Make Ahead

Sweet Pickled Chipotles, Just Like the PilgrimsĀ Ate

November 10, 2013
1 Ratings
Photo by Mark Weinberg
  • Makes 4 cups
Author Notes

Very lightly adapted from Rick Bayless's Mexican Kitchen. A note on the chipotles: Bayless recommends "the cranberry-red chiles called chipotle colorado or morita" but adds that the brown chipotle mecos will work too. —Nicholas Day

What You'll Need
  • 4 ounces chipotle chiles
  • 1 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)
  • 4 sprigs fresh marjoram (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 medium white onion, sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 1 head of garlic, cloves peeled and halved
  • 2 teaspoons salt, approximately
  1. In a medium saucepan, cover the chiles with water and bring to a full boil. Then drain off the water, cover the chiles with warm tap water (put a plate on top to keep them submerged), and let them soak for 10 minutes. Drain, cover again with warm water, and soak for another 10 minutes. Then drain most of the water (but not every last bit) and transfer the chiles to a large jar. (Don't squish them in like sardines; they'll need some elbow room.)
  2. Combine all the remaining ingredients in a saucepan with 1 1/4 cups of water. Bring to a simmer and stir until the sugar completely dissolves. Pour the mixture over the chiles in the jar and stir, nudging the garlic and herbs down toward the chiles. The chiles should be completely submerged; if they're not, add equal amounts of vinegar and water. Taste for salt (it should be slightly salty), cover, and refrigerate for a day or more before serving.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • velia
  • Steven Begg
    Steven Begg
  • Nicholas Day
    Nicholas Day
  • gillianknitsalot
I'm the author of a book on the science and history of infancy, Baby Meets World. My website is; I tweet over at @nicksday. And if you need any good playdoh recipes, just ask.

9 Reviews

gillianknitsalot June 6, 2018
These look amazing! Wondering if they are acidic enough to can- does anyone know? Thanks.
velia May 4, 2015
All that soaking and straining the liquid will certainly remove the real smoky hot flavor.
ED November 2, 2014
This looks *fantastic*, but I'm curious what other folks have done with them besides what comes to my mind:"put them on eggs"
Sabrina November 27, 2013
That is, adding the word "dried" would be redundant.
Sabrina November 27, 2013
Chipotles are always dried, but you can purchase them reconstituted in a sauce. Canned reconstituted chipotles can be purchased at my local Giant; I have to go to a Hispanic market to obtain dried chiles.
Chickenfog November 25, 2013
Chipotles are not always dried. It would be helpful is you specified in the ingredients. Just add the word "dried". :)
Steven B. November 25, 2013
Looks delicious. Can these be canned? Are they acidic enough?
Helens November 21, 2013
So would you use dried chipotles for this? Sorry, I'm from the UK where 'mexican food' means a fahita kit.
Nicholas D. November 22, 2013
Yep! Chipotles are just smoked and dried jalapenos.