Cuban-Style Grilled Chicken in Adobo

March 29, 2021
5 Ratings
Photo by Tom Hirschfeld
  • Serves 4
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

What You'll Need
  • 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.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • LeBec Fin
    LeBec Fin
  • thirschfeld
  • Carlos R. Rodriguez
    Carlos R. Rodriguez
  • AlainaMK

12 Reviews

AlainaMK April 5, 2015
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?
thirschfeld April 7, 2015
both would be fine but I would just use anchos
AlainaMK April 7, 2015
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!
Sinamen78 October 21, 2019
Penzey’s Spices sells them. You can order online. They have wonderful spices.
katemcgill January 12, 2015
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!
plainhomecook August 8, 2014
Tom, are these skinless chicken breasts? Surely not...
thirschfeld August 8, 2014
In the picture, yes they are but you could use either
plainhomecook August 8, 2014
Thanks so much Tom. Will try them for our party tomorrow night. Have a good weekend!
LeBec F. February 7, 2014
what a terrific recipe, tom. You continue to inspire me!
Rachel P. October 8, 2013
Thanks...sorry I am not a super experienced cook yet but I'm trying! Pretty funny though, a chicken lobe lol...
Rachel P. October 5, 2013
What the heck is a single lobe chicken breast?
Carlos R. October 8, 2013
from the ear lobe,you know?: ) single lobe probably means one piece of chicken breast.