Sweet and Spicy Roast Chicken with Chiles and Thyme

This chicken is brined in pineapple juice and hot chiles, giving it a terrific sweet and spicy glaze. Slideshow:  Roast Chicken Recipes 

Active Time:
35 mins
Total Time:
2 hrs 45 mins


  • 6 cups plus 3 tablespoons pineapple juice

  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar

  • 3 fresh hot red chiles, 2 halved lengthwise, 1 thinly sliced

  • 2 thyme sprigs, plus 1 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped thyme

  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed

  • 1 bay leaf

  • Kosher salt

  • 5 pounds mixed bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces, such as whole legs and breast halves

  • Pepper


  1. In a large saucepan, combine 6 cups of the pineapple juice with 1/2 cup of the brown sugar and bring just to a boil, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Add the halved red chiles, thyme sprigs, crushed garlic, bay leaf and 2 tablespoons of salt and let cool completely.

  2. Submerge the chicken in the brine, cover and refrigerate overnight. Let the chicken stand at room temperature in the brine for 1 hour before roasting.

  3. Preheat the oven to 425° and line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil. In a medium bowl, whisk together the remaining 3 tablespoons of pineapple juice and 1/4 cup of brown sugar. Stir in the sliced red chile and chopped thyme to make the glaze.

  4. Remove the chicken from the brine and pat dry with paper towels; discard the brine. Season the chicken lightly with salt and pepper and arrange skin side up on the prepared baking sheet. Roast in the upper third of the oven for about 45 minutes, basting with the glaze every 15 minutes, until browned and an instant-read thermometer inserted near the bone registers 160°. Transfer the chicken pieces to a serving platter and let rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Serve With

Sautéed greens.

Suggested Pairing

Chardonnay from warm regions often has ripe, tropical fruit flavors like pineapple—making it an excellent match for this chicken.

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