Chicken inferno



30 min


6 to 8 servings

* PLUS Cooking time: 25 minutes, Roasting Time: 60 minutes


  • 4 garlic cloves , minced
  • 3 carrots , chopped
  • 1 large onion , chopped
  • 2 sweet bell peppers , chopped
  • 1 fennel bulb
  • 2 to 3 chipotle in adobo sauce
  • 16 skinless, bone-in chicken thighs , or 8 boneless chicken breasts
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 796-mL can plum or diced tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley , optional
  • 2 tbsp orange zest , optional


  • Prepare garlic, carrots and onion. Chop sweet peppers and set aside separately. Cut out and discard core from fennel. Slice fennel into thin strips. Coarsely chop fennel fronds (the feathery green tops). Finely chop chipotles. Remove skin from chicken thighs, if necessary. If using breasts, cut in half.
  • Melt 1 tbsp (15 mL) butter in a large wide frying pan over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add some of chicken. Don’t crowd pan. Cook until light golden, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Reduce heat to medium if butter starts to brown too much. Remove each piece when done to a large roasting pan that will hold at least 12 cups (3 L). Repeat with remaining chicken.
  • Meanwhile, if using plum tomatoes, pour entire can into a bowl. Using your hands, coarsely crush tomatoes. Preheat oven to 300F (150C).
  • When all chicken is removed from pan, reduce heat to medium, if you haven’t already. Melt remaining butter in pan, then add garlic, carrots, onion, fennel and fronds, chipotles and seasonings. Stir often until softened, 5 minutes. It’s OK if pan bottom turns brown.
  • Sprinkle flour over vegetables and stir until evenly mixed. Pour in wine. Scrape up and stir in any brown bits from pan bottom. Turn mixture over chicken. Add tomatoes and broth to frying pan and bring to a boil, stirring often, over high heat. Pour over chicken and stir in sweet peppers. Cover pan with a tight-fitting lid or foil.
  • Roast in 300F (150C) oven until chicken is tender, 1 1/2 hours if using thighs or 1 hour if using all breasts. Taste and add salt, if needed. Spoon over rice. Sprinkle with parsley and orange peel. Good with our Sun-Dried Tomato & Onion Cornbread.

Nutrition (per serving)

  • Calories
  • 260,
  • Protein
  • 25 g,
  • Carbohydrates
  • 18.6 g,
  • Fat
  • 9.3 g,
  • Fibre
  • 3.7 g,

This spicy chicken sets your tongue aflame. Of course, you can temper the heat by not adding the cayenne and holding back on the chipotles. While the heat level may be sky-high when freshly made, after sitting overnight, the inferno turns to a pleasant blaze.

What Are Chipotles?

They’re small jalapeño peppers that are dried, smoked and then preserved in adobo sauce. (A dark red sauce made from ground chilies, herbs and vinegar.) Buy them in small cans in the Mexican section of supermarkets. When you remove a pepper from the can, don’t rinse off the sauce clinging to it. Refrigerate leftovers in a jar or freeze. If you can’t find chipotles, use 1 tsp (5 mL) chipotle-flavoured Tabasco for each chipotle pepper called for in the recipe.

Make Ahead

The flavour improves and mellows as it sits. But if serving right away, go easy on the peppers unless you love heat. Refrigerate up to 3 days or freeze up to 2 months. Defrost before reheating. Add parsley and peel when serving.