A simple way to cook chicken over the coals outdoors, pollo a las brasas uses sticks or large skewers to control the distance of the chicken from the heat. This version is from Sinaloa on the Pacific Coast in northwest Mexico and uses citrus, chiles, garlic, and spices as a marinade. Originally cooked over an open fire, this dish can also be made using a grill, smoker, rotisserie, or indoor oven. The sticks are optional.
Polla a las Brasas accompanied by a salsa fresca, white rice, some charred jalapeño or poblano chiles, and fresh lime, avocado, and homemade flour tortillas is a combination relished throughout the country.
- 4 half chickens, 1-1 ¼ pounds each
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 4 guajillo chiles, toasted, seeded, and finely chopped or ground
- 12 cloves garlic
- 1 teaspoon whole toasted cumin
- 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves, chopped or 1 tablespoon toasted Mexican oregano
- 2 sticks cinnamon, lightly crushed (optional)
- 2 teaspoons whole allspice, lightly cracked (optional)
- 2/3 cup fresh lime juice
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
Rinse the chickens and pat dry. Arrange in a non-reactive pan and season with the salt and pepper.
Combine the remaining ingredients and cover the chicken with the mixture. Cover the pan and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 12 hours.
Remove from the refrigerator ½ hour before cooking. Skewer if desired.
Cook over a low-heat charcoal fire or indirect heat in a covered grill or smoker, turning frequently (every 7-10 minutes), until chicken is cooked through, approximately 1 ½-2 hours.