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Cherry chipotle chicken

  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x


  • For chipotle bourbon cherry sauce!
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 small white onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 lbs cherries, pitted
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ½ - 1 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • For chicken!
  • 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, excess skin/fat removed
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Bread or rice for serving


  1. Make the sauce: Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and saute for 5-7 minutes until softened and just starting to caramelize. Add garlic and saute for another minute.
  2. Add cherries, salt, pepper and chipotle powder (you can start with ½ teaspoon and add more later if you’d like).
  3. Mix to combine and cover with a tight fitting lid. Reduce heat to medium-low and let simmer for 20 minutes. If your cherries aren’t releasing a lot of juice, add ¼ - ½ cup water.
  4. After 20 minutes, turn off heat and add vinegar and bourbon. Use a wooden spoon or potato masher and gently start to mash the cherries down. I like to keep it really chunky, but feel free to mash as much as you want. If you prefer a really smooth sauce, you can blend this as well. Set aside while you make chicken - this will help thicken up the sauce a bit.
  5. Preheat oven to 400.
  6. Season chicken with salt and place skin side down in a cold oven-proof pan. Turn heat to medium and let cook for 15 minutes. Don’t touch the chicken!
  7. Transfer pan to oven (with chicken still skin side down) and cook for another 15 minutes.
  8. Remove pan from oven and flip chicken. Check to see if the chicken released a lot of fat, and if so, spoon it out so that just a little remains. Then add about 1 cup of sauce to pan (spooning over the chicken pieces) and bake for another 10 minutes.
  9. Serve with rice or bread, with extra sauce on the side.
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes