Try this recipe for grilled chicken with adobo sauce, then check out our chicken tinga, chicken fajitas, chicken enchiladas, chicken tacos and more Mexican-style recipes.


  • 4 dried chipotle chillies
  • 8-10 tomatoes
  • 75ml apple cider vinegar
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp soft light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 4 chicken legs
  • salad, to serve


  • STEP 1

    Put the chipotle chillies in a bowl, cover with enough just-boiled water to cover, and leave for 30 minutes to rehydrate. Remove, reserving the soaking water, and remove the seeds. Put all of the ingredients, except the chicken, plus 1 tsp of salt, into a blender or food processor, and add the soaking water and blend until completely smooth. Pour into a pan and bring to a boil. Let it reduce for 15-20 minutes, until it is the consistency of ketchup – stir every 5 minutes to stop it sticking. Take off the heat and leave to cool, then pour into a sterilised jar. It will keep for a month in the fridge.

  • STEP 2

    This is the perfect marinade for meat before putting it on the BBQ or cooking in the oven. Put the chicken legs in a bowl with enough adobo to coat them, then massage well and chill for at least an hour but preferably overnight.

  • STEP 3

    Grill the chicken on the BBQ until cooked through, brushing with plenty of adobo as it cooks, or heat the oven to 200C/fan 180C/ gas 6 and roast the chicken for 40-45 minutes until caramelised and cooked through, brushing with sauce every 10-15 minutes. Serve with a salad.

  • STEP 4

    Alternatively, for a vegan take on tacos al pastor, thinly slice some celeriac and brush some adobo on each slice. Layer the slices on a skewer, lay flat on a roasting tin and cook at 200C/ fan 180C/gas 6 for 1 hour until caramelised and the celeriac is meltingly tender. Remove, slice and serve on corn tortillas.


Liam Barker is an experienced chef who has previously worked at Corrigan’s Mayfair, known for bold British cooking.


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