Pollo a lo Oaxaca

Rick Cooks Home Pollo a lo Oaxaca

Grill-roasted chicken can’t be beat, but it makes a mess on the grill, unless you use the indirect-heat method.

For years, I favored using a vertical roaster (such as Spanek) over other roastimg methods, such as a roasting pan or rotisserie. Vertical roasting allows the heat to enter the bird cavity and cook evenly, saving juices and shortening cooking time. It also works particularly well in a kettle grill and small portable tailgating grills, as for beer-butt chicken, an apt vertical-roast improvisation.

But the main disadvantage of vertical roasting is gravity: The fat and juices pool in the lower extremities of the bird, depriving the breast that needs them most. The whole idea of a rotisserie, on the other hand, is not just for even roasting, but to keep the juices circulating so that they remain evenly distributed.

But even if you don't have a rotisserie, an oven roaster with a v-rack works fine. You just need to rotate the bird. I start it breast up, and flip it breast down for the last hour, after the skin is good and brown.

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Pollo a lo Oaxaca

*Serves 4-6*

1 bunch fresh cilantro, stemmed and chopped
6 T lime juice
2 t finely grated lime zest
1 c fresh lemon juice
2 T vegetable oil
2 t minced garlic, divided
c melted butter
t onion powder
t garlic powder
1 t annato (atchuete) powder or a few drops yellow food color t ground cumin
1 (2 to 3 lb) chicken
2 large ripe avocados, peeled and seeded
2 green onions, finely chopped
4 red bell peppers
Fresh or purchased salsa
Flour or corn tortillas

In medium bowl, combine cilantro, lime juice, lime zest, lemon juice, oil, 1 teaspoon of the garlic, and salt to taste. Remove and reserve cup for sauce.
Combine remaining cilantro mixture, melted butter, onion powder, garlic powder, annatto powder, and cumin. Add to self-sealing plastic bag with chicken and marinate in refrigerator for a minimum of 2 hours. In large bowl, mash avocados. Add reserved cup cilantro mixture, green onions, remaining 1 teaspoon garlic, and Tabasco to taste. Stir until well blended.
Preheat grill. Remove chicken from marinade and place on vertical roaster. Roast chicken.
During last 7 minutes of grilling time, add bell peppers to grill. Roast red peppers, then peel, core, seed, and cut into strips.
Cut chicken into quarters and place on individual serving plates. Spoon reserved avocado sauce on top. Place bell pepper strips on top of sauce. Garnish with salsa and serve with tortillas.