Pollo Asado Recipe

Growing up, there was a place that sold pollo asado (grilled chicken) and it was delicious. What made it so amazing was the wood burning grill – you could smell it as soon as you parked. Interestingly enough, it wasn’t a place you actually ate your chicken, you would only get it to go. They sold it by the kilo and it came with salsa roja, pickled onions and corn tortillas. Whenever mom didn’t feel like cooking on a Sunday, pollo asado was the answer. I’m still perfecting the recipe, but here is my best attempt…hope you get to enjoy this at home.

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Pollo Asado

Serves 4

Ingredients

2 split chickens with skin on

Yoli white corn tortillas

MARINADE:
• Achiote – I use this recipe here https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/achiote-paste
• 1/2 cup of fresh orange juice
• Salt

PICKLED ONIONS:
• 1 red onion
• ¼ of fresh beet
• ½ cup of apple or white vinegar
• ¼ cup sugar
• 1 bay leaf
• Salt to taste

RED TOMATO SALSA:
• 1 lb of roma tomatoes
• 1 garlic clove
• 1 serrano
• Salt to taste

GUACAMOLE:
• 2 avocados
• 1 tsp of lime juice
• Tabasco Sauce
• Salt to taste

Directions

With a sharp knife, make some deep cuts through skin and flesh. In a glass dish, combine your achiote paste, 1 cup of orange juice and salt to taste. Cover your chicken in it and rub some of the marinade under the skin. Cover it and marinade over night.

Remove the chicken from the marinade and pat dry. Salt and pepper and if you want sprinkle cayenne pepper, chili powder and paprika. Let it sit until it gets room temperature.
In the meantime, do your onions, salsa and guacamole.

ONIONS
Slice your red onion and place in a glass bowl. In a small sauce pan, mix in the vinegar and sugar – medium heat until the sugar is dissolved. Transfer the vinegar / sugar mix into the glass bowl and add the remaining ingredients. Mix well and cover with a paper towel. Place in the microwave for 2 minutes. Mix and then place it in microwave for an additional 2 -3 minutes. Let it sit to cool down.

RED SALSA
Mix all the ingredients in your blender and blend until smooth. You can add more serrano if you want more heat. Set aside.

GUACAMOLE
In a small food processor combine all the ingredients until smooth.

Now time to cook your chicken…Ideally you want to use mesquite wood or charcoal, but I didn’t have that availability, so I used my gas grill. I have 2 zones in my grill – 1 medium hot and the other one on low. Once you have your grill preheated, oil your grill. Start your chicken in the low heat zone with skin side up. Shut the lid and cook for about 20 minutes. Turn the chicken skin side down once the fat has been rendered. Cook until you chicken reaches 165 F.

Take out and let your chicken sit for 5 minutes before cutting in… you can serve it like this with a side of tortillas and onions / salsa / guacamole on the side to build your own tacos. Provecho!