Mexican Adobo Chicken With Potatoes

Mexican adobo chicken is a traditional and authentic dish featuring bold flavors and wonderful aromas. A hearty stew made with Mexican chiles and spices.

Mexican Adobo Chicken.

About the recipe

The Mexican adobo chicken recipe is so simple to make. The chicken meat is first marinated in a fragrant adobo sauce and then braised slowly with potatoes.

The result is a flavored and tender meat, well seasoned with spices and the amazing touch of Mexican chilies that adds a mild spicy taste.

In Mexico, this dish is commonly offered at fondas, a home restaurant where you get lunch served in three ‘tiempos’ (courses) that consists of an entree, normally a soup, a main dish with a side, and dessert.

Is often made also at home, especially for Sunday lunch at grandma’s or for special occasions like birthdays.

Mexican adobo chicken in a Talavera dish with various side dishes.

What Is Adobo?

Adobo is a cooking technique originated in Spain that was first learned from the Arabs, this technique refers to the immersion of raw food (usually meat) in a sauce prepared with spices and vinegar. 

When adobos were brought to Mexico they were adapted to local ingredients, especially chilies like Ancho, Guajillo, and Pasilla.

This salsa in Mexico varies from region to region using mostly local ingredients that are available in that area and is used to make traditional recipes like birria, adobada tacos, or costillas de puerco en adobo (pork in adobo sauce).

If you want to know more about this particular salsa, head over and check out How to Make Mexican Adobo and all tips for the traditional recipe.

Mexican Adobo Chicken Recipe

Step 1 – Make The Adobo Sauce:

Cut the chiles in half lengthwise and discard seeds and veins. Place them into a bowl and cover with hot water. Let chilies soak for 20 minutes or until the water has cooled down.

Soaked chiles for Mexican chicken adobo sauce.

Drain chilies and place them in a blender with onions, garlic cloves, bay leaves, peppercorns, cumin seeds, oregano, and salt. Pour in vinegar and 1 cup of water, then blend until you’ll have a smooth sauce.

Mexican chicken adobo preparation of sauce. Collage with two photos.

Step 2 – Marinate the chicken:

Place chicken in a bowl, add the sauce you just made, and turn to coat evenly. Cover the bowl and place it in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours, but preferably overnight.

Chicken marinade with adobo sauce in a bowl.

Step 3 – Cook the chicken:

Heat the in a braiser pan over medium heat. Add the chicken thighs and sear both sides until lightly browned (4-5 minutes per side).

Chicken adobo seared in a pan.

Add the remaining marinade (if any) and then pour over 1 1/2 cups of water, just to slightly cover the chicken.

Mexican chicken adobo slightly covered with water.

Bring to a boil then set the heat to low and simmer for 45 minutes, turning the chicken twice in between.

Chicken adobo after 45 minutes of cooking.

Add potatoes to the pan making sure they are slightly covered with the adobo sauce. Cover and cook for about 15 minutes or until the potatoes are fork-tender.

Mexican chicken adobo and potatoes cooked in a pan.

Adjust salt to taste and serve this Mexican chicken adobo with rice, over noodles, or with a side of green salad.

Useful Notes

  • The longer you marinate the chicken, the more flavorful will be.
  • If you don’t have all types of chilies available, is ok, you can use only two types, just don’t skip the guajillo chiles since those are essential to add also color and texture.
  • The final sauce should be thick and not watery, so keep an eye while cooking the chicken and if you see there’s too much liquid, just uncover the pan and allow the liquid to evaporate a bit.
  • For a smoother sauce, strain it before adding it to the chicken.
  • For a depth of flavor, toast the chilies slightly in a skillet before soaking them in water.
  • Always make sure to handle raw chicken properly and prevent cross-contamination.

Super Tip: MAKE IT IN THE OVEN

Mexican adobo chicken is often made in the oven, especially when cooking for a crowd. And you don’t even need to sear the chicken before. Just follow the steps below:

  • Use 1/3 less sauce than the recipe calls.
  • After the chicken is marinated (you can even use a baking dish to marinate your chicken), add 1 cup of water and pop it in the preheated oven to 360°F/180°C.
  • Cook for 40 minutes, uncovered, and baste the chicken with the sauce every 20 minutes.
  • Add potatoes and keep baking until everything is cooked through.

How To Serve

Chicken adobo is perfect to serve for dinner or special lunch. Here are some sides and accompaniments that would go perfect with this Mexican dish:

  • Corn Tortillas. Naturally gluten-free and easy to make with only 2 ingredients.
  • Flour Tortillas. They take a little bit longer to make, but they are delicious!
  • Bolillos. Mexican dinner rolls are perfect to mop up until the last drop of sauce on your plate.
  • Rice. Either arroz rojo or arroz blanco are perfect to serve with chicken adobo.
  • Refried Beans. Another classic, frijoles refritos are also easy and quick to make.
  • Pickled Red Onions. They are tangy and go perfect with this type of dish.
  • Guacamole. You will never go wrong with this creamy and delicious side.
Mexican adobo chicken served in a plate topped with pickled onions and a side of Spanish rice.

To refresh your mouth of the heat and spice, what about some Mexican drinks? Here are our recommendations:

How To Store And Reheat

Mexican adobo chicken is the perfect prep meal for busy days. The recipe leftovers store nicely in:

Fridge. Place leftovers in an airtight glass container, and store for up to 5 days. Glass containers keep the best flavors and aromas in certain dishes like this one.

Freezer. Use zip bags or freezer-proof containers and store them for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight before reheating.

Reheating. Place the dish in a pan and add a splash of water. Reheat over medium heat stirring carefully from time to time. Or use the microwave and reheat in 1-minute intervals.

Watch How To Make It

Mexican adobo chicken recipe.

Mexican Adobo Chicken With Potatoes

author Maricruz
6
Mexican adobo chicken is a delicious and very simple dish that can be cook in one pan. The chicken meat is first marinated in a fragrant adobo sauce then braised slowly with potatoes.
prep 20 minutes
cook 1 hour
Resting time 12 hours
total 13 hours 20 minutes

Ingredients 

  • 6 chicken thighs (skinless)
  • 1 lb potatoes (peeled and cut into cubes)
  • 3 Tbsp oil
  • Sal

For the Adobo sauce:

  • 3 dry guajillo chillies (stems and seeds removed)
  • 1 ancho pepper (stems and seeds removed)
  • 1 pasilla pepper (stems and seeds removed )
  • ¼ cup white vinegar
  • ½ medium onion
  • 2 garlic cloves (peeled)
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 Tbsp dry oregano
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 Tbsp salt

Instructions
 

  • Cut the chiles in half lengthwise and discard seeds and veins.
  • Place them into a bowl and cover with hot water. Let chilies soak for 20 minutes.
  • Place chilies and spices into a blender, add ½ cup of soaking water and blend until smooth.
  • Place chicken into a large bowl, add sauce and mix to coat evenly.
  • Cover the bowl and place it in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours, but preferably overnight.
  • Heat oil/lard in a braiser pan over medium heat. Add the chicken thighs and sear both sides until lightly browned (about 5 minutes).
  • Pour one cup of water or chicken stock and add a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil then lower the heat to the minimum.
  • Bring to a simmer and cook for 45 minutes over medium heat, turning the chicken twice in between.
  • Add potatoes and season with salt. Cook for about 15 minutes mixing carefully from time to time until potatoes are nicely tender.
  • Serve with rice or salad on the side.

Notes

  • The longer you marinate the chicken, the more flavorful will be.
  • If you don’t have all types of chilies available, is ok, you can use only two types, just don’t skip the guajillo chiles since those are essential to add also color and texture.
  • The final sauce should be thick and not watery, so keep an eye while cooking the chicken and if you see there’s too much liquid, just uncover the pan and allow the liquid to evaporate a bit.
  • For a smoother sauce, strain it before adding it to the chicken.
  • For a depth of flavor, toast the chilies slightly in a skillet before soaking them in water.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 407kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 12g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 111mg | Sodium: 1264mg | Potassium: 754mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 2536IU | Vitamin C: 18mg | Calcium: 45mg | Iron: 2mg
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FAQ

Is chicken adobo spicy?

Guajillo, Ancho, and Pasilla chiles are considered mild to medium spicy. Removing the seeds and veins from the chilies can tone down the spiciness though.

Can I make it spicer?

Yes. Add two or three (or as much as you handle) arbol chile peppers along with the other chiles to soak and blend.

Where can I buy Mexican chiles?

Amazon is a great place to find most of them, or you can also try at the international aisle of some local supermarkets.

Can I use chicken breasts?

Yes, they will cook faster so take in mind that.

Can I use chicken stock?

Yes, you can sub water with chicken stock. However, there’s no need for the extra calories, since the spices add all the flavor needed for this Mexican adobo chicken.

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Recipe Rating




One Comment

  1. 5 stars
    The recipe looks amazing and is even better. I made it some days ago and wanted to come here and tell you that it was a total hit. The spices, the heat, the wonderful aromas of the adobo and the chicken meat so tender. It has become one of my favorite recipes ever!