Tamarind Chicken Thighs

The tart tamarind paste, sweet agave nectar, and hot chipotle chili in adobo sauce in the glaze for this chicken make a delectable sweet-sour-hot accompaniment to the spicy heat of the poblano-studded rice.


Tamarind Chicken Thighs

  • 1½ cups chicken stock
  • 3 tablespoons canola or corn oil, divided
  • 1½ teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 cup medium-grain white rice
  • 4 fresh poblano chilies, halved, stems and seeds removed
  • 1¼ pounds boneless chicken thighs (4 to 5 thighs), skin on
  • 1 teaspoon roasted ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon finely ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons tamarind paste
  • Juice and zest of 2 limes
  • ½ cup agave nectar
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons chipotle chilies in adobo sauce (about 1 chili and enough sauce to make 2 tablespoons, or to taste)


  1. Pour the chicken stock into a medium saucepan with 1 tablespoon of the oil. (If you are using low-sodium stock, taste and add salt if needed.) Cover the pot and bring to a gentle boil.
  2. Pour the rice into a fine-mesh sieve and run under cold running water for 1 to 2 minutes, until the water runs clear. Drain. When the stock is boiling gently, add the rice, stir, cover, and bring to a boil again. Reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook for 18 minutes, until the liquid is absorbed. Remove from the heat, keep covered, and steam in the pot for 5 minutes to finish cooking.
  3. Heat a grill to high heat. Rub the poblanos with 2 teaspoons of the oil and sprinkle with ½ teaspoon salt. Place on the grill and cook, turning with tongs as each side becomes charred. Place in heat-resistant bowl, cover with foil or plastic wrap and set aside.
  4. Season the chicken with cumin, salt, and pepper. Rub with the remaining 4 teaspoons oil.
    Combine the tamarind paste, lime juice and zest, agave, and chipotle in adobo in a bowl and mix to combine, and set aside.
  5. Place the chicken on the grill, skin side down, and cook for 4 to 5 minutes. Turn with tongs and reduce the heat to medium. Brush the skin side liberally with the tamarind agave mixture, and cook for 2 to 4 minutes. Turn again, liberally brush the top with the tamarind mixture again, and cook for 2 to 4 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the chicken reads 165°F. Transfer to a clean platter (see Kitchen Tips).
  6. Peel the skin off the poblanos and chop into ¼-inch pieces. Add the poblanos to the rice and mix to combine.
  7. Divide the rice between 4 individual serving plates and top each with a chicken thigh. Serve immediately.

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