Tag Archives: Pickling

Chile Dry Rub Grilled Chicken w/ Spicy Pickled Onions

In the midst of smoking a 10 pound pork butt last weekend, my husband and I were hungry! It was then that I remembered that I had some chicken that had been marinating in a spice rub or seasoning mix for my homemade chorizo recipe. The purpose of developing this recipe using all dried spices was to make it easier for people to prepare a quick version of homemade mexican chorizo at home. I did not want people to avoid preparing the chorizo recipe because they were not sure about using dried chiles for the first time, or maybe they were not available. I have to say, that I was extemely happy with the results of the chorizo. So, it never fails that whenever I mix a new season mix for one recipe, I always end up having some leftover. I literally seasoned the chicken 2 days before and forgot all about it. I pulled the chicken from the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature. The grill was already preheating for the 10 pound pork butt that was about to go on for 12 hours. A quick 8 to 10 minutes per side on the chicken and we were ready to eat. Instead of serving it with salsa, I threw together a spicy quick pickled red onion with a few hot peppers I had grilled. Both my husband and I agreed, that those chicken tacos with spicy pickled onions were the best tacos we have had in a long time! Must serve with corn tortillas. Just goes to show that sometimes the spontaneous creations can end up being as good, if not better, than the well planned meal.

Chile Dry Rub Grilled Chicken with Spicy Pickled Red Onions
Chile Dry Rub Grilled Chicken with Spicy Pickled Red Onions

I really wanted to think of a fun and clever name for my spice rub, but nothing came to mind….still working on it!
For Chile Dry Rub
3 tablespoons chile ancho powder
3 tablespoons guajillo powder or another red, mild chile powder, such as Gebhardt brand
2 tablespoons vinegar powder or 2 teaspoons citric acid
2 tablespoons granulated garlic
2 tablespoons onion powder
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 tablespoon annatto powder
1/2 tablespoon coriander
1/2 tablespoon cumin
1/2 tablespoons Mexican oregano, crushed
1/2 tablespoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground clove
1 teaspoon chipotle or cayenne pepper powder
2 teaspoons salt or to taste
*Tips~ if you can’t find a mild red chile powder, you could purchase a mild (low salt) pre-mixed chili seasoning from the store. If it has salt, taste before adding more

Chile Spice Rub Grilled Chicken
Chile Spice Rub Grilled Chicken with Spicy Pickled Onions
Homemade Chile Dry Rub Seasoning
Homemade Chile Dry Rub Seasoning

Tips~ If you are fortunate enough to live in an area where dried chile peppers are available, you must try preparing your own chile powders. Remove stems and seeds from peppers. Toast the peppers on a preheated griddle or comal for a few minutes or just until they become aromatic. Never leave them unattended or they can burn and become bitter in flavor.  Along side of the peppers, I like to toast my own whole spices and grind them as well. Grind them in a spice grinder, commercial blender or coffee grider. Needless to say, I only use my coffee grinder for spices…It’s a must try! You will not regret it! The best peppers to use are chile ancho, guajillo, pasilla or New Mexico.


*1 1/2 pounds boneless chicken thighs (4 to 5 pieces)
*Oil for grill pan or outdoor grill

For Onions
1 medium red onion, sliced thin
2 hot peppers of your choice, roasted or grilled
Juice of 5 key limes or 2 regular limes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Salt to taste

1. Season the chicken generously with dry rub on both sides. Cover and marinate for 24 hours or up to 2 days in refrigerator.

2. Remove chicken from refrigerator 30 minutes before cooking time so it comes to room temperature.

3. About an hour before cooking chicken, combine all of the ingredients for the pickled onions. Stir well to combine, taste for salt. Cover and set aside.

4. Preheat a stove top grill pan or outdoor grill to medium heat for 5 to 6 minutes. Drizzle or brush with oil. Cook the chicken for 8 to10 minutes per side (with lid closed) or until internal temperature read 165 degrees F. Remove from heat and let stand for a few minutes before serving. Slice and garnish with pickled red onions. Serve with warm corn tortillas and your favorite salsa. Yields 4 servings.

Chile Dry Rub Grilled Chicken
Chile Dry Rub Grilled Chicken
Chile Dry Rub Grilled Chicken
Chile Dry Rub Grilled Chicken

Preparing Escabeche~Pickled Chiles and Vegetables

Poblanos en Escabeche is just one of the many combinations of a quick pickled escabeche I have prepared. What happens most times, is that I get to that point where I have a few of this and that, vegetables that I need to use up, and escabeche is a great way to go. As we approach summer and many trips to the farmers markets, I look forward to spicy batches of escabeche!  Serve escabeche as you would any salsa or guacamole. Great garnish for tacos, especially carne asada, grilled chicken and any seafood.  I will add more recipes  to this blog postas they develop.

Poblanos, Carrots, Jalapeños, Serranos, Chile de Arbol, Garlic and Onions...
Poblanos, Carrots, Jalapeños, Serranos, Chile de Arbol, Garlic and Onions…

3 tablespoons olive oil
3 poblanos, sliced into strips
3 carrots, sliced
3 jalapeños, sliced into rings
3 serranos, sliced into rings
6 to 8 chile de arbol
6 green onion, just the top white parts
4 cloves garlic, sliced thin
1 1/2 cups white distilled vinegar
1 1/2 cups water
3 teaspoons of salt, or to taste
1 teaspoon sugar or to taste
1 tablespoons pickling spices
1/2 tablespoon Mexican oregano


Many times I will prepare a quick pickled escabeche with whatever I have available in my pantry.
Many times I will prepare a quick pickled escabeche with whatever I have available in my pantry.


1. In a large pan, preheat the olive oil to medium for a few minutes. Add the first 6 ingredients and saute for 5 minutes. Add the onions and garlic and cook for another minute.

2. In a large measuring cup or bowl, mix the vinegar, water, salt and sugar. Taste for seasonings and adjust as needed. 

3. Add liquids and remaining spices and cook at a low simmer for 10 minutes. Let cool at room temperature. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for  4 weeks.


Zanahorias en Escabeche (Spicy Pickled Carrots)

This escabeche inspired bt those many cans of spicy jalapeños my Mom would purchase. We would always fight for the carrots that were mixed in with the peppers. So why not prepare a whole batch of just spicy carrots. The habanero works really well with the carrots for this recipe. 

Zanahorias en Escabeche, Spicy Pickled Carrots with Habaneros
Zanahorias en Escabeche, Spicy Pickled Carrots with Habaneros

10 carrots, peeled, cut into matchsticks
1 medium white onion, sliced
jalapeño peppers, sliced (removing seeds is optional)
2 habanero peppers, sliced
2 chile de arbol, torn into pieces
2 cloves garlic, sliced
3 bay leaves
1 tablespoon whole peppercorns
1 cup white vinegar
½ water

1. In a large saucepan, heat the vinegar on medium/low, add about 2 tablespoons salt and 1 tablespoon of sugar.

2. Once the sugar and salt have dissolved, add the peppercorns, bay leaves and onions, stir well, cook for 2 minutes. Add the carrots, habanero, jalapeño and chile de arbol. Taste for salt. Remove from heat and let steep for 10 minutes. Let cool at room temperature.

3. Transfer the escabeche to a glass mason jar  or any airtight containerand refrigerate for a few hours. It will keep in the refrigerator for 4 weeks. 


Pickled Mixed Hot Peppers.

This was a recipe I developed for Que Rica Vida last year. It is to date my favorite combination of peppers and flavors! Click onto picture for the complete recipe.  http://www.quericavida.com/en/recipes/pickled-mixed-hot-peppers/

Pickled Mixed Hot Peppers http://www.quericavida.com/en/recipes/pickled-mixed-hot-peppers/
Pickled Mixed Hot Peppers http://www.quericavida.com/en/recipes/pickled-mixed-hot-peppers/


Quick Pickled Fresno Peppers, great for sandwiches, salads or tacos!

Quick Pickled Fresno Chile Peppers
Quick Pickled Fresno Chile Peppers

6 fresno peppers, sliced into rings
*you could use any kind of fresh hot pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon Mexican oregano
Salt to taste

Combine all of the ingredients, taste for salt. Cover and let marinate at room temperature for 1 hour before serving. The longer they sit, the better.

Salsa en Vinagré ~ Pickled Salsa

Pickled Salsa or Salsa en Vinagré is a great way to enjoy the flavors of a freshly diced salsa with the zesty flavors of a quick pickling method. Have you ever  been curious on what the celebrity chef’s favorite foods are? During an episode of “The Best Dish I Ever Made” on Food Network, the girls who own Border Grill in Las Vegas described this delicious chicken dish that they serve. The one thing that stayed with me that made me curious was how they made this wonderful looking pickled salsa. I mean I love Pico de Gallo and not once did I ever think about pickling it! I have pickled every kind of pepper and a ton of vegetables, but never Pico de Gallo.

In my pantry, I always have white vinegar and enough spices to start my own restaurant, lol..no kidding. And of course in my refrigerator I am never without chile, cebolla y tomaté, (chiles, onion, and tomato) La Bandera, as my abuelita Sarita called it. La Bandera, green, white and red, the same colors in the Mexican flag. Many great and traditional Mexican dishes always start with those three ingredients. So, after a few adjustments and a few of my favorite ad-ins, I decided to prepare the pickled salsa to serve over a chicken dish I was having for dinner.  We loved it! I am so looking forward to summer and all of the wonderful produce that will be available at our local farmers markets. I see alot of pickled salsa in my future!

Salsa en Vinagré~Pickled Salsa
Prepping the Salsa
Spices for Pickled Salsa
Cumin Seeds, Smashed Peppercorns, Mustard Seeds, Turmeric, Chile de Arbol and Sliced Garlic


Salsa en Vinagré
The liquids go in for pickling



1 pound Roma tomatoes, diced (about 5 tomatoes)
1/2 sweet onion, diced
2 serrano or jalapeños, sliced into rings
1 red Fresno pepper, sliced into rings, optional
1/3 cup white vinegar
1 tablespoon brown sugar or more, to taste
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic, sliced thin
1 teaspoon black peppercorns, smashed
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/3 teaspoon turmeric
2 chile de arbol or 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes


1. Dice the tomato, onion and sliced chile peppers to a bowl, set aside.

2. In one small saucepan, combine the vinegar, brown sugar and salt and heat on medium/low heat. Cook just until sugar and salt dissolve, do not let boil.

3. In another small pan , heat the olive oil to medium/low heat. Add all of the remaining slices and cook, stirring often, until the garlic becomes golden in color.

4. Add the olive oil mixture to the vinegar mixture, stir well to combine and pour over tomato mix in bowl. Stir well and taste for salt. Cover with plastic wrap directly on top of salsa to keep air from getting in. Chill for at least 2 hours or overnight is best. Remember the olive oil will solidify, so let sit at room temperature for at least 20 minutes before serving. Yields up to 4 cups.

Tips~ Once salsa has pickled, you could add in a little fresh cilantro for extra fresh flavors. Salsa will keep for up to 10 days, but remember that the olive oil will solidify, so bring it out to room temperature before serving.

Salsa en Vinagré
Salsa en Vinagré