After making another batch of Apple Butter last week (for more oats, whoops) I had more than a cup leftover – and a can of chipotles in the pantry (from this chili), and started thinking of a sweet and spicy marinade for chicken. Enter: Apple Butter and Chipotle Chicken Thighs.
Baked Chicken on a weeknight reminds me of home; it’s comforting, easy, and fairly inexpensive. Plus, we baked a lot of chicken for dinner when I was a kid, so anytime I prep it that way, it gives me some great foodie memories.
These Apple Butter and Chipotle Chicken Thighs are unintentionally paleo compliant, since the Apple Butter is homemade, sweetened with honey. I opted for chicken thighs, because honestly, sometimes baked chicken breast taste dry to me. You can absolutely try this recipe with breasts, and if they come out juicy, please tell me how you did it!
So! The marinade. I used my blender to whip this together. The first time, I tested this out, I actually found the chipotle flavor a little too tame. I personally can’t handle a ton of heat, so if I thought it wasn’t spicy enough, you know it wasn’t. The next attempt, I added an extra clove of garlic, and 1 1/2 extra chipotle peppers, and it made all the difference.
Oh my gahhhhh. These Apple Butter and Chipotle Chicken Thighs are spicy, sweet, sticky, and garlicky! You can make them for dinner tonight, and have leftovers for lunch (or make them for lunch all week, I promise you won’t get tired of these).
I like to make a side salad, or brussels sprouts to accompany these baked Apple Butter and Chipotle Chicken Thighs. I don’t know what else I can say other than these are SO good, and you need to make the pronto to eat – enjoy!
Items used to make this recipe:
- 16 oz Chicken Thighs (boneless, skinless (will have 6-8 thighs)
- 3 to 5 chipotles in adobo sauce, roughly chopped, plus 1 tbsp adobo sauce
- 1 medium yellow onion, roughly chopped
- 6-8 garlic cloves, minced
- ¼ cup coconut aminos (or soy sauce)
- ¾ cup apple butter (store-bought or homemade)
- 1 tbsp sea salt
- 1 tbsp ground black pepper
- To a blender, or food processor combine minced garlic, chopped onion, chipotles, coconut aminos, and apple butter. Pulse until well blended.
- To a gallon sized bag, or large bowl, mix chicken thighs with marinade, salt and pepper. Fully coat chicken with marinade. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours, up to 6 hours.
- Preheat oven to 425F.
- Line a baking dish with foil or parchment paper, spray it with cooking spray.
- Place marinated chicken thighs skin up in baking dish.
- Bake for 30-45 minutes, until chicken is cooked, and no longer pink.
- Remove from oven, and allow to rest for 7-10 minutes, before serving.
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