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Old 09-18-2010, 12:53 PM   #1
Smiter Q
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Default Mexican style grilled Chicken - ideas and how to's?

Hi all,

Anyone familiar with authentic Mexican style grilled chicken? Since I have lived in TEXAS I have had some wonderful grilled chicken from Mexican grill joints. I am assuming it is authentic, as they do not even speak English most of the time. Two main chicken joint chains here are, "Pollo Rico" and "El Reggio." For like $13 you get a whole grilled chicken, a huge grilled onion, 1 generous homemade spicy green advocado/serrano sauce, 1 generous spicy red sauce, 10 tortillas, a cut lime, a good serving of the best charo beans in the world, and rice. For like $7 you get the same, just 1/2 a chicken instead. This is without a doubt better than any other grilled chicken I have had, and many in Austin are in agreement.

I am at the point in my grilling career that I would like to try to duplicate, come close to duplicating, or if possible ... even improve upon.


From what I understand, there is a marinade base that has orange juice and lime juice. Below are some ingredients I gathered in my searching for an authentic Mexican style chicken. I was thinking of combining some of the recipes for my try. If anyone has ideas or recipes that are tried and true or suggestions, please share.

Thank you,

-----------------------------

Some of the recipes I came across:

¼ cup lime juice
¼ cup water
2 Tbsp powdered ancho chiles or other mild chiles
¼ tsp hot powdered chile such as cayenne
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp dried thyme
2 tsp cinnamon
pinch cloves
1 ½ tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder
3 Tbsp sugar substitute
½ cup oil, olive or other

another...

Forthe marinade:
1-1/2 Tbsps. ground ancho chile powder(available from national companies like McCormick, Mexican groceries and internet sites)
1 tsp. dried oregano, preferably Mexican
A big pinch of cloves
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon, preferably Mexican canela
2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped or crushed through a garlic press
3 Tbsps. vinegar(apple cider vinegar gives a Mexican flavor)
1/4 cup orange juice

and another...

POLLO ASADO AL CARBON

Marinade:
1-1/2 Tbsps. ground ancho chile powder (optional)
1 tsp. dried oregano (orégano)
1 tsp. ground cumin (comino)
1/4 tsp. ground cloves (clavos)
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon (canela)
4 garlic cloves, peeled & minced or put through a garlic press (use more or less, to taste)
3 Tbsps. apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup lime juice
1 tsp. salt
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Old 09-18-2010, 02:47 PM   #2
ushi
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oh man. el pollo rico. I haven't eaten yet. well. now I know where I am getting lunch.
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Old 09-18-2010, 03:27 PM   #3
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Sorry, but I've never been to the two restaurants you mention, but I love Tex Mex chicken.

I like to use Mojo Criollo by Goya as a base marinade. Then add whatever suits me to taste. Look up Mojo Criollo recipe and you should come close.
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Old 09-18-2010, 04:49 PM   #4
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Here is one I tried and liked. This is that orange looking chicken that you see them grilling I found the Sazon at Fiesta.

Grilled Mexican Chicken recipe
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
4 to 6 deboned chicken thighs ( you can use breast, but thighs are cheaper)
1/2 cup fresh lime juice, about 3 to 5 limes
1/3 cup olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced or 4 tsp. of the jarred stuff
1 small packet of Knorr's Sazon seasoning
1 tablespoon hot paprika
1 teaspoon dried chile powder
2 teaspoons kosher salt
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro, plus additional sprigs for garnish

DIRECTIONS:
Place the chicken in a 1gl. zip lock bag
In a medium bowl, combine the remaining ingredients, except the garnish. Pour over the chicken
and marinate for 1 hour or, ideally, overnight in the refrigerator. I did mine for 7 hrs.
Take the chicken out of the refrigerator an hour before cooking. Heat the grill to medium high.
Grill chicken about 10 to 12 minutes per side, turning often to avoid burning. Remove and serve
on a platter with cilantro sprigs.
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Old 09-18-2010, 05:34 PM   #5
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Thanks ATG and Vcop for the ideas. I have the chicken marinating in an amalgamation of sorts. Will let ya know how it all comes out.
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Old 09-18-2010, 06:34 PM   #6
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A big part of it too, is the method of cooking. A good part of it at the beginning if over direct coals and that chicken fat flare up fire adds a good deal of flavor to the party as well. That dark crispy skin is pretty much a trademark of a good pollo joint. Out here we got Pepe's Charbroil and Pollo Loco and many other mom and pop places. You cannot beat the deal you get for your money at these places. Talk about a meal!! They smell great too! Keep us posted.

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Old 09-18-2010, 06:39 PM   #7
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Smitter, here is a copycat recipe from a popular Ca. chicken joint.

NUTZ

El Pollo Loco Chicken


Ingredients:

1/4 cup corn oil
1/4 cup melted butter
1/4 cup onion, minced
2 tablespoons garlic, finely minced
2−3 drops yellow food coloring
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
4 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1 chicken, 2−1/2 to 3 pounds, halved

Combine oil, butter, onion, garlic, food coloring, cumin, lemon
and orange juices in a large shallow pan. Add chicken halves,
turning to coat well. Cover and marinate several hours, or overnight.
Remove chicken from marinade, then cook over medium coals on
barbecue grill, or in a broiler 4 inches under source of heat,
until browned on both sides and meat is done, turning and basting
frequently, about 25 minutes.

Cut chicken halves into pieces. Serve with beans and rice, corn
or flour tortillas, and fresh salsa.
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Old 09-19-2010, 12:45 AM   #8
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the lime and orange juice is a "Mojo" do a google of that
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Old 09-19-2010, 12:55 AM   #9
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What Bob Said!!!
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Old 09-22-2010, 01:59 PM   #10
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Went to school a bit on this thread and have saved the recipes for further tries;
Meanwhile, took the easier road for the first try, picked up a bottle of Mojo Criollo by Goya yesterday, split a chicken, marinated for about 5 hours or so and grilled over coals with a few chunks of mesquite. Seasoned with a shake or so of Adobo and served with some refried beans, rice and cole slaw. Sorry no pics but it sure was tasty and the current spouse enjoyed it as well.
Next time will get some of the Sazon as per above.
The Mojo Criollo gives it great flavor and the aroma is out of this world.
Definitely gonna try it again with thighs and wings too.
Bueno.
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Old 09-22-2010, 02:10 PM   #11
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You might want to check out The Tex-Mex Cookbook, by Robb Walsh. It has some recipe's that I think would help you out. I enjoyed his BBQ book, but he knows Tex-Mex better than BBQ. If you read the book and try some recipes you will get a feel for Tex-Mex and the flavors involved in a hurry.
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Old 09-22-2010, 02:44 PM   #12
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Hi all, been a few days since I first posted this.

I made this Saturday evening, but was not able to post till now.

I used this recipe:
POLLO ASADO AL CARBON

Marinade:
1-1/2 Tbsps. ground ancho chile powder (optional)
1 tsp. dried oregano (orégano)
1 tsp. ground cumin (comino)
1/4 tsp. ground cloves (clavos)
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon (canela)
4 garlic cloves, peeled & minced or put through a garlic press (use more or less, to taste)
3 Tbsps. apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup lime juice
1 tsp. salt

In addition, I added coriander, paprika and some extra chipolte powder.
ALSO, for a BIG flavor add... I micro grated the citrus rinds. This gave a great extra punch to the chicken. Made it much fruiter than expected.

A couple of things I will do different next time. (1) I will keep the cooking to indirect till the very end. The skin scorched faster than I expected, due to the extra fruit sugar in the marinade. Somehow I thought it would grill more authentic over the coals, but I will go back to my indirect style of cooking, then at the very end will do direct for a couple of minutes. (2) I will add some cayenne for more heat. (3)First tie ever this happened to a spatchcock that I did, but the legs fell off when I flipped it!!! They felt weakly connected when I took it out of the package, which was surprising, but I was miffed when the fell off!!

Overall, I was happy for my first attempt for this flavor profile. It was sweeter than expected. I did taste the cloves, but they were not too strong. I think it indeed did add good flavor combined with the other ingredients. I think it could handle more amount of spice(my preference) since it was sweet to me, and I will do so next time.

Thanks everyone

-----------------------------

Couple of pics..

The scorched area did not taste burnt, thankfully...



First flip.. nice golden red coloring


All the extra flavor from grating the rinds... really gave a good BANG of flavor this way.


The homemade mojo criollo and the bird taking a bath in it.. marinade was soooo flavorful



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Old 09-22-2010, 02:49 PM   #13
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Smiter, thanks for posting this thread. It's already given me several great things to try.
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Old 09-22-2010, 02:51 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deguerre View Post
Smiter, thanks for posting this thread. It's already given me several great things to try.

Deguerre, most welcome. What do you have in mind?
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Old 09-22-2010, 02:53 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Westexbbq View Post
Went to school a bit on this thread and have saved the recipes for further tries;
Meanwhile, took the easier road for the first try, picked up a bottle of Mojo Criollo by Goya yesterday, split a chicken, marinated for about 5 hours or so and grilled over coals with a few chunks of mesquite. Seasoned with a shake or so of Adobo and served with some refried beans, rice and cole slaw. Sorry no pics but it sure was tasty and the current spouse enjoyed it as well.
Next time will get some of the Sazon as per above.
The Mojo Criollo gives it great flavor and the aroma is out of this world.
Definitely gonna try it again with thighs and wings too.
Bueno.
Westtexbbq, thanks for the info! Glad this thread gave you an idea.
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