Raspberry-Chipotle Chicken Legs

Oh, look here:  another chicken recipe.  I appear to be on a roll, but don’t worry – my next recipe will include good ol’ beef steak…unless I cook something over the weekend that I just can’t wait to post.

Anyhoo – moving forward.

When I was a kid I was not fond of dark chicken meat at all.  If it wasn’t chicken breast, I wouldn’t eat it.  (That’s really pretty funny when you consider I love beef liver.  It takes all kinds, I guess.)

At any rate, the older I’ve gotten the more I enjoy the darker part of a bird – it’s just so much more moist and flavorful.  Because of that, I have a freezer-full of whole chickens and dark meat chicken parts:  drumsticks, to be exact.  The only problem is coming up with different ways to cook them – after all, plain old roasted chicken, while delicious, can get boring after awhile.

This?  This is a MARVELOUS way to cook them – or any skin-on, bone-in chicken for that matter.  In fact, Beloved and I have decided we’re going to try this on pork loin, too.  The glaze is tangy and spicy and slightly sweet.  I suppose you could use a bottled raspberry-chipotle sauce, but why?  This is fairly easy to make.

Note:  I had some high-quality raspberry preserves in my pantry – just raspberries, sugar and pectin – and I included a tablespoon in the glaze to help balance the flavors and mitigate the tangyness a little.  This is half a “normal” serving of the preserves spread out over 5 servings of the chicken, so I figured the small amount wouldn’t do too much damage.  It certainly seemed better than combining the chipotle with the entire jar of preserves (the most common “recipe” for such a glaze) and spreading it over the chicken.

Raspberry-Chipotle Chicken Legs
Raspberry-Chipotle Chicken Legs

Raspberry-Chipotle Chicken Legs

serves 5

10 chicken drumsticks
1 cup frozen raspberries
1/4 cup dry red wine
3 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon Cointreau or other orange liqueur
1 tablespoon chipotle pepper, minced
1 tablespoon high-quality raspberry preserves

Preheat oven to 350º F.

Combine the raspberries, wine, honey, minced chipotle and preserves in a small pot and cook over medium tomedium-high heat until the raspberries have cooked down and the mixture becomes “saucy”, about 7 to 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the orange liqueur.

Cool for about 30 minutes, then place the sauce in a food processor or blender and process until smooth. Push the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a small bowl and discard the seeds.

Rinse the chicken legs, pat dry and place on a shallow-rimmed baking sheet lined with a Silpat mat or nonstick foil. Brush just enough of the sauce on the chicken to coat it on both sides.

Bake the chicken for 45 to 50 minutes, turning and basting with the sauce every 15 minutes, or until the juices run clear when the chicken is pierced with a fork. Discard any unused sauce (but there shouldn’t be any left).

Printable version (requires Adobe Reader)

10 thoughts on “Raspberry-Chipotle Chicken Legs”

  1. Damn! This is a SWEET February dish! I am SO stealing this one for the Antoine menu! Don’t worry about the raspberry preserves… I mean, c’mon, 1 spoon? I would even be able to eat that.

  2. As I read along, I notice that your recipes tend, for my palate, towards the sweet. Delicious, but sweeter than I generally like for main courses. I tend to cook towards the bitter. I am sure it’s body chemistry, which fascinates me. Do you know anything, from your research, about why different foods taste different to different people?

    1. I think that the sweetness here would be minimal, because you have to have something to balance out the chipotle heat. (Or deliver it in a non-aggressive fashion.)
      As for different tastes – as a diabetic, I can attest to how we train our taste-buds. I have found that even though I used to think of myself as someone who “ate a balanced” sweet diet, it was actually sweeter than one can imagine. Having to train my tongue to like non-sweet items has shown that nature has its own sweetness. I recently almost went into hypoglyceamic shock, and had to down a can of sprite. It was so sweet that I nearly gagged. I just am not used to it anymore!

    2. Jason is right, this one really didn’t taste as sweet as it sounds. Frankly I was a bit surprised that it was a carby as it is. I also agree with Jason about the taste factor. Once you stop eating sweets your sense of sweet changes. To me vegetables now taste MUCH sweeter than EVER before.

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