Adobo-Rubbed Chicken


  1. Blend chiles, cinnamon stick, cloves, cumin, garlic, salt, vinegar and water together until smooth.
  2. Season the chicken generously with salt.
  3. Center an avocado leaf over one piece of parchment paper.
  4. Center a chicken leg, skin side down over the leaf.
  5. Spread about ½ cup of the adobo over the chicken, coating the top and sides well and letting it drip down onto the parchment.
  6. Bring the two long sides of the parchment up over the chicken so they meet, making a long rectangle with two open ends.
  7. Holding the two long sides together firmly with one hand, gather first one open end over the chicken and then the other end, to create a neat little packet.
  8. Both open ends should be completely closed in the process, to keep all the juices and flavor in the packet.
  9. Tie the packet securely with a length of twine.
  10. Repeat with the remaining chicken and adobe.
  11. The packages can be made up to a day in advance and refrigerated. Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before cooking.
  12. To cook, fill a large pot that has a steamer insert with 2 inches of water (or to just below the bottom of the steamer insert).
  13. Bring to a boil over high heat.
  14. Arrange the packets in the steamer insert in as even a layer as possible. Ideally there will be some space between the packets, but it’s ok if they are touching.
  15. Set the steamer of the boiling water, cover and cook until the chicken is tender enough to fall from the bone – about 2 hours. (The only sure way to check if the chicken is done is to remove one of the bundles, untie it and test the tenderness of the chicken with a fork. Be prepared with a fresh piece of string to retie the bundle if necessary).
  16. Check the water occasionally and top it up with some hot water if necessary.
  17. Using tongs, transfer each packet to a shallow bowl. Let each person snip the string to untie the packet and let the fragrant steam escape, then simply and carefully slide the parchment out from under the chicken, leaving the chicken in the bowl with its delicious juices.


  • 6 avocado, leaves , large
  • 6 chicken, leg(s), whole, some backbone still attached, washed and drie
  • 8 chile(s), de arbol, with/without seeds, wiped clean, well toasted
  • 8 chile(s), guajillos, wiped clean, stemmed, seeded, toasted lightly
  • 1 2 inch piece cinnamon, stick, Mexican
  • 8 cloves
  • 2 tsp. cumin, seeds , scant
  • 6 pieces parchment paper, 15x20 inches
  • 10 large Peak Fresh Produce® Garlic, Clove(s)
  • 1 Tbsp. salt, plus additional to taste
  • 4 Tbsp. vinegar, cider
  • 1 Cup water