Valerie Bertinelli

Valerie Bertinelli

Actress, Cook and Food Network Star

Easy Crispy Tequila Lime Sticky Chicken Thighs

Cook along with actress, TV personality and Food Network’s Kids Baking Championship host, Valerie Bertinelli, as she walks you through a crispy, easy, and DELICIOUS chicken thigh dish.

If you’re cooking along with us at home, find the ingredient and preparation list below or listen and enjoy for your next meal inspiration. 

COOK’S NOTE: Position an oven rack in the top third of the oven and preheat the oven to 450 degrees F before the cookalong begins.

Makes 4 servings


  • 2 – 2 ½  pounds chicken thighs, bone in, skin on
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon plus ½  teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons minced red onion (about 1/4 red onion)
  • 1 tablespoon minced seeded jalapeno (about 1/4 large jalapeno)
  • 2 cloves grated garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 cup tequila blanco
  • 1/4 cup lime juice (2 to 3 limes)
  • 2 chipotle peppers in adobe sauce, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon light agave or honey
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro
  • Oven-safe sauté pan large enough to fit the Chicken Thighs
  • Kitchen tongs (or spatula)
  • Meat thermometer (optional)
  • Small saucepan for Tequila Lime sauce
  • Spoon (or spatula) for stirring the sauce
  • Your favorite serving dish!


Pour 2 tablespoons of oil into an oven safe sauté pan and heat to medium high. Season the skin side of thighs with salt and pepper. Place skin side down in hot oil and season the other side with salt and pepper. Sauté until the skin is crispy. Turn chicken over and place the pan in the oven to finish cooking, about 15 -20 minutes depending on size of thighs or internal temperature is 165 degrees.

While the chicken thighs bake, prepare the tequila lime sauce. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the red onion, jalapeno and garlic and cook until softened, about 2 minutes. Season with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Add the cumin and coriander and cook until the spices are toasted and fragrant, an additional 1 minute. Add the tequila, lime juice, and agave (margarita!) and the chopped chipotle, stir and bring to a boil.

Continue to boil until thickened and slightly reduced, about 5 – 7 minutes. Melt in the butter and cook the sauce 1 minute more. Remove from the heat. When the thighs are cooked through, remove the sauté pan and turn the oven to the broiler setting. Pour the sauce over the thighs, and put them back under the broiler to crisp, 2 to 3 minutes. Top with the cilantro and serve immediately.

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