When I'm at a taqueria, it's hard to decide between the chicken with green sauce or with red sauce. Here's my version of the red sauce. It's great on a crispy tortilla and topped with the usual suspects.

Recipe Summary

prep:
15 mins
cook:
1 hr 15 mins
total:
1 hr 30 mins
Servings:
6
Yield:
6 servings
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Ingredients

6
Original recipe yields 6 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Place chicken thighs, garlic cloves, halved onion, salt, oregano, water, and chicken stock, and water in a large pot. Bring to a simmer over high heat; reduce to medium-low. Simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.

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  • Transfer onion halves to a bowl with a slotted spoon; transfer chicken thighs to a separate bowl.

  • Pour broth through a strainer into a large bowl.

  • Heat olive oil in the same pot over medium heat. Add diced onions and cook until beginning to soften, about 4 minutes. Transfer strained liquid to onions. Bring mixture to a boil over high heat; turn heat to medium-low; reduce broth by about half, 15 to 20 minutes.

  • Transfer reserved boiled onions to a blender. Add chipotle peppers and the adobo sauce. Swirl a bit of water in the can and add to the blender. Add tomatoes. Cover blender with the lid. Pulse on and off until mixture is partially blended. Blend on medium speed until smooth, 1 or 2 minutes. Transfer to pot with broth and onions.

  • Increase heat to medium-high. Simmer 15 minutes or so, depending on how thick you want the sauce. Reduce heat to medium-low.

  • Tear chicken into bite-size pieces and add to the pot. Cook another 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a serving dish; garnish with crumbled cotija cheese and cilantro.

Chef's Notes:

You can substitute 3 1/2 cups of any fresh or canned tomato product for the (28 ounce) can San Marzano tomatoes.

Can be used on tostadas or in burritos, quesadillas, flautas, or tacos.

Top with the usual suspects like shredded cheese, chopped green onions, sour cream, etc.

Nutrition Facts

483 calories; protein 38.8g 78% DV; carbohydrates 13.6g 4% DV; fat 29.5g 45% DV; cholesterol 136.5mg 46% DV; sodium 1915.2mg 77% DV. Full Nutrition

Reviews (32)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
10/07/2017
Yum, the smell reminds me of wonderful times in Mexico. We love Chipolte peppers, but ONE and a half is plenty of spice for us. Spicy is great, but 7 oz would kill us! (I learned this the hard way in a different recipe) I strongly advise starting with one and doing taste tests to find your limit. Whenever I open a can to cook Mexican foods, I spoon one out with some of the sauce and freeze the rest to use. I have forms for my taco salad shells and bake after painting with a little olive oil at 400 degrees, for 10-12 minutes. You could probably make them out of foil too. I hope Chef John gives some pointers for making great salad shells in one of his next videos! Read More
(8)
45 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 39
  • 4 star values: 5
  • 3 star values: 1
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
10/06/2017
Yum, the smell reminds me of wonderful times in Mexico. We love Chipolte peppers, but ONE and a half is plenty of spice for us. Spicy is great, but 7 oz would kill us! (I learned this the hard way in a different recipe) I strongly advise starting with one and doing taste tests to find your limit. Whenever I open a can to cook Mexican foods, I spoon one out with some of the sauce and freeze the rest to use. I have forms for my taco salad shells and bake after painting with a little olive oil at 400 degrees, for 10-12 minutes. You could probably make them out of foil too. I hope Chef John gives some pointers for making great salad shells in one of his next videos! Read More
(8)
Rating: 5 stars
05/13/2018
Excellent recipe! We made it as written and would caution that it is very spicy. If you're using the recipe in burritos as we did, it's perfect as the other ingredients mellow out the heat. If I were making it for tacos or another recipe that it was more front and center, I would reduce the amount of peppers by 1 or 2. All that being said, we made burritos with rice, beans and cheese and then topped each one with a bit of the sauce and some more cheese and tossed them under the broiler for a minute and it was truly amazing. Served it with a side of shredded lettuce, tomato, onions and fresh guacamole and garnished with fresh cilantro and cotija cheese . Far better than anything you can get at a restaurant. Read More
(7)
Rating: 5 stars
11/21/2017
I'm not a big fan of chipotle peppers - but this recipe made me change my mind about that!! I made enchiladas with them and no one could get enough of them. I like that the recipe is pretty forgiving - if you cook the chicken too long it doesn't really matter because it's in a wonderful sauce that infuses the meat and keeps it moist. Read More
(3)
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Rating: 5 stars
09/08/2018
Super tasty! A little time consuming but not hard. Made a LOT of chicken way more than 6 servings I d say! I used one pound of drumsticks with two pounds of thighs. Read More
(1)
Rating: 4 stars
01/08/2018
Wonderful!! I only used 2 chipotle peppers rather than the entire can and it was perfect! Even my picky 12 yr old loved it...after he added a ton of lettuce to cool it down. Read More
(1)
Rating: 5 stars
09/19/2018
I followed this recipe except I halved it because of the reviews on the large portions. I also used chicken breast. It did turn out spicy but super delicious with some avocado cheese and sour cream! I will definitely make this again. I can imagine the leftovers being good in quesadillas taco salads burritos enchiladas anything! Read More
(1)
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Rating: 5 stars
02/16/2018
Sooo delicious. I served it as a taco salad and topped it with cilantro cotija cheese and a lime wedge. I followed the recipe exactly including using the whole can of chipotle peppers and while it had a nice kick I didn't think it was overwhelmingly spicy. This dish is so flavorful and I would not hesitate to make it again. Read More
(1)
Rating: 5 stars
08/30/2018
I made this a few weeks ago and I'm getting ready to make it again this weekend. It was amazingly delicious. I first made the sauce in the blender with the entire can of chipotle peppers but when I tasted it directly from the blender I thought it was way too spicy. So I poured down half of it and added more tomatoes and it was still very spicy but more bearable. Even my son who refuses to eat chicken (only eats beef pork and seafood. I told him it was pork and confessed it was chicken after he ate it) loved it. We made tacos. I will make this often! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
09/19/2018
Didn t expect to like this since I didn t appreciate the flavor while cooking. In the end the flavor was perfect for our taco Tuesday. I d say I almost followed the recipe except I deseeded my chipotles only had white onion on hand doubled the oregano and I ended up adding some cornstarch to thicken the sauce. I also cut time by using my instant pot my chicken went in frozen for 20 mins. Every picky person (I usually make multiple meals) in my home complemented this. We didn t find this to be too spicy after removing the seeds. I have a 9yo and a FIL w/heartburn issues and I got no complaints. Although we added sour cream lettuce cilantro cheddar and Monterrey cheese to our tacos. That may have reduced the heat. Read More