Grilled Adobo-Marinated Chicken Tacos
Makes enough for 18 tacos
For the adobo:
4 dried guajillo chiles, wiped clean, stemmed, and seeded
3 to 4 dried chiles de árbol, wiped clean and stemmed, seeds remaining
6 large garlic cloves
1 tsp. cumin seeds
1 tsp. dried oregano (preferably Mexican), crumbled
1 pinch ground cloves, or 1–2 whole cloves
2 tbsp. cider vinegar
2½ lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
18 fresh corn tortillas
Chopped white onion
Chopped fresh cilantro
Shredded queso Chihuahua, mild cheddar, or Monterey Jack cheese
1. To make the adobo, heat a heavy, dry skillet over medium-low heat until hot but not smoking. Toast the guajillo chiles until they blister slightly, about 15 seconds per side. Transfer chiles to a bowl. Increase heat to medium and toast the chiles de árbol until lightly blackened. Transfer to the bowl with the guajillos and cover with hot water. If necessary, place a small plate in the bowl to keep the chiles submerged. Soak chiles until soft (about 1 hour, or up to overnight).
2. Drain chiles. Put both types of chiles, garlic, cumin, oregano, cloves, and vinegar in a blender (not a food processor), and blend at low speed until smooth. Scrape down sides as necessary, adding just enough water to the mixture to get it to blend—about ¼ cup total and no more than ½ cup. The adobo should be a thick paste, not loose like a sauce. Set aside. The adobo can be made up to 3 days in advance and stored, tightly covered, in the refrigerator.
3. Pound the chicken with a meat mallet to an even thickness of about ¼ inch. Rub with salt and put it in a shallow baking pan.
4. Pour the adobo over the chicken and rub the marinade into the chicken. Cover and let stand at room temperature for up to 1 hour, or refrigerate for up to 1 day. Bring to room temperature before continuing.
5. Heat a gas grill or a grill pan to medium-high heat. Lightly brush with oil.
6. Grill the chicken, turning once, until charred in places and cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove to a carving board, cover with foil, and let stand for 5 minutes.
7. Cut the chicken into ¼-inch slices, pile on a platter, and serve with fresh corn tortillas and other accompaniments as desired.
Look for dried guajillos, chiles de árbol, and Mexican oregano in the Mexican-food aisle of your supermarket, at markets, or by ordering online: You can try either melissaguerra.com or mexgrocer.com.