Nate came home one day saying how good the adobo chicken at work is, so I started searching for recipes. Oh my, there are so many recipes and they are all so different from one another…so I just picked one that sounded good and went for it. And the result was delicious! Different than what Nate had at work, but delicious just the same!
Before I get to the recipe, I have to talk about the tortillas we used with our chicken. Tortilla Land sent me some of their uncooked corn tortillas to try out. I’m a tough corn tortilla critic and, I have to say, I’m so glad Tortilla Land sent me their corn tortillas. They are wonderful! They are not dry at all and don’t fall apart or break, which is what you normally get with store bought corn tortillas. I saw Tortilla Land at Costco just this week, so keep an eye out next time you go!
Okay, back to annatto seed and adobo chicken. I used a recipe from About.com, but I’ve changed it up and written it out for you below. I know the recipe looks long, but honestly, this was an easy recipe, so don’t be scared!
The sweet but spicy sauce is oh so yummy, and grilled chicken is always the best. We served the chicken with tortillas, tomatoes and avocado. You could serve over rice if you like (which I think is how it’s generally served), or just eat straight up!
- 4 chicken breasts (I actually used 3 drumsticks and 3 boneless thighs b/c that’s what I had on hand!)
- Salt (pref. kosher)
- 1/2 Tbsp. annatto (achiote) seeds
- 1 Tbsp. orange juice
- 4 Tbsp. white vinegar
- 1 tsp. cayenne
- 1 tsp. black pepper
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1/3 of the rub above
- 1 cup orange juice
- 2 Tbsp. vegetable or canola oil
- 1 tsp. basil
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- a splash or two of white vinegar
- a few shakes of cayenne pepper
- a few shakes of black pepper
- about 1 tsp cornstarch, whisked with some cool water
Cover annatto seeds with boiling water. Cover and let sit overnight.
Drain seeds. Place seeds along with the rest of the “Rub” ingredients in a food processor. Grind until you have a coarse paste, without too many large pieces of seed left.
Place chicken in a casserole dish and sprinkle all over with kosher salt (or regular salt if that’s what you have). Cover pieces with about two-thirds of the achiote rub. (Note on the picture below: I just sprinkled salt and pepper over a few extra pieces of chicken for my girls, so they would be less spicy – they still ate the sauce, but the chicken had less heat for their younger palettes.) Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerator for a few hours.
Preheat grill. Grill chicken about 10 minutes on each side over a medium flame or until done. (Click here with even better directions for grilling chicken pieces – this follows closely to what Nate did over a charcoal grill, he’s smart like that.)
To make the sauce, mix all the sauce ingredients (except the cornstarch) and bring to a boil, then simmer for 5-10 minutes. Add the cornstarch mixture during the simmer.
Pour sauce over grilled chicken and enjoy!
By the way, if anyone out there DOES have an adobo chicken recipe they love, please share! Would love to try it out!