I love this recipe because you really get to experience the flavor of the chilies that you use. I purposely chose dried California chilies because the are very mild and give a fantastic red color. You can certainly substitute and experiment with other chilies such as Pasilla, Guajillo or Ancho. If spicy is what you are looking for, add a couple chiles de Arbol to the mix. Dried chilies are pretty easy to find in the Hispanic foods section of the store, though you’ll have more to choose from if you have a great Mexican grocery nearby. If all else fails, try Amazon.com since they will deliver most anything!
Oh Yeah.. don’t forget the Margaritas!!
- For adobo marinade:
- 3 ounce dried California chilies (Pasilla, Guajillo or Ancho would work as well)
- 1 or 2 dried chile de Arbol, optional if desired for spiciness
- 1¼ cups less-sodium chicken broth or water
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 teaspoon oregano, crumbled - preferably Mexican oregano
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- For skewers:
- 3 pounds chicken thighs or breasts, cut into 1½-inch pieces
- 8 to 10 bamboo skewers soaked in water for at least an hour or metal skewers
- Salt and ground black pepper
- Lime & Jalapeño Pickled Onions (recipe follows)
- Toast the chilies in a dry skillet until pliable, about 2 to 3 minutes. When cooled, remove the stems and seeds and tear the chilies into 1-inch pieces and place in a medium mixing bowl. Cover with the hot broth and let soak for about 5 minutes. Transfer the chilies and soaking liquid to a blender and add the remaining marinade ingredients. Blend until smooth. Scrape marinade into the mixing bowl and set aside to cool to room temperature. Once the marinade is cool, add the chicken pieces and mix thoroughly until well combined. Cover and let marinate in the refrigerator for at least a couple hours, but is much better if left overnight.
- Set up your grill for direct heat cooking over high heat. Brush and oil the grates before cooking.
- Remove chicken from the marinade and thread onto skewers. Discard the marinade. With your fingers, wipe off as much of the remaining marinade as you can from the skewered chicken. Season with salt and pepper. Grill chicken skewers on hot grill for 8 to 10 minutes, turning halfway through cooking. Remove from grill and serve hot with Lime & Jalapeño Pickled Onions
- 1 large red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 to 2 jalapeño chilies, cut in half and thinly sliced - remove seeds if desired
- ½ cup fresh lime juice
- Place all ingredients in a non-reactive bowl and stir to combine. Cover and place in refrigerator for 2 to 3 hours, stirring occasionally.
Cheers and Happy Cinco de Mayo!