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Chipotle Roasted Chicken

Chipotle Roasted Chicken

This marinade is the closest thing to a « Mexican BBQ sauce ».

We recreated the recipe based on our memories of an unforgettable meal we had on the side of the road, after a long drive in the Sierra Juarez, in Mexico, where there was hardly even a place to park. We had finally arrived in San Juan Bautista de Tuxtepec, several hours after lunchtime and a señorita was roasting chickens on a spit in a charcoal fire. The menu was simple (but incredibly flavourful!): one marinated, whole, roasted chicken, 1 kg hot tortillas, limes and gravy in a plastic bag!



  1. 1

    Cut the lime in two and rub the chicken inside and out. Leave the lime halves in the chicken cavity. Let rest while preparing the marinade.

  2. 2

    Grill the large chipotle chilies in a dry pan. Open, then remove some or all the seeds, to taste (if you like a marinade that is picante, do not remove any seeds).

  3. 3

    Break the chilies into 1-inch pieces. Rinse under running water, place in a bowl and barely cover with boiling water. Let rest 10 minutes. 

  4. 4

    Grind the spices to a coarse powder, using a mortar and pestle or grinder.

  5. 5

    Cut onions into large cubes and place them in a blender or food processor with soaked chilies and their water, ground spices, oil, sugar, salt, garlic and vinegar. Grind to a purée.

  6. 6

    Place the chicken in a bowl, then rub the inside and outside vigorously with the marinade. Let rest for a few hours or overnight in a cool place.

  7. 7

    Heat the oven to 375 °F or fire up the grill on one side only. Place the chicken in a roasting pan and set aside the remaining marinade. 

  8. 8

    Cook the chicken in the oven, basting occasionally with its cooking juices for 1h30, or on the un-lit side of the grill, covered for 1h30.

  9. 9

    Remove chicken from the roasting pan and let rest on a dish while preparing the sauce.  

  10. 10

    Pour the remaining marinade and a glass of water into the roasting pan. Place on the stove and boil for 2 minutes while grating with a spatula to deglaze the pan.

    Filter the sauce using a strainer.

  11. 11

    Serve the chicken with sauce, hot tortillas and lime quarters.