Someone recently mentioned on the GrillinFools Facebook page that they were doing an El Pollo Loco chicken recipe. After a google search I found a bunch of recipes and combined a couple into one of my own, so here is my version of El Pollo Loco chicken.
½ cup olive oil
¼ shallots, minced
1 tbsp green onion, minced
2 tbsp garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
¼ tsp ground cumin
¼ tsp ancho powder
juice of one lemon
juice of one orange
1 chicken, cut into parts
2 tbsp butter
Combine all ingredients except the butter and refrigerate over night:
For this recipe, prepare the grill for two zone grilling, heat on one side and nothing on the other. As I will be doing this on a Char-Broil Tru Infrared, I will turn the burners on the right side on and leave the left off (you could do the inverse if you like). I set the burners I turned on to medium high heat.
I removed the chicken from the bags and kept the remainder of the marinade:
I put the marinade in a pot with the butter and brought to a simmer. Since my Char-Broil Infrared has a side burner, I did this outside:
Prior to making the grilled chicken, when I was simmering the sauce, I noticed that I had a very nervous observer in that plant pot next to my grill:
Anyone got any dove recipes?
First, I put the thighs on the grill:
Some of you are asking why not put all the chicken on at the same time? Because it takes the thighs the longest to cook. But aren’t the breasts bigger? They are, but they have far less fat and cook much more quickly. When doing grilled chicken, always put the thighs on first.
Normally I sear the thighs on both sides before I put the breasts on, but the breasts were so huge I seared the thighs on one side and then put the breasts on:
Guess who didn’t clean his grill before he put the chicken on? I lost some of the skin on one of the thighs.
Once the thighs are seared on each side, I moved them to the side with no heat to bake while the chicken breasts continued to cook:
The breasts are browning up nicely:
Yes, I cross hatched my grilled chicken breasts:
Once the chicken breasts are seared on each side put them over with the thighs and hit them with the brush on sauce:
Then I threw on the wings and legs:
When the grilled chicken reaches 155-160 degrees internal temperature, take off the heat and allow to rest for a couple minutes where it will continue to cook a little:
For such a simple grilled chicken recipe, I really enjoyed this, The El Pollo Loco chicken had layer upon layer of flavor. About the only change I would make is maybe hit it with a little more heat. Spice, not temperature. A minced jalapeno in the marinade next time, but it’s good enough to stand on its own.
Many El Polo Loco chicken recipes call for yellow food coloring to be added to the marinade. I added the food coloring to half of the chicken (hence the two bags near the top) and put a breast, leg, thigh and wing in each bag. Can you see any difference between the two legs, two thighs, or two breasts? The wings were part of the quality control test by the griller before plating for the final shot so you can’t judge the color of those 😉
If you have any questions, feel free to leave them below or shoot me an email.
If you would like this El Pollo Loco chicken recipe, and would like other grilling recipes with chicken, click here.
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- ½ cup olive oil
- ¼ shallots, minced
- 1 tbsp green onion, minced
- 2 tbsp garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ¼ tsp ground cumin
- ¼ tsp ancho powder
- juice of one lemon
- juice of one orange
- 1 chicken, cut into parts
- 2 tbsp butter
- Combine all ingredients except the butter and refrigerate in a resealable plastic bag over night
- Remove from the marinade but do not wipe the sauce off
- Pour the rest of the marinade in an small sauce pan with the butter and simmer for a few minutes
- Prepare the grill for two zone grilling, heat on one side and nothing on the other
- Put the thighs on the grill
- Sear the thighs on one side, flip and then place the breasts on the grill
- Once the thighs are seared on both sides, move to the side with no heat while the breasts continue to grill over the heat
- Once the breasts are seared on both sides, put over to the side with no heat, and brush on the simmering sauce
- Place the legs and wings on the hot side of the grill and sear on both sides
- Once seared on both sides, place on the side with no heat, slather with the sauce and close the lid
- When the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 160-165, remove from the heat, plate and allow to rest for a few minutes