Chicken Asado Recipe (Pollo Asado)
Indulge in the vibrant and savory flavors of Chicken Asado, also known as Pollo Asado. This mouthwatering dish hails from the heart of Latin American cuisine and is loved for its zesty and tangy marinade, which infuses every bite of chicken with a burst of flavor. In this article, we’ll guide you through the process of creating this tantalizing dish that’s perfect for gatherings, family dinners, or any occasion where you want to savor the taste of Latin-inspired cuisine.
Ingredients You’ll Need
Before we dive into the cooking process, let’s gather all the ingredients required to make Chicken Asado.
For the Marinade:
- 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
- Juice of 2 oranges
- Juice of 2 limes
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons of fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1 teaspoon of ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon of dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon of paprika
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
- 1 onion, thinly sliced
- 1 bell pepper (red, green, or yellow), thinly sliced
- Lime wedges and fresh cilantro leaves for garnish
Making Chicken Asado
Now that we have our ingredients ready, let’s dive into the flavorful process of making Chicken Asado.
Step 1: Prepare the Marinade
In a bowl, combine the orange juice, lime juice, minced garlic, chopped cilantro, ground cumin, dried oregano, paprika, salt, black pepper, and olive oil. Mix these ingredients thoroughly to create a well-balanced marinade.
Step 2: Marinate the Chicken
Place the chicken thighs in a resealable plastic bag or a shallow dish. Pour the marinade over the chicken, ensuring that each piece is coated evenly. Seal the bag or cover the dish and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, allowing the flavors to infuse into the chicken.
Step 3: Heat the Vegetable Oil
In a large skillet or frying pan, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat until it shimmers.
Step 4: Sear the Chicken
Remove the chicken from the marinade, allowing any excess to drip off. Place the chicken thighs in the hot skillet, skin-side down. Sear them for about 5-7 minutes on each side, or until they develop a golden brown crust. Remove the chicken from the skillet and set it aside.
Step 5: Sauté the Onions and Bell Peppers
In the same skillet, add the thinly sliced onions and bell peppers. Sauté them for 3-4 minutes, or until they become tender and slightly caramelized.
Step 6: Return the Chicken
Return the seared chicken thighs to the skillet, nestling them among the sautéed onions and peppers.
Step 7: Simmer and Cook
Reduce the heat to medium-low and cover the skillet. Allow the chicken to simmer for about 15-20 minutes, or until it is cooked through and no longer pink in the center. The internal temperature should reach 165°F (74°C).
Step 8: Garnish and Serve
Once your Chicken Asado is cooked to perfection, garnish it with fresh cilantro leaves and lime wedges. This adds a final burst of freshness and brightness to the dish.
Chicken Asado, or Pollo Asado, is a culinary masterpiece that showcases the bold and harmonious flavors of Latin American cuisine. The combination of citrus juices, aromatic spices, and the tenderness of chicken thighs creates a dish that is both comforting and invigorating.
Whether you serve it with rice, tortillas, or a side of beans, Chicken Asado is sure to transport your taste buds to the streets of Latin America. Share this delightful recipe with family and friends, and watch their faces light up as they savor each flavorful bite.
- Can I use boneless chicken thighs for this recipe?
Yes, you can use boneless chicken thighs if you prefer. Adjust the cooking time slightly, as boneless thighs tend to cook faster.
- What can I substitute for orange juice?
If you don’t have fresh oranges, you can use bottled orange juice. However, fresh-squeezed juice is recommended for the best flavor.
- Is it necessary to marinate the chicken for 2 hours?
Marinating for at least 2 hours allows the flavors to fully penetrate the chicken, but if you’re short on time, marinating for 30 minutes will still yield delicious results.
- Can I use different bell pepper colors?
Absolutely! You can use any color of bell pepper you prefer or even a combination for a visually appealing dish.
- Is there a spicier version of Chicken Asado?
If you like heat, you can add diced jalapeños or red pepper flakes to the marinade for a spicy kick. Adjust the amount to your preferred level of spiciness.
- 4-5 pounds bone-in chicken thighs (I remove the skin)
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- ¼ cup lime juice
- 1 small yellow onion, chopped
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 ounces achiote paste
- 1 TBS EACH ground coriander, ground cumin, kosher salt
- 2 tsp EACH smoked paprika, dried oregano
- 1 tsp EACH pepper, chipotle chile pepper
- Whisk all of the Marinade ingredients together in a large bowl or freezer size plastic bag. Add chicken and turn to coat. Marinate in the refrigerator 4 to 24 hours. Let chicken sit at room temperature for 20-30 minutes before cooking. (If using chicken breasts, only marinate up to 12 hours or else it can become mushy.)
HOW TO COOK CHICKEN ON THE GRILL
- Note: These instructions are for bone-in chicken thighs – see below for different cuts of chicken. Preheat the grill to medium-high heat, 425-450°F, clean and grease grates with vegetable oil. Grill chicken skin side down first (if leaving on). Grill for 5-7 minutes per side, or until chicken is cooked through and an internal temperature reaches 175 degrees F on an instant read thermometer. Transfer chicken to a cutting board and let rest 5 minutes before slicing.
HOW TO COOK CHICKEN IN THE OVEN
- Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray. Add chicken to baking sheet in a single layer so they aren’t touching. Bake at 400 degrees F for 25-35 minutes (depending on thickness), until the internal temperature reaches 175 degrees F.
- Serve pollo asado with warm tortillas, Mexican street corn (elotes) pina colada fruit salad and Mexican rice or cilantro lime rice. We also love it with avocado corn salsa, corn salsa, mango salsa, or pineapple salsa.
Achiote paste: is made by grinding annatto seeds and combining them with vinegar, oregano, cumin, cloves, cinnamon, black pepper, garlic and salt. The paste is slightly sweet, peppery, nutty and smoky. It is what gives the Pollo Asado, and many other Latin dishes, their signature red-orange color and big flavor. Generally, the achiote paste is sold in small, 3.5-ounce blocks. We will use 2.5 ounces for this recipe, so a little more than two thirds of the block. Look for achiote paste in the ethnic aisle of your local grocery store or by other Latin foods. It can also be found at any specialty Latin market.
- Kosher salt: if you don’t have kosher salt, substitute with HALF the amount of table salt.
HOW TO STORE AND REHEAT
- Storage: store cooked chicken in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- To freeze: let chicken cool completely then transfer it to an airtight container or plastic freezer bag and squeeze out any excess air. Freeze for 2 to 3 months. Thaw Pollo Asado in the refrigerator overnight.
- Skillet: reheat in a skillet over medium low heat until warmed through, adding a splash of water for added moisture.
- Microwave: reheat in the microwave at 30 second intervals, taking care not to overcook.
- Oven: reheat in the oven for 10 minutes at 350 degrees F or just until warmed through.
HOW LONG TO GRILL CUTS OF POLLO ASADO
Every cut of Pollo Asado is delicious thanks to the flavor injecting marinade. With each cut of chicken, take care to not overcook but grill to the specified temperature, light meat to 165 degrees F and dark meat to 175-180 degrees F.
BONELESS CHICKEN BREASTS
- Pound chicken breasts to an even thickness before marinating.
- Preheat grill to 400-425°F, clean and grease grates.
- Grill chicken undisturbed for 5-7 minutes per side, or until chicken is cooked through (an inserted thermometer should reach 165 degrees F).
BONELESS SKINLESS CHICKEN THIGHS
- Preheat grill to 400-450°F, clean and grease grates.
- Grill chicken undisturbed for 5-7 minutes per side, or until chicken is cooked through (an inserted thermometer should reach 175 degrees F).
BONE-IN CHICKEN THIGHS
- Preheat the grill to medium-high heat, 425-450°F, clean and grease grates.
- Grill chicken skin side down first (if leaving on). Grill for 5-7 minutes per side with the lid CLOSED, or until chicken is cooked through and an internal temperature reaches 175 degrees F.
- Preheat grill to 400-450°F, clean and grease grates.
- Add chicken to the hot grill and sear for 5 minutes, uncovered, flip and sear an additional 5 minutes, uncovered.
- Cover, and turn heat down to low so the temperature stays around 325°F when the lid is CLOSED.
- Cook 5 minute then flip and cover; cook an additional 5 minutes.
- Check chicken temperature. It should register 175-180°F. If chicken is not cooked to this temperature yet, flip and repeat steps until chicken is fully cooked through.
CHICKEN LEG QUARTERS
- Preheat grill to high heat, clean and grease grates.
- Add chicken to the hot grill and sear for 5 minutes. Flip chicken over and sear 5 minutes.
- COVER and reduce heat to low so that the heat stays around 350 degrees F when the lid is closed. Grill with the lid closed for 12 minutes. Flip chicken over, cover and grill and additional 12 minutes. Check chicken temperature. It should register 175 degrees F. If chicken is not cooked to this temperature yet, flip and repeat steps until chicken is fully cooked through.
Nutrition InformationYield 1 Serving Size 6
Amount Per ServingCalories 5691Total Fat 388gSaturated Fat 104gTrans Fat 2gUnsaturated Fat 281gCholesterol 2903mgSodium 4287mgCarbohydrates 49gFiber 9gSugar 19gProtein 539g
The information contained herein is subject to change.