Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Pollo Asado con Salsa de Aguacate
The ubiquitous Pollo Asado spots in Mexico are little less than a fixation for me. When I see the little chicken sign smiling at me, happy with his fate, I would near jump off a moving bus to sit down and give last rites with a few tortillas and spicy salsa.
In the heart of the vanilla growing region of Veracruz, the little town of Gutierrez Zamora has a secret little den that serves up something pretty close to the following recipe. Slightly spicy, smokey and crisp, this is really good. It simply cannot be overstated.
1 organic free range chicken
juice of 1 orange
juice of 2 limes
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon mild chile powder
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
half a teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon ground cummin
1 and a half teapoons salt
Combine all ingredients into a marinade. Let sit whilst you prepare your chicken for cooking.
To prepare the bird, remove the backbone with kitchen shears (or ask your butcher to do it for you), flatten the chicken out by placing it on a board breast up and cracking the breast bone by pressing down firmly.
Place the chicken in the marinade for at least half an hour, turning frequently.
To cook: if you have a good gas or coal BBQ (like a Weber), place the chicken skin side up over a slow heat. Baste with the marinade every so often. This should take around 40 minutes to cook through.
The second option is to sear the skin side of the bird in a skillet, turn over and then place in to the oven at 190 degrees Celsius.The skin will stick to the pan until it has sealed properly, so don't rush it. Your patience will be rewarded. Importantly, this process will cook somewhat quicker than the uni-directional heat method. Baste frequently as per the barbeque process.
Serve with sliced cucumber, radish and lime. A nice simple salsa recipe follows.
Salsa de Aguacate
2 large ripe avocados
50g brown onion
1 chile Jalapeno
juice of 2 limes
water as needed
Remove the seeds from the chile, then roughly chop with the onion. Place all ingredients together in a blender then blend until smooth. The sauce should have a nice pouring consistency and a slight tang.