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Chicken Adobo

For the Achiote Paste:

1 1/2 t cumin seeds, toasted
1/2 t achiote (annatto seeds) *
1 T marjoram or oregano
1 T chopped thyme
2 cloves garlic
Kosher or sea salt
1/4 t whole or freshly ground white peppercorns

*  From a tree, described in one source as an "iodiney" seed.  The paste contains citrus juice, often lime, and other spices and is found in Mexican specialty shops.

For the marinade:

3 T Chili Paste (recipe follows)
1/4 cp orange juice
1 t orange zest
1/4 cp red wine vinegar
1/4 cp olive oil

1/2 red onion, sliced thin, soaked in juice of 1 lime for 20 min.
1/2 cp sour cream
sprigs of cilantro if in season

Chili Paste:

2 dried ancho or cascabel chiles
2 dried pasilla negro chiles
2 dried guajillo chiles
Hot water for soaking

Note: unless you're fortunate enough to be near a store that carries these esoteric chiles, you can substitute whatever is on hand. I used habanero and cayenne, which I dried from last season's garden. This is a good base for other Mexican dishes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Stem and seed chiles. Place on a baking sheet roasting pan and toast 5 to 8 minutes.

Transfer to bowl and add hot water to cover.
Let soak till soft. Drain, reserving 1/2 cp of water.
Blend chiles with 1/4 to 1/2 cp reserved water in blender till smooth.
Rub through a sieve, if you have enough energy left.
Store in refrigerator.

For the Chicken:

Skim and bone chicken breasts & pound to even thickness.
Combine marinade with 3 T of Chili (Achiote?) Paste. Reserve 1/2 of the mixture for sauce and spread remaining over chicken and marinade for at least 2 hrs.

Grill over medium fire.

Drizzle with remaining marinade and serve with garnishes.