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Chipotle-Lime Roast Chicken with Tomatillo Sauce

Lee Harrelson
Yield 4 servings (serving size: 5 ounces meat and about 1/2 cup sauce)
Tomatillos look like small green tomatoes in papery husks. Combining them with chipotle chile powder gives this chicken Mexican flair. Serve with lime wedges, rice, and beans.


  • 1 (3 3/4-pound) whole roasting chicken
  • 2 teaspoons butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle chile powder
  • 1 teaspoon grated lime rind
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced and divided
  • Cooking spray
  • 8 ounces tomatillos
  • 1 medium onion, quartered
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 (4.5-ounce) can chopped green chiles, undrained
  • Chopped fresh cilantro (optional)

Nutrition Information

  • calories 299
  • caloriesfromfat 36 %
  • fat 12.1 g
  • satfat 3.9 g
  • monofat 4.1 g
  • polyfat 2.5 g
  • protein 36.9 g
  • carbohydrate 9.6 g
  • fiber 2.4 g
  • cholesterol 111 mg
  • iron 2.9 mg
  • sodium 694 mg
  • calcium 51 mg

How to Make It

  1. Preheat oven to 375°.

  2. Remove and discard giblets and neck from chicken; trim excess fat. Starting at neck cavity, loosen skin from breasts and drumsticks by inserting fingers, gently pushing between skin and meat.

  3. Combine butter, chile powder, rind, 1/2 teaspoon salt, cumin, and 1 garlic clove in a small bowl. Rub seasoning mixture under loosened skin and over breasts and drumsticks. Tie ends of legs together with twine. Lift wing tips up and over back; tuck under chicken. Place chicken, breast side up, on a rack coated with cooking spray; place rack in roasting pan.

  4. Discard husks and stems from tomatillos; cut into quarters. Arrange tomatillos and onion evenly around chicken. Bake at 375° for 40 minutes.

  5. Increase oven temperature to 450°, and bake an additional 20 minutes or until a thermometer inserted in the meaty part of thigh registers 170°. Remove chicken from pan; let stand 15 minutes.

  6. Place tomatillos and onion in a food processor. Add remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, remaining 3 garlic cloves, cilantro, juice, and chiles; process until smooth.

  7. Remove skin from chicken; discard. Carve chicken, and serve with sauce. Sprinkle with cilantro, if desired.