Chicken Legs with Roasted Garlic-Ancho Sauce

Ancho (Ahn-cho) Chile (Capsicum Annum) means Wide Chile Pepper. This chile ranges from 3 – 4 on a heat scale of 1 to 10. An Ancho is the dried form of a Poblano Pepper and often is mislabeled as a Pasilla or Mulato Pepper. Anchos have sweet fruity flavor with hints of cherry, prune, and fig. Anchos, combined with the Pasilla and Guajillo, form the Holy Trinity of chiles used to prepare the traditional mole sauces. Scoville heat units are 1,000 to 3,000.

Suggested Use:
Anchos are great in salsa, soups, enchilada and any sauce needing mild heat and chile flavor. Chopped, pureed or ground, they can be added directly to your recipes.

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1 head of garlic
Extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium ancho chile
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp chicken stock or low-sodium broth
2 tsp soy sauce
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 whole chicken legs, split into drumsticks and thighs


Preheat the oven to 375°. Cut off the top quarter of the garlic and set it on a sheet of foil. Drizzle the garlic with olive oil, wrap it in the foil and roast for about 1 hour and 20 minutes, until tender.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, cover the ancho with water and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over low heat, turning a few times, until the chile is soft, about 10 minutes drain. Discard the ancho stems and seeds. Coarsely chop the chile and transfer to a blender.

Squeeze the roasted garlic cloves from the skins into the blender. Add the chicken stock and puree. With the machine on, gradually pour in 1/4 cup of olive oil and puree until incorporated. Pour the sauce into the small saucepan, stir in the soy sauce and season with salt and pepper.

Light a grill. Rub the chicken with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill over moderate heat, turning frequently, until nicely charred and cooked through, about 30 minutes total. Reheat the ancho sauce and serve with the chicken.

Serves 4.

Recipe by Marcia Kiesel, Make Ahead The ancho sauce can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Reheat gently.