Cuban-Style Grilled Chicken in Adobo

By • September 19, 2013 • 11 Comments

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Author Notes: This recipe always amazes me. It all comes together with such vibrant flavors. Serve it with saffron rice and some peas and you have a great meal. I even cook the rice on the grill. It adds a little smokey flavor to the rice which I like. The is adapted from the Fog City Diner.thirschfeld

Serves 4

The Adobo Marinade

  • 3 ancho chiles
  • 3 guajillo chiles
  • 1/2 cup reserved soaking water
  • Juice of one lime
  • Juice of one orange
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 2 teaspoons thyme
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seed, ground
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

To finish the dish

  • 4 single lobe chicken breasts
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 lime
  • Sour cream
  • Cilantro
  1. Cut the tops off the dried peppers and shake out the seeds into the trash can. Place the peppers into a bowl and cover them with hot water. Let them soak for two hours, making sure they stay submerged. Remove the peppers from the water and place them into the bowl of a food processor. Add a 1/2 cup of the soaking liquid to the bowl. Process until you have a pepper paste. Pass the paste through a strainer set over a bowl. You are removing the skins and seeds. Don't skip this step or you will be severely disappointed.
  2. Combine 3 tablespoons of the paste with the remaining marinade ingredients and mix to combine. Season it with a healthy pinch of salt and a grind or two of pepper.
  3. The marinade can easily be made a day or two in advance and stored in a jar in the fridge. The leftover pepper paste is great for enchiladas, black bean soup or chili. Store the paste in a jar in the the fridge. It holds for a long time.
  4. Pound out the chicken breasts so they are of an even thickness, then place the chicken into a casserole. Use half the marinade and coat the pieces of chicken. Let them marinate for two hours. Be sure to flip them after an hour.
  5. While the chicken marinates, make the lime pickled onions by tossing the red onion rings with the lime juice. Let them sit for at least 20 minutes.
  6. Remove the chicken from the marinade. Place the marinade into a small sauce pan and heat it over low heat. Heat the marinade to a brisk simmer.
  7. Fire up the grill to medium-high heat. Grill the chicken breast. Cook them till done. Serve on rice, spoon the hot marinade over the chicken, top with sour cream, then pickled onions, and garnish with cilantro.
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Comments (11) Questions (1)


12 days ago AlainaMK

I can't find dried guajillos anywhere! I've got dried ancho and dried chipotle... will the marinade suffer terribly if I substitute the guajillo, or cut it all together?


11 days ago thirschfeld

both would be fine but I would just use anchos


11 days ago AlainaMK

Thank you! I made it with five dried anchos and tossed in a chipotle for the heck of it. It turned out fabulous! I really loved the lime-pickled onions. And I've got a whole extra jar of the marinade for another meal. Great recipe, as always, Tom. Thank you!


3 months ago katemcgill

Excellent!! I made this with pulled pork and ate on a warm flour tortilla with slaw and natural yogurt - I will make it again, thank you!


8 months ago plainhomecook

Tom, are these skinless chicken breasts? Surely not...


8 months ago thirschfeld

In the picture, yes they are but you could use either


8 months ago plainhomecook

Thanks so much Tom. Will try them for our party tomorrow night. Have a good weekend!


about 1 year ago LE BEC FIN

what a terrific recipe, tom. You continue to inspire me!


over 1 year ago Rachel Patrick

Thanks...sorry I am not a super experienced cook yet but I'm trying! Pretty funny though, a chicken lobe lol...


over 1 year ago Rachel Patrick

What the heck is a single lobe chicken breast?


over 1 year ago Carlos R. Rodriguez

from the ear lobe,you know?: ) single lobe probably means one piece of chicken breast.