As for butter versus margarine, I trust cows more than chemists. ~Joan Gussow

How to Cook a Whole Chicken a la Adriana

I was out of homemade chicken broth, so I thought it was time to buy a whole chicken at the SFC farmers mkt. Of course, you make the broth from the left-over bones and whatnot, so I had to figure out what I was going to do with all that meat. And most people probably don’t have this dilemma, but because I eat meat so infrequently and because I live alone, I had to put some thought into what to do with the meat and how to do it.

I decided I wanted to make chicken with a Mexican touch. I (literally) turned to my co-worker, Adriana, a verified Mexican who makes wonderful food, for some ideas. And thus was born: Chicken a la Adriana.


  • 1 whole chicken, broken down into pieces
  • 6 ancho chiles
  • 3 guajillo chiles
  • 6 garlic cloves


  1. Remove the stems from the chiles and shake out the seeds. Discard or compost seeds. Place the chiles in a bowl and pour enough boiling hot water to cover them. Let soak for 20 minutes.
  2. Wash your hands because you will have chile residue on your hands. However, due to the baking process, this dish is not spicy.
  3. Cut the chicken into parts. You may want to consult a video if you are a novice (like me).
  4. Save the neck and back for broth and set aside.
  5. Place the breast, leg, thighs, and anything else in a gallon ziplock bag. Place in refrigerator.
  6. Put soaked chiles and 6 cloves of garlic into blender with a little bit of the chile-soaking water (enough so that it will blend).
  7. Blend chiles and garlic until completely smooth.
  8. Pour sauce over chicken in ziplock bag. Make sure all chicken parts are covered with the sauce. Close bag.
  9. Place in refrigerator and let marinate for 30 minutes.
  10. Meanwhile, pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
  11. Lightly grease 9 x 13 baking pan. Place marinated chicken pieces into baking pan and a cup or two of the marinade.
  12. Bake covered for 1 hour, or until chicken is baked through.
  13. Serve as whole pieces or cut chicken pieces up for use in tacos or burritos.


  • The dried chiles can be purchased at any Mexican grocery store. I purchased mine at Fiesta here in Austin.
  • Anchos are actually dried poblanos (the traditional chile relleno pepper) and guajillos are dried mirasol chiles. Most good Mexican cookbooks have an index of chiles which is very helpful!
  • Again, this dish is not spicy, so don’t be afraid of cooking with chiles!

Dried ancho and guajillo chiles

Whole chicken freshly cut up

Back and neck packaged up to be frozen for chicken broth

Peppers soaking

Pureed pepper and galic sauce

Ready to marinate

Ready to go into the oven

Chicken a la Adriana is done!

Chicken a la Adriana tacos w/ homemade mango salsa and arugula from my garden


3 responses

  1. Alice

    Looks great. I can almost smell the chilies.

    April 15, 2011 at 10:51 pm

  2. Heather

    This looks like a good recipe – Thank you

    April 16, 2011 at 2:31 pm

  3. Pingback: Menu for Week of 5/9 « joyfulinthekitchengarden

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