Saucy Tex-Mex Chicken Thighs

This was a recipe I came up with one night last week.  I wasn’t sure how it would turn out, but it was awesome.  I’ll definitely make this again!

2 lbs. chicken thighs, bone-in, skin-on
Olive oil
1 tbs pure mild chile powder
½ tbs ground cumin
½ tbs smoked paprika
1 tsp coriander
½ tsp Mexican cinnamon
Salt and pepper
1 large red onion, sliced
2 cloves of garlic, smashed and peeled
2 Dried mild chilies, such as pasilla or guajillo (I used CA chiles)
28 oz. fire roasted crushed tomatoes
1 bottle of beer
Bay leaf
1 cup white rice
1/2 cup sour cream

Combine all the spices, plus a healthy pinch of salt and black pepper. Place the thighs in a large bowl. Toss with the spice rub plus a few drizzles of olive oil. Make sure the chicken is evenly coated.
Preheat a Dutch oven to medium-high heat. When it is really hot, place the chicken thighs in, skin side down, and sear on both sides. Make sure the fat is rendered really well. Remove to a plate. Pour off all but a couple tbs of the fat.  Brown the chicken in batches if necessary.
Saute the onions and garlic until softened. Deglaze with the beer and scrape up the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Add in the dried chilies, bay leaf, and tomatoes. Stir to combine everything. Reduce the heat to medium-low, so it’s just simmering. Nestle the chicken back in so they are mostly covered by the sauce. Braise them for about 90 minutes, maybe a little more, partially covered. Make sure they are cooked through with a meat thermometer.
When the chicken is cooked, remove to a plate. Fish out the chilies and the bay leaf. Discard the bay leaf. Stem and seed the chilies, then place back in the pot. Turn off the heat, and use your immersion blender to puree the sauce until completely smooth. Add in the sour cream, and return to low heat.
During the last twenty minutes of braising, make the rice. Combine the rice, plus 2 cups water, and salt in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover the pot, and let it cook for 18 minutes. Remove the lid and fluff with a fork.
To serve: scoop some rice on the plate, top with two chicken thighs. Pour some sauce over (be generous!) and top with a couple dollops of guacamole. Enjoy!


About jwall915

I love to cook and I love to travel! This blog explores my love of both. I share recipes and restaurant reviews, and I blog the trips I take.
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