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Grilled Roadside Whole Chicken

Source: www.cooking.com – Mexican Everyday by W.W. Norton
Click here to find out more!
Slow-grilling in Mexico is done directly over a bed of hardwood charcoal that’s quite a distance from the chicken; we can achieve a similar result by heating only part of a gas grill or by banking live coals to the sides. A good number of Mexican chicken grillers are rotisserie jockeys, so if you’re an aficionado of the rotisserie attachment for your grill, you’re in good company.INGREDIENTS

For the Marinade:
1 1/2 tablespoons ground ancho chile powder (available from national companies such as McCormick, Mexican groceries and internet sites)
1 teaspoon dried oregano, preferably Mexican
A big pinch of ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, preferably Mexican canela
2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped or crushed through a garlic press
3 tablespoons vinegar (apple cider vinegar gives a Mexican flavor)
1/4 cup orange juice
1 teaspoon salt, plus a little more for the onions
1 large (3-pound) chicken (what some butchers call a large frying chicken, others call a small roasting chicken)
A little vegetable or olive oil for brushing the onions
2 large bunches green onions, preferably the ones with large (1-inch) white bulbs at the end (these “knob” onions are available at Mexican markets and many farmer’s markets), roots and wilted outer leaves removed
About 1 cup Roasted Tomatillo Salsa, for serving
In a small bowl, mix together all the marinade ingredients.

Heat one side of a gas grill to medium. If you have a grill with three burners, heat the outer two to medium, leaving the center one off. Or light a charcoal fire and let it burn until the charcoal is covered with white ash and about medium-hot; bank half the coals to one side of the grill, half to the other.
While the grill is heating, remove the giblets (if there are any) from the cavity of the chicken. Flip the chicken onto its breast. Using poultry shears, cut down both sides of the backbone from tail to neck; discard backbone. Or, if you don’t have shears, lay the bird on its back, insert a long heavy knife into the body cavity and press down hard with a rocking motion to cut down through both sides of the backbone. Open the bird out onto your work surface, breast side up. Make sure that the legs are turned inward. Using your fist or a mallet, wallop the bird on the breast, hard enough to dislodge the center bones and flatten out the breast. Twist the last joint of the wings up over the breast and then down behind the “shoulders,” tucking them in firmly to keep them in place during grilling.
Smear both sides of the chicken with the marinade. Lay in the center of the grill (it will not be over direct heat). Cook, without turning, basting from time to time with any remaining marinade, until the juices run clear when a thigh is pierced deeply with a fork (an instant-read thermometer should register about 160 degrees F when inserted at the thickest part of the thigh), about 45 minutes. If you’re cooking over charcoal, you’ll want to add more charcoal to the fire after half an hour or so—the internal temperature of the grill should stay at about 325 degrees F.
About 10 minutes before the chicken is ready, brush or spray the green onions with oil and sprinkle with salt. Grill directly over the fire, turning frequently, until tender and browned.
Remove the chicken to a cutting board. It will lose less juice if you cover it loosely with foil and let it rest for 5 to 10 minutes.
Cut the chicken into quarters (or smaller pieces). Transfer a portion to each of four dinner plates. Top with the grilled onions, and you’re ready to serve. Pass the salsa separately.
Recipe reprinted by permission of W.W. Norton. All rights reserved.
Nutrition Information
Serves 4 – Facts Per Serving:

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