The Missus has noted that I really don't do many Mexican inspired dishes, so I figured why not do something for the grill on this lazy Sunday. A recent impulse buy at Northgate Market were some Guajillo Chilies, which are quite common in many recipes.
I decided to do something simple from Roberto Santibanez's cookbook, Truly Mexican. There's a recipe for a Guajillo based adobo that sounded like it would be great with chicken and there is indeed a recipe for grilled chicken using this sauce a few pages later in the book. As I usually would do, I initially followed the recipe, which means that several steps that I'd usually take were bypassed; I didn't use the chili soaking liquid for the sauce, nor did I toast the garlic like I'd usually do. When I got the sauce together I tasted it....and though the smokiness of the peppers came through, along with the mild tart-puckeriness, I ended up adjusting to our taste by adding a whole bulb of garlic and twice the amount of apple cider vinegar. The flavor was now more complex, but still lacked something......I ended up raiding the Missus's "healthy stash" and using some agave syrup to give it a bit more umph.... Guajillo's aren't especially hot, but don't get fooled there's a mild sneaky heat. The sauce came out a beautiful smokey red......looking like a good barbecue sauce......and with mild spice, smoke, and sweet, you could probably make one with a few adjustments.
The book says a two hour marinade is good enough, but I think more is warranted. Anyway, the chicken still came out nice and was topped with some of the extra sauce. The Missus is going to use the leftover sauce for shrimp, which I think will be quite good.
Adobo de Guajillo
12 Guajillo Chilies - each about 3 1/2/ - 5" long, wiped clean, stemmed, slit open with seeds and veins removed
1 cup water
4-8 cloves garlic
3 tsp apple cider vinegar
2 tsp sea salt
2 tsp white sugar
2 Tb agave syrup
1 tsp ground cumin
black pepper to taste
- heat a heavy skillet or griddle (I used my cast iron pan) over medium heat
- toast the chilies for a few minutes, pressing down frequently, turning several times until fragrant and the chilies have slight changed color and even blackened in a few spots.
- tear chilies in half and over with water, soak for 30 minutes
- after 30 minutes, drain the chilies
- place chilies along with 1/2 cup water and the rest of the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth
- add more water as sauce becomes too thick
- make sure to taste and adjust flavor
2 pound chicken thighs
1/2 cup Adobo de Guajillo
- mix all items together in a ziploc bag and marinate for at least 2 hours (I recommend more)
- Grill to your heart's content
I hope everyone had a great weekend!