Indulge in the zesty, bold flavors of Pollo Asado! This Mexican classic, marinated in achiote paste, will leave your taste buds dancing. Recipe by Glenn Connaughton. Read more about Glenn here.
If you're a fan of bold, zesty flavors, then this pollo asado recipe is sure to become a favorite in your household. This classic Mexican dish features juicy chicken thighs that have been marinated in a blend of citrus juices, olive oil, garlic, and the star ingredient – achiote paste. I first tasted this dish in Phoenix, Arizona in the early 90s and have been addicted to the flavors of the achiote paste ever since. It adds a deep, rich color to the chicken, as well as a slightly sweet and earthy flavor that perfectly complements the tangy citrus juices and spicy seasonings.The marinade is easy to prepare and can be made in advance, so it's a great dish to serve for a summer barbecue or a casual weeknight dinner. The chicken can be grilled to perfection in just a few minutes, resulting in crispy, golden-brown skin and tender, juicy meat. Serve it alongside some classic Mexican sides, such as rice and beans, grilled corn, or guacamole, for a meal that's sure to impress. Whether you're a seasoned grill master or a beginner cook, this pollo asado recipe is a must-try.
In a blender, add all the marinade ingredients and blend until smooth.
Place the chicken thighs in a large ziplock bag and pour the marinade over the chicken, making sure it’s evenly coated. Seal the bag and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, but preferably overnight.
When you’re ready to grill, preheat your grill to medium-high heat. Remove the chicken from the marinade and discard any excess marinade.
Brush the grill grates with vegetable oil to prevent sticking. Place the chicken thighs on the grill and cook for about 6-7 minutes per side, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F.
Remove the chicken from the grill and let the chicken rest for a few minutes before slicing or serving. This allows the juices to redistribute and makes the chicken more juicy and tender. You can garnish with fresh chopped cilantro and serve with your favorite side dishes, such as rice and beans or grilled vegetables.
Don’t flip the chicken too often. Let it cook on one side for several minutes before flipping it over. This allows it to develop a nice crust and prevents it from sticking to the grill.Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the chicken. The chicken is done when it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F.