Citrus El Pollo Loco Chicken

"*EDIT* after several reviews general opinion says that it's NOT the real deal. Be that as it may I still think that it makes a fine flavored chicken *EDIT*. Reportedly this is the real thing. Please decide for yourself, I can't say as I have never had chicken from this restaurant. While I don't know if it's "The Real Deal" I do know that it's mighty good chicken."
photo by Pam-I-Am photo by Pam-I-Am
photo by Pam-I-Am
photo by HeidiSue photo by HeidiSue
photo by HeidiSue photo by HeidiSue
Ready In:




  • Briefly simmer the cut-up chicken in a deep-sided skillet, keeping pieces in single layer without crowding them, until the meat appears milky white and the juices run clear, no longer pink. Allow to cool in the broth, uncovered, while you prepare the basting sauce.
  • Arrange the chicken pieces skin-side up on broiler pan in single layer and baste with enough of mixture to evenly coat skin side. Turn and baste other side. Turn again to skin side up and broil 6" from the heat, brushing with additional sauce every few minutes until skin is really crispy and golden brown, approximately 5 to 8 minutes for large pieces.
  • Mix juices, oil, turmeric, garlic salt and pepper. This makes enough to baste nine pieces.

Questions & Replies

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  1. thepriest
    The company chicken has an orange color not yellow. Tumeric is not used in the recipe, this causes the yellow coloring. Pepper is also not used in the recipe. In fact no additional spices are added except for the liquid marinade! I once owned the company operations manual as part of my restaurant training, but I destroyed it when I left the company, maintaining my confidentiality agreement with the company. But I do wish I had kept the manual. But, the marinade recipe was pre-packaged and shipped to the restaurants, therefore, only R&D has the actual recipe, and it is locked up tight! Many have tried to copy the flavoring with little luck.
  2. mizjmassie
    I was born and raised in L.A. and this is not El Pollo Loco, but still flavorful. The second time I made this, I brined the chicken in equal parts salt and sugar and added it to water. I added a packet of Sazon to the marinade which made it taste slightly closer to the real thing. I will be making this again on the grill.
  3. LARavenscroft
    Have never been to El Pollo Loco so like other reviewers I have no idea if this is the real thing or not, but what I do know is that this is very good. I used 3 lbs of boneless skinless chicken thighs and finished them on the grill instead of under the broiler. Can't wait to have the leftovers on salad. Thanks for posting this Annacia. Made for Zaar Stars Tag.
  4. dubisbaby
    I grew up in CA and this does not taste like El Pollo Loco chicken, but still very good. I couldn't give it 5 stars because my husband brined the chicken before we followed the recipe, which made it oh so tender!!! We also grilled it on the grill instead of broiling it. We didn't have tumeric, so we used yellow mustard. Again, this is a very good recipe, just not EPL chicken.
  5. Hey Jude
    I, and my husband and daughter, have never had 'the real thing' but we do know what we like and we liked this chicken very much. It has a very nice 'PTwangy' flavor. I made this as written but instead of broiling in the oven I finished it outside on the grill....too hot to cook inside. I would say also that the basting sauce is probably enough for 2 cut up chickens. I basted like crazy and was still left with about 1/2 cup of the basting sauce. I'll be making this again for sure. I found that I like the pre-cooking inside and then finishing up quickly on the grill outside. Thanks for sharing Annacia!



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