This honey-chipotle chicken and rice is equal parts sweet, spicy, and smoky. You can use as much or as little of the honey-chipotle sauce as you like.
You can use any cut of chicken you like for this recipe, such as legs, thighs, or boneless, skinless breasts. We used chicken leg quarters.
Sweet, spicy, and smoky this honey-chipotle chicken and rice is everything you need for a late summer dinner.
You’ll serve these juicy chicken legs with cooked vegetables, including bell peppers and mushrooms which are braised in an incredible honey-chipotle sauce. It’ll be a bit of work up-front, but once you pop it in the oven, you’re just a short wait-time away from a delicious and flavorful dinner.
You’ll serve the braised chicken legs on top of cilantro-lime rice. You could even shred the chicken and serve the rice and braised vegetables together as a great meal-prep option!
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Honey-Chipotle Chicken and Rice
- 1 tablespoon neutral cooking oil
- 4 chicken leg quarters
- Salt pepper, cumin, and paprika to taste
- 1 yellow onion peeled and sliced into thin wedges
- 2 red bell peppers trimmed and deseeded, sliced into strips
- 8 ounces cremini mushrooms scrubbed and quartered
- 4 scallions minced, white and green parts kept separate
- 1 14.5- ounce can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
- 1/4 cup water if necessary
- 7 ounce can chipotles in adobo sauce
- 1/4 cup honey
- Juice of 1 lime
- 1 cup uncooked rice
- 2 cups water
- 1 tablespoon butter optional
- Salt to taste
- 1/2 cup freshly chopped cilantro
- Juice of 1 lime
- Sliced avocado optional
Brown the Chicken:
- Preheat oven to 425ºF. In a wide pot or braising pan, heat the oil over medium heat until very hot. Pat the chicken dry and season all over with a few shakes of salt, pepper, cumin, and paprika and rub the seasoning into the skin.
- Place the chicken into the skillet, skin-side down, and cook without moving for 4-5 minutes until the skin turns golden brown. Flip and cook another 5-6 minutes to allow fat to render from the skin.
- Transfer the chicken to a plate and drain off all but 1 tablespoon of fat in the pan. Return the pan to medium heat.
Cook the Aromatics:
- First, add the sliced onions to the pan and cook over medium heat for 5-7 minutes until they begin to soften.
- Next, add the sliced bell pepper and cook an additional 4-5 minutes.
- Finally, add the quartered mushrooms and the sliced white parts of the scallions and cook until they begin to turn golden brown, about 6-7 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper
Prepare the Sauce Base:
- Pour the tomatoes and 1/4 cup water into the pan and bring to a boil. Season with salt and pepper and add 1 teaspoon of cumin and 1 teaspoon paprika. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer as you prepare the honey-chipotle sauce.
Prepare the Honey-Chipotle Sauce:
- In a food processor, add the can of chipotles, honey, and lime juice. Pulse until well puréed. Add a few tablespoons of water as necessary to thin the sauce out.
Finish the Sauce:
- Pour as much of the honey-chipotle sauce into the pan as you like, leaving at least a tablespoon or two of the sauce for the chicken. Stir the honey-chipotle sauce into the tomatoes and vegetables to ensure it’s incorporated. Taste and season to your preferences.
Bake the Chicken:
- Nestle the chicken into the sauce and spoon the remaining honey-chipotle sauce over the chicken, using the back of your spoon to ensure even coverage over the tops of each piece of chicken.
- Transfer to the oven and bake for 30-45 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer reaches 165ºF.
Cook the Rice:
- While the chicken is baking, prepare the lime-cilantro rice. Combine the rice, water, butter (if using), and salt in a small pan and bring to a boil. Stir once, then cover and reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow the rice to rest for 5-10 minutes before removing the lid and fluffing with a fork.
- Stir in the chopped cilantro and lime juice and season with more salt, if needed.
To Serve the Honey-Chipotle Chicken with Rice:
- Divide the rice between plates and spoon the vegetables in tomato sauce on top. Serve the chicken on top garnished with the sliced green parts of the scallions. Serve with a sliced avocado, if desired.