Chicken Adovada

In the vibrant tapestry of Mexican cuisine, Chicken Adovada stands out as a true fiesta for the palate. This dish, rooted in the rich culinary traditions of New Mexico, combines tender chicken with a smoky, spicy red chile sauce that dances on your taste buds. In this article, we’ll dive deep into the world of Chicken Adovada, uncovering the secrets to its savory allure and exploring how to recreate this mouthwatering masterpiece in your own kitchen.

Ingredients: The Art of Spice and Succulence

For the Chicken:

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, the canvas for flavor
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, for searing
  • Salt and pepper, to season the chicken

For the Adovada Sauce:

  • 4 dried New Mexico red chiles, a smoky and fruity foundation
  • 2 cups hot water, for rehydrating the chiles
  • 4 cloves garlic, adding aromatic depth
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano, a fragrant touch
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin, a warm and earthy spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander, for a citrusy nuance
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, an unexpected twist
  • Salt, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, for sautéing
  • 1 cup chicken broth, for a savory infusion

Instructions: Crafting Your Chicken Adovada Fiesta

1. Prepare the Chiles:

  • Begin your culinary journey by preparing the dried New Mexico red chiles. Remove the stems and seeds from the chiles, ensuring they are deseeded as much as possible.

2. Rehydrate the Chiles:

  • In a saucepan, bring the hot water to a gentle simmer. Add the deseeded chiles to the simmering water and remove the pan from heat. Allow the chiles to soak and rehydrate for about 20-30 minutes until they become soft and pliable.

3. Create the Adovada Sauce:

  • Once the chiles have rehydrated, transfer them to a blender or food processor. Add garlic, dried oregano, ground cumin, ground coriander, ground cinnamon, and a pinch of salt. Blend until you achieve a smooth, vibrant red chile sauce.

4. Sauté and Simmer:

  • Heat two tablespoons of vegetable oil in a skillet or saucepan over medium heat. Pour in the red chile sauce and cook it, stirring continuously, for about 5-7 minutes. This allows the sauce to deepen in flavor and thicken slightly.
  • Add the chicken broth to the sauce, stirring to combine. Allow the sauce to simmer for another 5 minutes, ensuring it maintains a rich and velvety consistency.

5. Sear the Chicken:

  • While the sauce simmers, season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper. In a separate skillet, heat two tablespoons of vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Sear the chicken breasts on both sides until they are golden brown and cooked through, which typically takes about 5-7 minutes per side.

6. Combine and Simmer:

  • Once the chicken is seared to perfection, nestle it into the simmering Adovada sauce. Let the chicken and sauce mingle and simmer together for an additional 10-15 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld and the chicken to absorb the rich, smoky essence of the sauce.

7. Serve and Savor:

  • Your Chicken Adovada is now ready to be enjoyed. Serve it hot, with a ladle of the flavorful sauce drizzled over each chicken breast. Garnish with a sprinkle of fresh cilantro and perhaps a side of warm tortillas or rice to complete the fiesta.

Tips: Perfecting Your Chicken Adovada Fiesta

  • Adjust the level of spiciness in your Chicken Adovada by controlling the number of dried red chiles used. For milder flavor, remove the seeds from some of the chiles.
  • The sauce can be made in advance and refrigerated for convenience. Reheat it gently before serving.
  • Feel free to experiment with different cuts of chicken, such as bone-in thighs or drumsticks, for a unique twist on this classic dish.


Chicken Adovada is more than a dish; it’s a flavorful fiesta that celebrates the robust and smoky flavors of New Mexican cuisine. Each bite reveals tender, succulent chicken bathed in a rich, velvety red chile sauce that’s both spicy and aromatic. Whether enjoyed with tortillas, rice, or as the centerpiece of a Mexican-inspired feast, Chicken Adovada promises a culinary journey that will transport your taste buds to the heart of the Southwest. So, gather your ingredients, embrace the spice, and embark on a flavorful fiesta with Chicken Adovada. It’s a celebration of taste and tradition that will leave you craving more.

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