When I fall in love with a recipe, I tend to make it over, and over, and over.
Let’s just say I’m the queen of repetition.
Chicken enchiladas every night for a week? Yeah. That’s happened.
Blackened chicken tacos? I made them (for myself) every night from mid-November until February – minus holiday dinners and dinners in restaurants with friends.
Anyway, food – much like jokes – are something I’ve been known to repeat. For instance, I’ve been shamelessly quoting Fletch since 1985. (That was something my Dad and I had in common. We literally spoke in Fletch references for a big chunk of my life.)
Alan Stanwyk: Do you have your own rubber gloves?
Fletch: I have a lease, with an option to buy.
Repetition is good. And necessary when we need a little soupçon of sanity.
I’ve made this recipe so frequently in the last week that I couldn’t photograph the tacos with crumbled queso because we’ve nearly blown through the package in the fridge. And since we try to limit grocery store runs, that’s on the board for next week’s trip.
We’re also out of cilantro, which I thought would be a hindrance for the salsa. But, then I remembered we have a big bag of radishes in the crisper, and why wouldn’t a little punch of heat make a good stand in for the bright cilantro? Wow. That’s a good salsa.
But let’s get to the star of the dish. The adobo chicken.
It has so many layers of flavor that it’s nearly impossible to describe. It has citrusy sweet heat, with a little tart vinegary bite.
I’m not going to fib and say this dish comes together in a snap.
It doesn’t. There are a few steps, but all of them are easy peasy.
And if you have all the ingredients in the house – or if you’re heading to the store – I can’t recommend this enough.
It’s nearly as good as this line:
“Do you have the Beatles White Album? Never mind. Just bring me a cup of hot fat, and the head of Alfredo Garcia while you’re at it.”
Chicken Adobo with Radish Salsa
2 guajillo peppers, seeds removed and roughly chopped
2 dried chipotle peppers, seeds removed and roughly chopped
1 cup chicken broth
1 medium navel or blood red orange, juiced
¼ white onion, roughly chopped
1 small shallot, roughly chopped
1 inch of achiote paste bar
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 ½ teaspoons hot smoked paprika
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 large (8 oz.) chicken breast
Adobo Chicken Instructions:
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Place the dried peppers in a medium bowl, and cover with boiling water. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and let steam for 15 minutes.
Using a slotted spoon, place the rehydrated peppers in a blender. Reserve the liquid.
Add ¼ cup of the reserved liquid, the broth, orange juice, onion, shallot, achiote, vinegar, cumin, oregano, paprika, and salt to the blender.
Process until smooth.
Place the chicken breast in a small Dutch oven or oven proof saucepan, approximately 6-inches in diameter with a lid.
Pour the adobo sauce over the chicken.
Bake covered for 20-25 minutes. Remove the cover and bake for an additional 15 minutes, or until the chicken registers 165 with a meat thermometer.
Remove the chicken, let cool slightly, and shred with two forks. Reserve.
Cook the sauce over medium heat for 10-15 minutes, or until the sauce is thickened and coats the back of a spoon.
Add the chicken back to the pot, and warm through.
Radish Salsa Ingredients:
1 large plum tomato, roughly chopped
2 large radishes, roughly chopped
1 medium shallot, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon hot smoked paprika
Place all the ingredients in a blender or mini-food processor and process until smooth.
Serve the chicken on tortillas and top with salsa.
(Photos by Launie Kettler)