Earthy Delights Recipe

Ancho Chile and Orange Marinade

Ancho Chile and Orange Marinade
Warming, rich, lively, but not too hot, this marinade lends verve to chicken, seafood, pork, and vegetables for grilling, roasting, braising or sauteing. It keeps for a month in the refrigerator. Adding a few spoonfuls to your favorite soup can really liven things up!

1/4 teaspoon each whole cumin and coriander seeds
1/2 medium onion, thickly sliced
8 large cloves garlic, unpeeled
8 dried Ancho chiles
generous pinch cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
shredded zest of a large orange
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
hot water
juice of a large orange, or more to taste
juice of 1/2 lime
sea salt to taste


In a heavy skillet over medium heat, toast the cumin and coriander about 5 minutes, or until aromatic.
Grind to a powder in a coffee mill or with a mortar and pestle.

In the same pan, toast chiles 3 to 5 minutes or until aromatic. Remove immediately.

Add onion, garlic, and chilies to pan with a little oil. Cook until golden and slightly softened, about 10 minutes.

Stem and seed chiles, then cover with hot water and let soak 30 minutes.

Meanwhile toast cinnamon, pepper, and orange zest 10 seconds over medium heat.

Combine all ingredients in a blender (peeling garlic first), including chiles and a few tablespoons of their liquid.
Puree, season to taste, and refrigerate until needed.

Marinate larger pieces of meat or poultry from several hours to overnight.

Chicken breasts could go from several hours to overnight.
Fish needs only an hour or so, while vegetables (thick sliced onions, zucchini, carrots, sweet potatoes, peppers, eggplant, potatoes, corn on the cob) are ready for cooking within an hour.
Always refrigerate marinating foods.