Garlic and Cumin Rubbed Chicken

Garlic and Cumin Rubbed Chicken

Pollo Ajocomino
4 to 5 Servings
Pati Jinich
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: chicken, cumin, garlic, pati's mexican table
Author:Pati Jinich
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Garlic and Cumin Rubbed Chicken from Pati's Mexican Table, Season 7, Episode 5 "Mexican Wine Country"


  • 4 ancho chiles, stemmed and seeded
  • 2 dried chipotle chiles, stemmed and seeded, moritas
  • 15 garlic cloves
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons kosher or sea salt, or more to taste
  • 1/3 cup olive oil, plus more for greasing the baking sheet
  • 1 3-4 pound chicken, cut up into 10 serving pieces (breasts cuthalf)
  • 1 cup chicken broth

To Prepare

  • Place the ancho and chipotle chiles in a saucepan, cover with water and set over medium-high heat until it comes to a boil. Simmer at medium heat for 10 minutes, until the chiles are completely rehydrated.
  • Place the rehydrated chiles into the jar of a blender, along with 1/2 cup of their simmering liquid, the garlic, cumin seeds, salt and olive oil. Puree until completely smooth. Scrape into a bowl and let it cool.
  • Place the chicken in a container and cover completely with the garlic and cumin marinade. You can marinate it covered in the refrigerator up to two days. But you may also roast it right away without marinating ahead of time.
  • If you marinated the chicken ahead of time, remove it from the refrigerator. Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Generously grease a baking pan with oil. Place the chicken on the pan skin side down and sprinkle with a little salt. Put it in the oven and roast for 15 minutes. Carefully remove it from the oven, reduce the temperature to 375 degrees, flip over the chicken pieces and spoon any of the marinade on the bottom of the pan over the chicken pieces. Pour the chicken broth onto the bottom of the pan and return to the oven. Roast for 45 to 50 more minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and the juices run clear – and there are barely any juices when pierced with a knife.

53 comments on “Garlic and Cumin Rubbed Chicken

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  1. I made this with a twist. I used breasts,cubed, and marinated it in olive oil and the ground spices and dried peppers. ( Threw in a pinch of Mexican oregano too). Then, added the broth and sauteed. Served it over Jasmine rice with fresh bell pepper,scallions,pickled white onion and a fried gooey egg on top. It was heaven on a plate. Complex flavor.
    Your show is such a treat! Bless you from Northern Michigan.

  2. Hi Pati! Both my husband & I love watching your show and following your recipes. I adore cumin so I’m eager to try dish. I have dried guajillo peppers and ancho chilis in my pantry. Will the guajillos work or are they too mild? During the pandemic I prefer to use what I have at home.

    1. Hi Sean, the Anchos and the Moritas are dried by definition, so no way to go fresh, but if you do not find them then yes, go with canned chipotles in adobo, those are pretty yummy as well 😉

  3. Hola Pati! This recipe was such a delight. I cannot wait until I can make it for friends and family! Thank you for your wonderful contributions!

  4. I love this recipe, so easy to follow and the results outstanding! The chicken is moist and flavorful, we have made this several times to rave reviews! Thank you Pati!

  5. I have been wanting to try this recipe for a while, and I think it’s finally time to take the plunge!
    I have a question about the Ancho chiles. Are these supposed to be fresh? I am only able to find dried ones in the store.

  6. This was an easy and great recipe. I prepared this using a whole chicken. The sauce was thick like a paste and it stuck nicely to the chicken. As the the chicken roasted, the sauce did blacken in areas but it actually helped keep the chicken super moist. The flavor of the sauce is very strong. Keep in mind, there is a lot of garlic and cumin. My Mexican wife and mother-in-law both loved the flavor of the sauce. I will definitely be making this again.

  7. Patti, love your show and I learned how to make tortillas from you! Do you think I can use this marinade for turkey breast in netting? Want to make more exciting turkey for Thanksgiving.

  8. Pati, I just wandered across your show this weekend and I can’t switch the channel. I have never really tried Mexican food, I think I must have ad a bad experience when young. You have made me a fool, and have converted me in one day. I will be trying to make some of those savory looking dishes. Thank you so much, and I will continue to watch.

  9. Esta receta es deliciosa, me encantan todas tus recetas por lo fácil de hacer y la forma tan sencilla que explicas.

  10. Patti like all of your other fans I love your show. Not just the recipes but also the education and insight about Mexico. I have learned so much about the city, culture, history, and amazing dishes. Thank you. Question, has anyone tried this recipe with meat other than chicken? I love the rub on chicken but I’m going to try it on a pork roast. Thoughts?

  11. I cooked this tonight and it was so good! A trip to my local Hispanic market for great ingredients was well worth it. It will definitely be in our dinner rotation!

  12. I LOVE your TV show and all the food/recipes you cook and make available for us on your web site. I have not yet made this recipe. I was born and raised in the United States (central Pennsylvania). I do not read or speak Spanish, therefore I am not able to understand some of the ingredients. I’m gonna look for them in our local supermarket. It would be very helpful for those of us who speak only English. It would also be VERY HELPFUL if you could teach us a word or two of Spanish on each of your TV shows. That would be a great service to Mexican/American relations as well. Thank you very much for all you do for your family and all the rest of us.

  13. Is is possible to make this with skinless chicken?

    And by the way, I made your Caramelized Pasilla Brisket for Passover 2018 and it was a big hit!!

  14. Delicious! This is the first of your recipes that I have followed. My Mexican mamá fell in love with the dish. I am sure to try more recipes en el futuro.
    ¡Gracias Pati!

  15. Pati,

    Are the moritas in addition to, or in place of, the dried chipoles? I’m thinking it doesn’t matter, but want to get a second opinion before I begin the pollo ajocomino.

    A long, long time ago, I attended a wedding in Tijuana where I tasted homemade mole for the first time. I asked how it was made and the maker just smiled and told me there were too many ingredients and it was too difficult to explain. She was undoubtedly right. Thanks for helping keeping your recipes simple for me.

    Thanks, too, for helping me cook through the winter.

  16. Pati, I’m sooo glad that I have 2 of your cookbooks, but I was disappointed that many of your recipes from your shows are not in them. Do you have other cookbooks? I have “Mexican Today and also Pati’s Mexican Table” Sincerely Martha Z De Garcia

  17. As a cord cutter, I am so glad your latest season is now on Amazon! Pati! I just want to put this out there to you. If you ever want to use Phoenix as a part of a future season, I can find you lodging. It will be a great launching pad to drive to one of my favorite spots on the planet, Puerto Peñasco. You can see the Baja at sunset. Dolphins throughout the day. The friendliest people! Pollo places that you remember as a kid. #temptingPati

  18. Made this using 10 thighs instead of the whole chicken….it worked out well. I don’t care for garlic but hubby does, made this as a treat for him, but to my surprise, the garlic was NOT overpowering like I thought it would be. It ended up with LOTS of juice, didn’t need to add any after the first round. Will make this again for sure.

  19. Hello Pati.
    I love your show and watch it everyday. I am going to prepare this dish with the salad from the same episode for my family. Would you mind telling me where I can find the ancho chili, chipotle chili, and Chile’s de arbol?
    I live near Boston and I have tried our local grocery stores and they don’t carry them. Hope to hear from you. Thank you.

    1. If your local grocery store doesn’t have them…you can try your local Latin or International market, Layla. Or you can also find them on line. Enjoy the chicken!