In this super-simple recipe for braised Buffalo-style chicken thighs, canned chipotle chiles combine with hot sauce, rice vinegar, and brown sugar to create a bold, gutsy sauce as the chicken cooks. Serve with mashed or roasted potatoes for a chicken dinner that’s anything but boring.

What to buy: We like Frank’s RedHot Original Cayenne Pepper Sauce for all Buffalo-style chicken recipes, but keep in mind that it’s quite salty. If you use another medium-spicy brand (Crystal, for instance) you might need to add a pinch of kosher salt to the finished sauce.

  • Yields: 6 servings
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Total: About 1 hr 
  • Active: 20 mins 

Ingredients (11)

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 6 large skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs (about 2 1/2 pounds)
  • 1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
  • 6 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, minced, plus 2 tablespoons adobo sauce from the can
  • 6 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup lager-style beer
  • 1/3 cup medium-spicy hot sauce, such as Frank’s RedHot
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar


  1. Heat the oven to 375°F and arrange a rack in the upper third. Set a large cast-iron skillet or heavy oven-safe frying pan over high heat and add 1 tablespoon of the oil. When the oil is hot but not smoking, add the chicken, skin-side down. Leave the chicken undisturbed until the skin is crisp and browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside. Pour out the oil and discard it.
  2. Set the skillet over medium-high heat and add the remaining oil. When the oil is hot, add the onion and celery and sauté until the onion just starts to brown, about 5 minutes (reduce the heat if it begins to brown sooner). Add the garlic, chiles and adobo sauce, tomato paste, and brown sugar and cook, stirring, for about 2 minutes more. Pour in the beer, hot sauce, and vinegar and stir, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
  3. Add the browned chicken thighs to the sauce. Use tongs to turn the pieces around in the sauce, making sure they’re coated. Arrange the pieces skin-side up. Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake until the chicken is tender and opaque throughout, about 30 minutes.
  4. Transfer the cooked chicken with its sauce to a warmed serving platter or individual plates, with mashed or roasted potatoes.