Home / Red Chicken Chili


By Frank Dorr

Yields: 6 servings


  • 3 cups filtered water
  • 2 dried pasilla chilis or guajillo, stems and seeds removed
  • 3 dried new Mexican chilis, stems and seeds removed
  • 1 dried ancho chili, stems and seeds removed
  • 3 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 6 smashed garlic cloves, skins removed
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 fresh Serrano, seeds removed and roughly chopped
  • 1/3 cup roughly chopped cilantro stems and leaves
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1.5 lbs chicken
  • 1 bay leaf

Garnishes: cooked rice or quinoa, cilantro, lime, sour cream or avocado


  • Bring 3 cups of filtered water to a boil.
  • While the water heats up, place a large cast iron or frying pan over medium heat. Add the dried chiles and toast for a minute or two on each side. Move the toasted chiles to a medium bowl and pour over the boiling water. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
  • In the same cast iron pan, pour in 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and turn the heat to medium- high. Add the diced onion and cook for 3 minutes, or until just starting to brown and become tender. Add the garlic cloves, cumin seeds, and oregano and cook for 1 more minute.
  • Transfer the onion mixture to a blender. Pour over the chiles and soaking liquid, and add in the serrano, cilantro, and salt. Blend on high until smooth.
  • Place the meat in the Instant Pot, pour over the chile sauce, and throw in the bay leaf. Secure the lid and select the “pressure” function, set the timer to 35 minute. When it is done remove the chicken, shred and stir it back in.
  • Serve over rice or quinoa. Top with cilantro, lime, sour cream, avocado.