Adobo-marinated chicken tacos

Neil Perry
Neil Perry's adobo-marinated chicken tacos.
Neil Perry's adobo-marinated chicken tacos. Photo: William Meppem

Feel like a Mexican fiesta? Simply marinate the meat, fire up the grill, and make sure the side serves are fresh, plentiful and spicy hot.


4 dried guajillo chillies, split open and deseeded

4 dried ancho chillies, split open and deseeded

2 tsp ginger, chopped and peeled

1 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1 1/2 tsp sea salt

1kg chicken thigh fillets

2 tbsp olive or vegetable oil

To serve

16 corn tortillas

fresh, small green or red chillies, finely chopped

white onion, finely sliced into rings

coriander, chopped

avocado, cut into pieces

lime wedges


Combine the chillies in a large bowl and add enough water to cover. Soak them until they're soft (about 30 minutes) then drain.

Blend the soaked chillies with the ginger, cumin, pepper, salt, and 1/2 cup water in a blender until the mixture is very smooth.

Place the chicken in a bowl, add 1/2 cup of the chilli purée and rub it onto the chicken until the meat is well coated. Marinate in the fridge for a few hours.

Heat grill, griddle or large skillet over a medium heat. Add a thin sheen of oil to the grill grates or pan. Season the marinated thigh fillets with salt.

Cook, in batches if necessary, for about 8 to 10 minutes, turning them once, until they are browned on both sides and just cooked through. Let the chicken rest for a few minutes, then slice it into strips for the tacos.

Serve the chicken in warmed tortillas, topped with chillies, white onion, coriander, avocado and lime wedges.

Hot tips

  • Don't be tempted to add more water to the adobo marinade - you want the purée to be as thick as possible.
  • You may need to pulse or prod the marinades with a spoon to help them blend.
  • A salsa made with roast tomatoes and mixed with chipotle chilli is a great accompaniment to this dish, as is a salad of coriander, shaved cabbage and spring onion.