made a world of difference in flavor. Your recipe helped convince the hubb the extra cash for the local is worth it. We are going to get one per week! Yipppy and thanks :-D

  10. says

    Christy -Thank you! if you go to the Chocolate Peanut Butter Tart post you’ll find the sweetener there.

    ~M -your ideas sound fabulous!

  11. ~M says

    Hi Elana,

    I made your fabulous and famous chipotle chicken again last night and have two new discoveries that I wanted to share. First, the gravy makes an AWESOME salad dressing. I refrigerate it, skim off the congealed fat, and then heat it until just liquid/room temperature. I had a spinach salad with leftover chicken, watermelon, sliced almonds, and this dressing. I also dipped by cucumber sticks into it…so good! Jicama sticks would be great too.

    As you know, I roast my chicken in a dutch oven, covered until the last 30 minutes, to make my chicken uber-moist and juicy. Even if you want to cook it uncovered the entire time, I highly recommend cooking it in a dutch oven. After it cooked (and cooled – I always manage to burn my fingers off as I steal steamy chicken, haha), I went to work. I separated into 3 piles: bones for soup, chicken for eating, and skin and other parts that I toss. I poured the gravy into a container (see above). But the dutch oven was still splattered with brown gravy bits…what to do? Instead of soaking it and having my husband clean it (Le Creuset is building my muscles but I’m not quite there yet :)), I made soup! I added the bones, more frozen leftover bones from the freezer, two frozen whole chicken legs, onion, carrots, celery, garlic, rosemary, and let it simmer. Once it simmered, the bits all fell into the soup, making it even tastier than usual. I put the pot on low heat overnight (covered). This morning, we added parsley, pepper, and a spoonful of salt (kosher chicken doesn’t need much) and it was SO good and rich/dark. And now my husband only has to clean the pot once and it’s so much easier to clean than “oven-baked” pyrex.

  12. Cristy says

    OH yeah!! I am so excited- this looks so yummy- I am so totally going to make this for Passover (thank goodness I found you- I was getting down to the wire here!) Now we can ALL enjoy our Seder meal together and eat the same food. Thanks! I have shared your site with several friends- thank you for all your wonderful recipes. Cristy
    PS I also can not wait to try the chocolate peanut butter pie! YUM YUM YUM!! My mouth is watering just thinking about it! Where do you get the sweetener you mentioned?

  13. ~M says

    Hi again, Elana,

    I was just reviewing your excellent whole chicken recipes in anticipation of Turkey day. My mom is making 2 turkeys for 8 people since she wants leftovers and because some of us (like me!) pretty much only eat warm dark meat (I’ll eat white meat cold or on salads). I adore this particular chipotle flavor combo – as evident by my above comments – and think I’m going to double or triple it and use it on one of the turkeys! The leftovers will be super fabulous in chili or on salads! Thanks!

  14. says

    Corey -Glad you liked it; thanks for reporting back!

    ~M -Thanks for your comment; it is so great the way you adapt the recipes to the ingredients you have on hand and make them work for you. I love your idea to do the leftover chicken in a romaine wrap with beans, salsa, avos, mangos and jicama –my younger son will go gaga over this one! Thanks.

  15. ~M says

    Hi Elana!

    I made this chicken Saturday evening and it was/is wonderful. I don’t have Herbes de Provence so I used about 1/2 tsp each of dried thyme, basil, sage, and frozen rosemary. I also used store-bought OJ.

    It turned out wonderfully delicious! My fiancé thinks he even likes this better than the apple version, and I tend to agree since it was less oily (I use oil in the other one). I baked it uncovered in my dutch oven for 1.5 hours, but it didn’t come to the correct temperature according to my thermometer. So I raised the temperature to 400º (I have a slightly wacky oven), stuck my baking sheet of oil-free sweet potato fries in the oven to bake at the same time, and put the lid on the dutch oven and cooked both for 20 minutes. Both the chicken and sweet potatoes were awesome and complemented one another (chipotle rocks!).

    Also, while I usually am not a big fan of white meat, the chicken breast meat here was awesome – I’m sure partly do to my moist method of cooking (juice, covered pot), your yummy seasonings and agave combo, and cooking on the bone! Leftovers would be great too in a salad or romaine “wrap” with some beans, salsa, avocado, and oranges/mangos/jicama or maybe even watermelon.

    • Ann Hayes says

      Hello ~M

      I have the same Le Creuset and would like to cook my chicken this way. What have you decided to do in the future – cook it the whole way through at 400F, or just do as you did this time. I loved what you did with the Dutch oven too to avoid cleaning it twice. (Just a little hint here – when you must clean it, half fill it with water, and drop in a dishwasher detergent tablet. Bring to a boil, and let it stand for half an hour. Et voila, no muscle-building scrubbing).

      Secondly, can I ask you if you know whether it’s possible to buy an organic kosher chicken.

      Thank you so much.

      • ~M says

        Hi Ann,

        Wise makes an organic kosher chicken. I used to find it at Whole Foods, but they now use another (non-organic, but kosher) brand. I think Empire might make some organic kosher poultry products too, but I’m not positive. This is definitely the time of year (ie, with Passover approaching in less than 4 weeks) to ask your grocery store or kosher butcher, though. You might also check out the Jew and The Carrot website and see if anyone there knows about organic kosher poultry.

        I still LOVE cooking whole chicken in my Le Creuset; it’s actually on our menu for this week. I have moved since my last post and my new oven is somewhat more accurate. Now, I preheat my oven to 350-375ºF. I don’t rinse or wash my chicken since I’ve read that spreads bacteria in your sink and kitchen (and any bacteria on the chicken will get cooked off in the oven anyhow…think about it…nobody rinses beef, ground poultry, or fish). I then separate the skin from the muscle/meat and apply the agave-seasoning mixture. I either use herbs de Provence or my homemade concoction (outlined in another comment) of herbs de Provence but only half of the celtic sea salt since kosher salt has already been salted. I spread the remaining mixture on top of the skin and pour the OJ around the chicken. I never bother trussing it.

        I cook it, breast side down, covered, for about 60-75 minutes. Then, I remove the Le Creuset lid and cook the rest of the time 12-45 minutes, until your thermometer says it’s safe. I let the chicken rest for about 10 minutes. This results in some crispy skin and the most tender meat, especially white meat, imaginable. Sometimes we use the crispy skin strips as fake croutons for salad, but usually we just scarf it down, hot. Use a boning knife if you want to make your delicious chicken presentable for company. My husband and I eat most of dark meat hot and save the white meat for later. By the way, we also use this same process for turkey, only with a bigger roaster (with lid) – and I’ve never tried to make stock in that same pan since I’m not sure it’s stovetop-safe.

        After eating, we put away the remaining chicken and pour most of the juices/gravy on top to keep it moist. We throw the carcass and bones back into the “dirty” Le Creuset, add carrots, celery, onion, etc. (whatever you use for chicken stock), a few tablespoons of raw apple cider vinegar, and cold, filtered water. After waiting an hour for the ACV to leach the minerals from the bones, we turn on the heat to medium-low and make stock. I usually let it simmer on very low heat for 6+ hours. This results in a gelatinous/nutritious and yummy stock. The simmering action also makes it much easier to clean the Le Creuset.

        Once ladled into mason jars, my husband cleans the Le Creuset with Dr. Bronner’s castile soap (we use 1 part Bronner’s to 3 parts water as our dish soap) with no problems. So no muscle-building scrubbing for me, but he says the Bronner’s works well! :)

  16. Corey says

    Hi, Elana. This recipe was excellent! There was a bit of a spicy edginess to it thanks to the chipotle chili that really made it stand out. We were saving the leftovers to combine with some other dish, but we ended up just snacking on it cold right out of the tupperware the next day. :) Thanks!

  17. says

    saw45 -The skin does get dark and really locks in the flavor. I don’t eat the skin. If you want to, cover it the way ~M explains above, or, my children eat it and really enjoy how crispy it is. Good luck!

    lifeinrecipes -yes, this is a great one for children; my little guy actually requested this for his birthday dinner when he turned 8 earlier this month.

    ~M -Thanks for chiming in, I really appreciate all of your comments! Feel free to speak for me over here anytime.

  18. ~M says

    I wouldn’t want to speak for Elana, but I do have a response to saw45, having made several [variations] of Elana’s delicious chicken recipes:

    – the chipotle is a dark “burnt sienna” sort of color (the balsamic makes the other chicken dark too)
    – the orange juice probably caramelizes a bit
    – I only like very moist chicken so I tweak the recipe for my family’s tastes. I follow Elana’s spice/marinade recommendations but I bake my chicken in a covered pot that is just slightly bigger than the chicken. The lack of dry air around the chicken keeps it juicy and moist. I also make sure to rub a good portion of the spices between the skin and chicken meat, so if I remove the skin, I’ll still have flavored chicken. Then, during the last 30 minutes or so of cooking, I uncover my Dutch oven for browning purposes and to get some crispy skin. If this doesn’t make sense, let me know. :)

    Also, I was just thinking how amazing this specific chicken’s spices and marinade would lend the leftovers to be transformed into a chili!

    Some thoughts on fruit:
    I don’t recommend cooking the orange slices – they tend to get bitter so use them raw, like Elana does here. Also, the organic gala apples I used last time for the balsamic chicken worked really well and didn’t disintegrate (the 5-pack of medium-sized galas intended for kids’ lunches from Whole Foods is perfect for this and cheaper than buying the apples individually).

    Last, if you do cook grains, the leftover gravy juice goes a long way to add flavor. I take plain leftover brown rice and add a few spoons of this gravy juice before I reheat and it’s delicious.

  19. saw45 says


    I’d like to make this chicken, but it looks burnt to me. Do you remove the skin before eating it? Perhaps I can cook for a shorter time to avoid the burnt skin? Perhaps the skin is edible like this?

  20. says

    Emma –If you make it with limes, let me know how it turns out. That is such a great idea.

    Marcie –Yes, I would enjoy receiving the roasted chicken with dried fruit recipe! Happy Passover.

    Corey –Thanks. Let me know how it goes and chag sameach.

  21. Corey says

    That chicken looks delicious! I might have to try this for my seder too. Thanks for sharing, and chag sameach!

  22. Marcie says

    I just read your blog this morning, It’s funny, because just last night I made a roasted chicken with dried fruit & I thought this would be a great dish for Passover. Let me know if you want the recipe I found it online.
    Cannot wait to make your recipe.
    Thank you for all your Gluten free recipes.
    Happy Passover..

  23. emma leigh says

    ooh, i can’t wait for your take on “kelly’s bars”! those look delicious, and just in time for the reappearance of my sweet tooth.

    this dish looks so easy and tasty! definitely making it for me and my cousin, though she’s not a fan of oranges– i might try it with limes and let you know how it goes. :)

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