Glazed Chicken with Orange-Annatto Sauce

Annatto is a spice used for its red color, often for coloring cheese or making lipstick! But beyond these uses, its earthy, slightly peppery taste pairs with the mild flavors of rice, poultry, pork, onion, and bay. Something new and fun to try. I usually buy annatto at a spice shop, buying just what I need for this recipe. Barb L.

Serves: 4 (2 chicken thighs per person)


8 (5-7 oz) bone-in chicken thighs, trimmed of fat



1 Tbsp Flying Olive Blood Orange, or Persian Lime Extra Virgin Olive Oil, or a Combination

1 ½ cups orange juice (about 3 oranges)

¼ cup lime juice (about 2 limes)

2 Tbsp sugar or sugar substitute, plus extra as needed

½ tsp cornstarch

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 tsp minced canned chipotle chili in adobo sauce

1 ½ tsp ground annatto

1 tsp ground coriander

¾ tsp dried oregano, Mexican if you have it on hand


Place several heavy cans in a Dutch oven lid or cast-iron skillet and set aside.

Pat chicken dry with paper towels (this promotes browning). Season with salt and pepper. Heat the Flying Olive Extra Virgin Olive Oil(s) of Choice in a 12” nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until just about ready to start smoking. Place the chicken, skin side down, in the skillet.

Place the weighted cover or pan over the chicken and cook until the skin is a deep brown and very crispy, about 16-20 minutes. Adjust the heat as needed.

Remove the pot lid/skillet and flip the chicken carefully with tongs as to keep the crispy skin intact. Reduce the heat to medium and continue to cook, using a splatter shield if necessary, until the second side is well browned and the chicken registers 175 degrees F with an instant read thermometer. Transfer the chicken to a serving platter.

Whisk the orange juice, lime juice, sugar, and cornstarch together in a bowl. Pour off all but 2 tsp of the fat left in the skillet. Add the garlic, chipotle, annatto, coriander, and oregano and cook over medium heat until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Whisk in the orange juice mixture. Increase the heat to high and simmer, whisking often, until it is thickened, 8-10 minutes.

Return the chicken and any accumulated juices to the skillet and turn to coat with the sauce. Return the chicken to the platter. Transfer the sauce to a bowl and season with salt, pepper, and sugar to taste. Serve.

Inspired by a recipe in: The Editors of American’s Test Kitchen, Best Mexican Recipes. Brookline, MA, 2015.

Submitted by Barb L.