Chicken Chorizo and Pea Pilaf

The Guajillo (wha-hee-oh) chile is the most common dried chile in Mexico after the Ancho. The flavor of the Guajillo is distinct, slightly fruity with a strong piney, berry under taste. Guajillo flavors dished easily so a little goes a long way. This chile is between a 2-4 on the heat scale of 1-10. Guajillo, combined with the Passilla and Ancho, form the holy trinity of chiles used to prepare the traditional mole sauces.

Suggested Use:
A mildly hot chile. Use in sauces, salsa, soups and your favorite chile. A little goes a long way.

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For the chorizo:
Ground Chicken – 1lb (I took thigh mince)
Apple cider vinegar – ¼ cup
Oil – 1 Tbsp
Garlic – 4 Cloves
Guajillo chilies – 2
Small dried chilies – 4-6
Cayenne pepper powder – ½ tsp.
Smoky chipotle pepper powder – ½ tsp.
Paprika powder – ½ tsp.
Cumin seeds – 1 Tbsp
Black peppercorn – 1 tsp.
Allspice – 1 tsp
Cloves – 1 tsp.
Cinnamon – ¼ tsp. (in powder form after grinding)
Nutmeg – ¼ tsp. (in powder form after grinding)
Salt – 1 tsp
Cilantro – ¼ cup chopped finely

For the recipe:
Chicken Chorizo – ½ lbs.
Green peas – 1 cup
Rice (long grain like Basmati) – 2 cups.
Cumin – 1 tsp
Ginger – 2” long piece finely julienne
Small red Thai chilies – 3-4
Salt – 1 tsp
Oil – 2 tbsp
Cilantro – 2-4 Tbsp. finely chopped for garnishing
Lemon Juice – 1 tsp


For the chorizo:
In a hot, dry pan, quickly toast the whole chilies along with garlic cloves with skin, just until they start to change color and/or blister. Do not over-cook or burn. Place the toasted chilies into a bowl, cover with hot water and soak until softened, about 20 minutes.

Place the peppercorns, cloves, cinnamon, oregano, allspice, cumin, nutmeg and thyme into a spice grinder and grind finely.

Drain the chilies (reserving the liquid) clean out the seeds and stems. Add them into a blender along with the ground spice mixture, chipotle, paprika, cayenne, salt, and toasted garlic cloves skin removed. Add the cider vinegar and 2-3 tablespoons of the reserved chilies soaking liquid, then blend until smooth.

Thoroughly mix the chilies mixture into the ground chicken, add cilantro. Blend everything together and keep it in fridge for at least 4-6 hours before using.

Chorizo mixture is ready.

Chicken Chorizo and Pea Pilaf:
In large pot heat oil, add cumin seeds. Once the seeds start to lightly brown, add chorizo in small pieces. You can by all mean store bought chorizo just remove the casing and then add the same way.

Once light browned add green peas along with chilies and ginger. Stir for 2-3 minutes.

Now add the rice, stir everything together and cook for 2-3 minutes till the rice is well covered with the mixture.

Add 3 ¼ cups of water to the pot, bring everything to a boil on high heat.

Slow down the heat to low simmer as soon as it comes to the boil. Cover the pot and let it cook on lowest simmer for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes close the stove and let the pot remain covered for another 10 minutes. This step helps the rice to stay fluffier.

With a fork gently mix the rice pilaf, add cilantro and lemon juice and serve hot.