Pollo Asado

This recipe comes satisfactorily close to the flavor of a pollo asado al carbon Rachel and I once bought in Valladolid, Yucatán and ate with our fingers in a ferociously-hot Volkswagen.


(Makes enough for a 3 1/2 lb chicken in a pot that just fits. For a bigger bird or a bigger pot you’ll need to scale up.)

6c water
1/2c salt
small handful dried oregano
small handful powdered cumin
smaller handful cinnamon
powdered cloves – about half as much as cinnamon
around a tablespoon of liquid smoke (unless you’re going to roast over wood or charcoal)

Bring to a boil and simmer for five or ten minutes. Allow to cool.
Soak the chicken in the cooled brine in the refrigerator for around an hour per pound, then drain the chicken.


one dried ancho chile, seeds and all
half a dozen garlic cloves
small handful dried oregano
juice of a lime
glug of vegetable oil

Grind all that up in a blender. Smear it on the drained chicken.


Roast the chicken at around 450DegF for around twelve minutes per pound. Use an instant-read thermometer to test for 160DegF in the middle of the thickest part.

(This is a hacked-up version of this recipe from the Rocky Point Tides blog.)

Image CC-BY-NC-SA by vanherdehaage

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