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  • Author: Rico "Uncle Chico" Gubernick


May your Cinco de Mayo be filled with happiness and amazing food! Provecho!


  • 3 lbs. chicken (I use half bone-in, split chicken breasts and half skinless boneless thighs)
  • 1 large white onion cut into thin slivers
  • 1 large sweet Vidalia onion halved
  • High heat oil, like avocado or grapeseed
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp. dried Mexican oregano
  • ¼ tsp. ground thyme
  • ¼ tsp. cumin
  • ¼ tsp. ground marjoram
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 7 oz. can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • 28 ounces of Roma tomatoes (I prefer fresh that are charred in a cast iron skillet and skins removed, but fire-roasted canned tomatoes also work when in a pinch)
  • Seasoning for chicken (garlic salt, cumin, smoked paprika)


  1. Take chicken thighs and season them lightly with garlic salt, cumin, and smoked paprika. Brown in Dutch oven in the oil to get crust on each side.
  2. Add the halved onions, garlic, spices and bay leaf and cover with the chicken stock, plus 1 additional cup of water. Bring to a simmer then reduce heat to low for 30 minutes covered.
  3. Season chicken breasts and cook in your favorite smoker until internal temp is 165 degrees. This is the game changer!
  4. Once smoked chicken is cooked, pull, let cool and shred.
  5. Remove the boiled chicken along with the onion halves and strain broth into a separate bowl. Shred chicken thighs once cooled.
  6. Add oil into the Dutch oven that chicken was cooked in and sauté slivered white onions until translucent, making sure not to brown them, about 4 minutes.
  7. Add the strained broth to the onions and reduce for about 15 to 20 minutes or until it reduces by half.
  8. In a blender, add halved onion and garlic that was boiled, one can of chipotles, and the tomatoes. Blend until smooth 1 to 2 minutes.
  9. Add blended chipotle/tomato mixture to the reduced broth and cook for and additional 15 to 20 minutes.
  10. Add the shredded chicken to the sauce and combine well till the chicken is incorporated and covered. Let stew on low for 15 minutes.


PRO TIP: I like to use a combination of mesquite and cherry, as mesquite is very prevalent in Mexican cuisine and the cherry gives a hint of sweetness to balance. I will also char my tomatoes in a cast iron skillet while I’m smoking the chicken.

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