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girls' night

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
Salt
Vegetable oil
18 fresh corn tortillas
Lime wedges
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.

GG tip
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.

 
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