Chicken Adovada


Here's a "low and slow" New Mexican chicken recipe inspired by Mexican carne adovada, featuring chicken thighs simmered in a deeply flavored chili sauce. Chicken is browned on one side only, for the Maillard reaction to add its flavors to the dish, and will finish cooking and take on a deep color as it simmers. Serve with soft corn tacos, crumbled cheese, cilantro, onion and lime slices. If you prefer other toppings, go ahead and enjoy them!

Prep Time:
45 mins
Cook Time:
1 hrs
Total Time:
1 hrs 45 mins


  • 4 dried pasilla chiles, stemmed and seeded

  • 4 dried ancho chilies, stemmed and seeded

  • 2 (14.5 ounce) cans low-sodium chicken broth

  • ½ cup frozen orange juice concentrate

  • 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar

  • 3 dried pitted dates

  • ¼ cup chipotle peppers in adobo sauce

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin

  • 2 teaspoons dried Mexican oregano

  • 3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into large pieces

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1 large onion, cut into 1/4-inch slices

  • 1 ½ tablespoons minced garlic

  • salt to taste

  • 8 (6 inch) corn tortillas

  • ¼ cup sliced red onion (Optional)

  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro (Optional)

  • ¼ cup crumbled cotija cheese (Optional)

  • 8 lime wedges, for garnish (Optional)


  1. Lightly toast peppers on the bare surface of a large Dutch oven over medium heat, stirring, until the peppers begin to have a toasted aroma, 2 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat immediately.

  2. Add chicken stock, orange juice concentrate, vinegar, dates, and chipotle peppers. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for about 15 minutes.

  3. Using a stick blender, puree the pepper mixture until smooth.

  4. Add bay leaves, cumin, and oregano to pepper sauce; leave sauce on low simmer while preparing chicken.

  5. Pat chicken dry with paper towels. Heat olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add in chicken pieces all at once; allow to cook undisturbed until browned, about 8 minutes. Add browned chicken to the pepper sauce.

  6. Cook onion slices in the same skillet until beginning to brown slightly, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds more.

  7. Add skillet contents to the chicken and pepper sauce. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer. Cover partially with a tilted lid to allow some liquid to evaporate. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until chicken is fall-apart tender, about 1 hour. Season to taste with salt.

  8. To serve, spoon into corn tortillas, and serve with sliced red onions, cilantro, cheese, and lime wedges.

Cook's Note:

If you use a regular blender, fill the blender halfway full with the hot pepper sauce; cover and hold lid down with a potholder. Pulse a few times before leaving on to blend. Repeat with the remaining sauce.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

395 Calories
11g Fat
36g Carbs
39g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 8
Calories 395
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 11g 14%
Saturated Fat 2g 12%
Cholesterol 143mg 48%
Sodium 251mg 11%
Total Carbohydrate 36g 13%
Dietary Fiber 6g 22%
Protein 39g
Potassium 961mg 20%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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