Guajillo chilis were a mystery to me until recently. As we navigate this new normal of pandemic shopping, I’ve been buying some of my groceries from the loveliest restaurants selling produce and meat. On a recent online order from a neighborhood restaurant, I saw guajillo chilis and was intrigued. This is something I’ve only seen or heard of in Tex-Mex cooking, but I had no idea how to prepare them, especially since they’re dried. I put some in my cart and never looked back. This chili is slightly smoky, not too spicy since I bought the larger milder version, and has a beautiful flavor that pairs well with any meat. So far I’ve made ground beef tacos and pulled chicken using the chilis, and it’s been nothing short of incredible. But there are some definite tricks on how to use them! Get the full recipe for Instant Pot Guajillo Chicken below.
I made the chili sauce for the chicken using a blender! It was pretty simple. Then I used the sauce with the raw chicken, and put it all in the Instant Pot.
First, since these are dried we have to soak them, but you also need to bring out the flavor. I decided to toast them in a hot dry saucepan until they became fragrant. Then I cut off the stem end, halved them longways, and removed the seeds with my knife. I then placed them in a bowl and poured boiling water from a kettle to cover them and let them soak until the softened up. To give them flavor, I sauteed some onion and garlic in a saucepan until lightly browned and then pureed the softened chili with the onion garlic mixture, salt, a bit of the hot water, and olive oil for a silky emulsion. It sounds complicated, but it isn’t! It’s just a simple blender sauce that you can cook into your chicken and pull for maximum flavor.
This Instant Pot Guajillo Chicken with Rice and Black Beans is a spin on a dinner I usually make with rotisserie chicken. But since chicken is hard to come by, I’ve been making this Mexican-inspired chicken with guajillo sauce in the instant pot and drizzled with a chili yogurt sauce. The black beans are just like my recipe here. You’ll need an instant pot and a blender for this one, but it’s overall a pretty simple recipe. See the full recipe below.
- half a bunch of cilantro with stems
- 1 jalapeno, stem removed
- half a yellow onion, peeled
- juice of half a lime
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp cumin
- kosher salt
- 2 cans black beans (not drained)
- ½ cup chicken broth
- 1 dried guajillo chili
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil (or other neutral oil)
- half of a yellow onion, peeled and diced
- 1 garlic clove, peeled
- kosher salt
- 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs
- 3 tbsp plain greek yogurt
- cooked white rice for serving (about ⅔ cup cooked per person)
- In a blender or food processor, add the cilantro and stems, jalapeno, half an onion, and lime juice, and pulse just until finely chopped.
- In a medium pot over medium heat, add your olive oil. Add the cilantro mixture and cook for 3 minutes until the mixture is fragrant and translucent. Add your cumin and stir to coat, letting it cook for just one minute. add the salt, black beans and chicken broth. Bring to a boil, once boiling, lower to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes uncovered, stirring occasionally.
- Bring a cup of hot water to boil in a kettle. Meanwhile, in a small skillet over medium high heat, add your guajillo chili. Toast on each side for 2 minutes until aromatic. Remove from heat, cut off the stem end and halve the chili longways. Use your knife to remove the seeds. Place the chili in a cereal bowl.Cover with boiling water and let it sit until the chili has softened, about 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in the same skillet you used for the chili, heat a tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add your garlic clove and onion and saute, stirring frequently until the onions are softened and slightly browning at the edges. Remove from heat. Add the garlic and onion to a blender along with the chili. Pour in a quarter cup of the chili water left behind, a couple pinches of salt, and the remaining 1 tbsp vegetable oil. Blend until completely pureed.
- In your instant pot, add ⅔ cup water, all of the chili sauce and the chicken breasts. Sprinkle with a few pinches of salt. Close the lid of the pot, turning the nozzle to sealing. Pressure cook for 8 minutes, until chicken is cooked through. Manual release. Remove the chicken to a plate leaving the juices behind. Shred with two forks and sprinkle with salt if needed. Drizzle with just a couple tablespoons of the leftover juices to marinate. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, add the yogurt. To the yogurt, add 3 tbsp of the chicken juices a little at a time so the yogurt doesn't curdle, stirring between additions.
- To serve, on a plate add the rice, then black beans and top with the chicken. Drizzle the chicken with some of the remaining chicken juices then drizzle the dish with yogurt. Serve immediately.