Start to Finish: 45 Minutes | Servings: 4
Chilorio, a pulled pork from the Mexican state of Sinaloa, inspired this dish. But instead of the traditional pork shoulder, we used faster-cooking chicken thighs. Fresh orange juice amplified the fruity notes of the guajillo chilies while giving the sauce a natural sweetness; a little vinegar and honey helped balance the flavors. Serve the chicken with Mexican rice or tortillas, or use it as a filling for tacos. Diced white onion, sliced radishes and/or crumbled queso fresco are excellent garnishes.
Don’t forget to trim any excess fat from the chicken thighs before cooking to prevent the dish from being greasy.
1 ounce guajillo chilies (5 medium), stemmed, seeded and torn into 1-inch pieces
1½ cups orange juice
5 medium garlic cloves, peeled
2 tablespoons white vinegar
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons honey
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed
In a 12-inch skillet over medium-high, toast the chilies, pressing with a wide metal spatula and flipping halfway through, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Transfer to a small bowl and pour in the juice; press on the chilies to submerge. Let stand until the chilies have softened, about 10 minutes. Set the skillet aside.
In a blender, combine the chilies and juice, garlic, vinegar, coriander, honey, oregano and 1 teaspoon salt. Puree until smooth, about 30 seconds. Pour the puree into the same skillet and bring to a boil over medium-high. Nestle the chicken into the sauce, cover and cook over medium-low, stirring and flipping the chicken halfway through, until a skewer inserted into the chicken meets no resistance, about 20 minutes.
Using tongs, transfer the chicken to a large plate and set aside until cool enough to handle, 10 to 15 minutes. Using 2 forks, shred into bite-size pieces. While the chicken cools, bring the sauce to a simmer over medium-high and cook, stirring, until thickened and reduced to 1 cup, about 10 minutes. Stir the shredded chicken into the sauce, then taste and season with salt.