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Chicken Al Pastor

Chicken Al Pastor
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Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Active Time: 30 minutes

Marinate Time: 8 hours

Stand Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 10 hours 10 minutes

Servings: 10



Four dried guajillo chiles stemmed and seeded

2 tbsp. achiote paste

Six large cloves of garlic peeled

1 (7 oz.) can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, drained

One ⅓ cup finely chopped onion, divided

⅔ cup orange juice

3 tbsp. apple cider vinegar

3 tbsp. olive oil

1 tbsp. ground cumin

1 tbsp. light brown sugar

1 tsp. kosher salt

3 lb skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut in half

8 (12-inch) jumbo wooden skewers

One sizeable fresh pineapple – peeled, cored, and sliced

20 (6-inch) corn tortillas

¼ cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro



A skillet should be heated to medium-high. Add the dried chiles and heat, stirring regularly, for 3 to 5 minutes or until they are roasted and blistered. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat with 1 cup of water added to cover the chilies. About 5 minutes of covered, new cooking should soften the food. Flow freely.

Combine the chipotles, achiote, chilies, and garlic. Blend 1/3 cup onion, orange juice, vinegar, oil, cumin, brown sugar, and salt for about 30 seconds or until smooth. When not in use, cover and refrigerate the reserved 1/2 cup marinade.

Chicken should be added to the shallow dish or sizable resealable plastic bag with the remaining marinade and coated evenly. Wrap the chicken in plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. In a shallow dish, place the wooden skewers. Add water to cover by 1 inch. While the chicken marinates, allow it to stand at room temperature.

The oven should be preheated to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). The oven rack should be 8 inches from the heating element. Aluminum foil should line a small roasting pan or a 13 x 9-inch baking dish.

Leaving one 1/2-inch space from the end of the skewer, thread one pineapple slice onto two skewers and pierce through the center core. Stack 5 to 6 pieces of marinated chicken on top of one portion of pineapple on a thread. Once all the chicken pieces and pineapple slices have been utilized, repeat the process, ending with a pineapple slice to create four stacks. Brush any leftover marinade from the chicken. Place the stacked skewers in the prepared pan, resting the ends of the skewers on the edge of the pan to prevent the chicken from touching the pan’s bottom.

Bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven. Brush the tops of the skewers with the leftover 1/2 cup marinade. Bake for 30 minutes until the chicken is no longer pink in the center, and the juices are clear. A center-inserted instant-read thermometer should register 160 degrees F (71 degrees C). Turn the oven’s temperature to broil; broil for 3 to 5 minutes or until golden and crispy. After flipping, broil for 3 to 5 minutes or until browned and crispy. The center should register at least 165 degrees F (74 degrees C) on an instant-read thermometer. Observe for ten minutes.

In the interim, warm a sizable skillet over high heat. Tortillas should be added two at a time and cooked for one to two minutes per side, rotating once, until heated through and beginning to brown in areas. The remaining tortillas, and repeat. Cut the chicken and pineapple from the skewers, then lay them on a chopping board. Heat tortillas, then divide chicken and pineapple among them. Sprinkle remaining onion and cilantro on top.

Chicken Al Pastor
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