Chipotle Roast Chicken

Morita chiles are red, fully mature Chipotles. This gives them a unique, medium – hot smokey flavor which is popular in many Southwestern dishes. These can be added to sauces (including Mole) to add smokey flavor and maintain the red color of the sauces. These peppers are about 2-4 inches in length, 1 inch in width, and have a deep brick reddish brown color. The word Chipotle translated to smoked chile. Consider the Chipotle a 6.5 on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the hottest). Scoville heat units 7,000-25,000.

Suggested Use:
Use Morita in enchilada sauces, chili, stews, barbecue ribs, and corn bread. Their smoky quality combines well with poultry, meats and fall squash.

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1/2 stick butter, at room temperature
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro leaves plus 3 fresh cilantro sprigs
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano leaves plus 3 fresh oregano sprigs
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves plus 3 fresh rosemary sprigs
4 teaspoons minced chipotle chiles (rehydrate chiles in hot water first)
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1 5 1/2- to 6-pound roasting chicken, rinsed, patted dry
2 large onions, each cut into 8 wedges through root end, leaving root ends intact
1/4 cup low sodium chicken broth


Position an oven rack in the bottom third of the oven and preheat to 400°F.

With a fork, mix together the butter, chopped cilantro, chopped oregano, chopped rosemary, chipotle chiles, and coriander in small bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill. Bring to room temperature before using.

Place the chicken, breast side up, in large roasting pan. Starting at neck end of chicken, slide fingers under the skin to loosen, being careful to avoid tearing. Spread all but 1 tablespoon of the seasoned butter over breast meat and thigh meat under the skin. Rub any butter remaining on fingers over the outside of the chicken. Sprinkle the main cavity of chicken with salt and pepper place all the herb sprigs in cavity. Tie the legs together loosely.

Place the onion wedges in large bowl. Melt the remaining 1 tablespoon of seasoned butter in the microwave then pour over onion wedges and toss to coat. Arrange the onions around the chicken. Sprinkle the onions and chicken with salt and pepper.

Roast the chicken and onions for 30 minutes. Add the broth to the roasting pan. Continue to roast the chicken until an instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh registers 170°F, basting occasionally with pan juices, about 1 hour 15 minutes. Remove the chicken and onions to a platter and cover with aluminum foil. Let rest for 15 minutes before carving and serving or before shredding for another purpose.

Adapted from