ADOBO MARINADE (1-1/2 cups)
4 dried guajillo chiles (2 ounces), wiped clean
3 dried ancho chiles (1-1/2 ounces), wiped clean
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
1 (1/2 inch) piece cinnamon stick, smashed
2 whole allspice
4 garlic cloves, smashed
1-1/2 teaspoons dried oregano, preferably Mexican
1-1/2 teaspoons thyme leaves
1/3 cup cider vinegar
3 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1. Slit chiles lengthwise, then stem and seed. Heat a large heavy skillet (not nonstick) over medium heat until hot, then toast chiles in batches, opening them flat, turning and pressing with tongs, until more pliable and slightly changed in color, about 30 seconds per batch.
2. Transfer to a bowl and cover chiles with boiling hot water, then soak until softened, about 15 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, toast spices in a small, heavy skillet over medium low heat, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 3 minutes.
4. Drain chiles, discarding liquid, and puree in a blender with spices, garlic, herbs, vinegar, water, oil and 2 teaspoons salt until very smooth, about 1 minute. (Rick Bayless of Chicago’s Frontera Grill says that adobo should be “thinnish and runny, but with nice body. If it’s too thick, the sauce will look gloppy on the bird, rather than covering it evenly and it will brown irregularly.” Loosen with water if necessary.) Set aside ½ cup adobo for gravy
adapted from the Gourmet Mexican Cookbook (special edition)