Mexican Recipes

Smoky Chipotle Chicken with Chorizo

I’m a self-confessed chocoholic, so I was delighted to learn that Mexicans sometimes use chocolate in their savory dishes- how good is that? Chocolate was a sacred drink of the Mayan Indians in Mexico, who harvested it from the seeds of the cacao tree. It then made its way into dishes such as Mole Poblano, which blends chocolate with various chiles and spices and is served at special occasions.

Since I’m now based in San Diego, California, I’ve had to shift my cooking away from my familiar French techniques (think butter and cream), to more Mexican-influenced cooking, with its chiles and strong flavors.

So, my next offering is Smoky Chipotle Chicken with Chorizo – perfect to serve to your guests over to watch a week-end football game on TV or as an alternative to eating the hum-drum Big Mac. Chipotles are jalapeño peppers that have been smoked and they will add a nice smoky ‘punch’ to your dishes.

                                          Chipotle Chiles- they’re smokin’ hot

Smoked Chipotle Peppers


This dish also combines shredded chicken with chorizo sausage and fire-roasted red bell peppers to provide further depth to the flavors. But how to satisfy my chocoholic yearnings? Well, I decided to add a little unsweetened dark chocolate to the dish, providing a little chocolaty ‘undercurrent’ to the flavors, without being overbearing- NICE!

The Ingredients

  • For the chipotle peppers, use canned Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce. Adobo sauce is a spicy, dark red Mexican sauce made from ground chiles, herbs, garlic, tomatoes and vinegar. You can find this product in many U.S. supermarkets or Mexican specialty stores in other countries. If not, you can substitute either chipotle chili powder or Mexican chili powder.

 Warning- do not use more than two chiles in your recipe or you may be reaching for the nearest fire extinguisher!


  •  For the chorizo, use Mexican chorizo. This is ground pork or beef seasoned with chile and garlic and stuffed into casings. After removing the casings, the meat resembles soft, minced meat and must be cooked prior to eating. Spanish chorizo has milder flavorings and usually has a harder outer casing.

                              Mexican Beef Chorizo with casingIMG_5372

  •  Fire Roasted Red Bell Peppers- these are bell peppers that have been roasted in the oven or on top of a gas burner. I used ready-roasted peppers purchased in a jar, but you could roast your own.



5.0 from 3 reviews
Smoky Chipotle Chicken with Chorizo
Recipe type: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
Shredded chicken pieces cooked in a smoky chile sauce with a slight hint of chocolate flavoring.
  • 4 - 5 chicken thighs with bones
  • ½ onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 can (14 oz or 455 g) chopped tomatoes
  • ¾ cup fire roasted red peppers (in jar)
  • 2 chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, chopped
  • ½ lb (250 g) Mexican chorizo (pork or beef)
  • 1 cup (250 ml) chicken stock
  • 2 squares (2 ounces) unsweetened dark chocolate
  • salt to taste
  • To garnish:
  • avocado pieces
  • coriander (cilantro)
  1. Pre-heat oven to 180 C (350 F)
  2. In large pot or Dutch oven, add 2 tbsp. oil and brown the chicken thighs over medium high heat, about 3 minutes each side. Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. Drain off excess oil/fat from the pan and retain a small amount to cook the garlic and onions.
  4. Add the diced garlic and onions to the pan and cook for several minutes until translucent in color. Now add about ½ cup water to the pan and scrape the brown 'cooked bits' from the bottom of the pan. This is called de-glazing and these pan scrapings will add flavour to your dish. Add the chicken pieces back to the pan.
  5. Now add the can of tomatoes, fire-roasted red peppers, chopped chipotle chiles and chicken stock to the pan.
  6. Remove the casings from the Mexican chorizo and break the meat up into small pieces. In a separate fry pan, cook the chorizo about 4 minutes, then add this to the other ingredients in the pan.
  7. Chop the chocolate into small pieces and add to the other ingredients, along with salt to taste.
  8. Cook in the oven for at least one hour until the chicken meat falls off the bone.
  9. Remove thigh bones prior to serving. Serve in a bowl over rice and add avocado pieces and coriander for garnish.
If you can't find canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, you can substitute either ground chipotle chili powder or Mexican chili powder.




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  • [email protected]
    August 1, 2013 at 6:51 am

    Great dish! I love anything with chile in it, and chipotles have such wonderful, smoky flavor. And I do know about chocolate in savory dishes, although it’s not something I often do. This recipe sounds superb – thanks so much.
    [email protected] recently posted…The Maiden’s Prayer CocktailMy Profile

    • Fran
      August 2, 2013 at 12:24 pm

      Thanks, John. I’ve been learning about all the different kinds of chiles. There are so many kinds it’s sometimes hard to keep them straight in my mind!
      Fran recently posted…Smoky Chipotle Chicken with Chorizo My Profile

  • Joanne
    August 1, 2013 at 8:26 pm

    Moles are the best! I love the smoky spicy sauce for this dish!
    Joanne recently posted…Speculoos Cookies {the leftovers club}My Profile

  • Hester @ Alchemy in the Kitchen
    August 2, 2013 at 3:16 pm

    I’ve had chocolate in chilli and that works well so I’m going to run with you on this one, Fran. Love the flavours the chorizo lends to the dish as well. This is a great dish as Autumn peers over the horizon.
    Hester @ Alchemy in the Kitchen recently posted…What kind of fool am I? Roasted Peach, Basil and Cardamom Fool, that’s what!My Profile

    • Fran
      August 3, 2013 at 1:42 pm

      Thanks Hester. This dish can also work for Summertime as well, but get the ‘fire extinguisher ready’ if you decide to use more than two of the chipotle chiles in the dish!
      Fran recently posted…Smoky Chipotle Chicken with Chorizo My Profile

  • GourmetGetaways
    August 3, 2013 at 12:27 pm

    I love anything spicy!
    Chili makes everything taste better. What a rich and delicious looking dish 🙂
    Thank you for sharing 🙂
    GourmetGetaways recently posted…In My Kitchen – August 13My Profile

  • Maureen | Orgasmic Chef
    August 3, 2013 at 2:49 pm

    Fran, definitely an orgasmic meal! Two thumbs up!
    Maureen | Orgasmic Chef recently posted…Cinnamon Rolls – moan factor 15 !My Profile

  • Lorraine
    August 3, 2013 at 11:37 pm

    This looks so delicious Fran! I love using chocolate in stews and dishes like this. It always adds a mysterious flavour to it! 😀
    Lorraine recently posted…Baklava Oatmeal (A Summer and Winter Version)My Profile

  • Nami | Just One Cookbook
    August 5, 2013 at 9:56 am

    It’s always too cold in SF area and this will be the perfect dinner for a cold evening like today. 🙂
    Nami | Just One Cookbook recently posted…Mango Lassi PopsiclesMy Profile

  • Juliana
    August 6, 2013 at 9:14 am

    This spicy chicken with chorizo sounds super tasty…and yes, chocolate!
    Thanks for the recipe Fran and have a lovely week ahead 😀
    Juliana recently posted…Sunny Portabella MushroomsMy Profile

  • Sandra | Sandra's Easy Cooking
    August 7, 2013 at 1:22 pm

    Oh Fran this looks amazingly delicious! I love the recipe and your pics are mouthwatering. This will be such a hit in my house! Thanks for sharing and have a lovely week!
    Sandra | Sandra’s Easy Cooking recently posted…puff pastry with spinach and scallions in alfredo sauceMy Profile

  • Anneli (Delicieux)
    August 8, 2013 at 7:36 pm

    What a flavour packed stew! I adore chorizo so I would love this. Especially using the much more flavoursome chicken thighs. I think I may struggle to find peppers in Adobe sauce here in SW France but I could work around it. Great recipe Fran!
    Anneli (Delicieux) recently posted…Four Seasons Food August Challenge Now Open!My Profile