Pollo a La Brasa (Peruvian Grilled Chicken)
photo by Robin and Sue
- Ready In:
- 8hrs 45mins
- 1⁄3 cup soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 5 garlic cloves
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1⁄2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1⁄2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 (3 1/2 lb) whole chickens, quartered
- 1 lime, quartered (for garnish)
- Blend soy sauce, lime juice, garlic, cumin, paprika, oregano, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and oil in a blender.
- Put chicken in a large sealable bag and add marinade. Seal bag and marinate, chilled, 8 to 24 hours. Turn occasionally to assure even marinating.
- Prepare grill for medium-high heat.
- Discard marinade, then pat chicken dry. Oil grill rack.
- Grill chicken over area with no coals (or over a turned-off burner), skin side down first, covered, turning over once, until cooked through, about 30 to 35 minutes (add charcoal to maintain heat).
- Garnish with lime wedges.
- (IF OVEN ROASTING - Preheat oven to 500°F, and roast chicken for 30 minutes in a 13x9-inch roasting pan with 1 cup water. After 30 minutes of roasting time, tent with foil and continue roasting until browned and cooked through, or about 15 minutes longer.).
Several years ago I took a class of how to grill a "pollo a la brasa". The teacher was the son of Roger Schueler, the inventor of the charcoal grilling machine that made him famous His recipe was simple: brine the chicken from 15-30 minutes and place it then on the grill, away from direct fire. That was the original recipe, then came other restaurants like Pio Pio who would brush the chicken from time to time with some kind of a sauce. The next step came from a small restaurant on the Arenales Avenue who came out with the soy sauce grill chicken, not a big hit thoug. Lately there has been a fusion of the different styles ending with marinating the chicken with the mixture of cumin, soy sauce, oregano, olive oil , pepper and lime. I was allowed to go into the kitchen of a large supermarket chain that sells a lot Peruvian grilled chicken and saw they marinated the chicken with the mentioned mixture , overnight, in big vats.
I can't vouch for authenticity but it sure was good. Since there were just two of us we only cooked leg/thigh quarters and they came out moist and flavorful throughout (on marinating for eight hours). We poked holes in the fat deposits before marinating. This not only helped the marinade to penetrate but also helped the fat drain out whlie grilling giving nice, crispy skin (learned from Cooks Illustrated). Only change I will make next time is to use low sodium soy sauce because they were a touch on the salty side. Served with a grilled nectarine and Mexican street corn. Yummy.
Close, but not quite as good as my local Peruvian place. Smells just like it, but flavor not permeated through meat, as there's is. Maybe I should have marinated it longer or poked holes in chicken before hand. I did about 6 - 7 hours. Also, I missed the little yellow sauce packet. The sauce packet is 50% of the goodness.
We loved this recipe. I used a spatchcocked chicken and baked it with 1/2c water in a 9x13 Pyrex dish for 30 min at 500 degrees. I only had time to marinade for 3 hours. It came out incredibly moist, flavorful and delicious. The skin was still crispy. The marinade was perfect. I did add a tablespoon of Sriacha sauce. This is definitely a keeper. Obsessed with the marinade!!
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