We were on our way to a Mezcal tasting in Oaxaca when I saw them. Roadside vendors with improvised chicken rotisseries, each about six feet long. Row after row of chickens, spinning over beds charcoal. “Should we stop?” asked one of my fellow students - she knows that I love rotisserie. But, no, we are on a tight schedule, there’s no freeway exit…we can’t stop. That is one of my few regrets from that trip, that I didn’t get to try roadside rotisserie chicken.
I forgot about it…until Daniel Vaughn wrote up Pollos Asados Los Norteños - grilled chicken from the northern frontier - in a recent story for Texas Monthly’s barbecue column. Now, this is probably not the style of chicken I saw out the window in Oaxaca; this is chicken from the Norteño Frontera, the border region between Mexico and the US. But it looked so good I had to give it a try.
What makes Mexican roadside chicken? A tart citrus marinade, loaded with spices. Oh, and a grill, of course. I couldn’t help myself - I had to try this recipe on my rotisserie, my favorite way to grill chicken.
Looking for a taste of Mexican roadside chicken from your own back yard? Check this recipe out.
Recipe: Rotisserie Chicken Pollo Asado
- Grill with Rotisserie attachment (I use a Weber Summit with an infrared rotisserie burner.)
- Aluminum foil drip pan (9“x13”, or whatever fits your grill. I use an enameled steel roasting pan.)
- Butchers twine
- Instant Read Thermometer
- Gallon zip-top bag.
Rotisserie Chicken Pollo Asado
- Total Time: 3 hours
- Yield: 4-6 1x
Rotisserie Chicken Pollo Asado recipe. Mexican roadside rotisserie chicken, Norteño Frontera style.
- 1 (4 pound) chicken
Pollo Asado Norteño marinade
- ½ cup fresh squeezed mandarin orange juice (juice of 4 mandarins, or substitute 2 regular sized oranges - save the juiced rind)
- ¼ cup fresh squeezed lime lemon (juice of 1 lemon, save the juiced rind)
- ¼ cup fresh squeezed lime juice (juice of 2 limes, save the juiced rind)
- 2 teaspoons Diamond Crystal kosher salt (or 1 teaspoon table salt)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon ancho chile powder
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¼ cup olive oil
- Shredded cabbage
- Cilantro leaves
- Lime wedges
- Marinate the chicken: Whisk the Pollo Asado Norteño marinade ingredients in a gallon zip-top bag. Stuff the chicken cavity with a half-rind from each of the squeezed fruits - one orange, lemon, and lime rind in the cavity. Put the chicken in the bag with the marinade, squeeze out as much air as possible, and seal the bag. Flip the bag over a few times to coat the chicken with the marinade. Put the bagged chicken in a baking dish and refrigerate for 2 to 8 hours, flipping every hour or so to redistribute the marinade.
- Truss the chicken: Take the chicken out of the bag, and let any excess marinade drip off. Fold the wingtips under the wings and truss the chicken. Skewer the chicken on the rotisserie spit, securing it with the spit forks. Let the chicken rest at room temperature while preparing the grill.
- Set up the grill for indirect high heat (450°F+): Set up the grill for indirect high heat (450°F or higher). On my Weber Summit, I remove the grill grates and preheat the grill with all burners on high for 15 minutes. Then I turn off all but the outer burners - burners 1 and 6. I also turn on my rotisserie burner and set it to high.
- Rotisserie the chicken: Put the spit on the grill, start the motor spinning, and make sure the drip pan is centered beneath the chicken. Close the lid and cook with the lid closed as much as possible. (If you have an infrared rotisserie burner, turn it off after the chicken is browning well, about 30 minutes, and let the burners in the main body of the grill finish cooking the bird.) The chicken is done when it reaches 160°F in the thickest part of the breast, about 1 hour.
- Serve: Remove the chicken from the rotisserie spit and then remove the trussing twine. Be careful — the spit and forks are blazing hot. Let the chicken rest for 15 minutes. Carve and serve with taco fixings on the side, so your diners can shred and make their own tacos.
Need trussing and spitting instructions? They're in my: How To Rotisserie Two Chickens video.
- Prep Time: 2 hours
- Cook Time: 1 hour
- Category: Rotisserie
- Cuisine: Mexican
- This recipe doubles easily, as you can see in the pictures. Double all the ingredients, and marinate each chicken in its own zip top bag. (This is easiest with two sets of spit forks, but If you only have one set of spit forks, push the chickens together as tight as possible before locking down the forks.)
What do you think?
Questions? Other ideas? Leave them in the comments section below.
Rotisserie Chicken with Tex-Mex Rub
Rotisserie Chicken with Red Chile Marinade (Pollo Adobado)
Rotisserie Chicken with Spanish Smoked Paprika Rub
|Check out my cookbook, Rotisserie Grilling.
Everything you could ask about the rotisserie,
It's available in paperback, or as a Kindle e-book so you can download it and start reading immediately!
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After trying many versions, this is the one I come back to. It brings me back to growing up in Central California. We used to go fishing at a nearby canal and local Mexican families would be out there too barbequing. We never got to sample their food as we in my family are anti-social, but there was a delicious aroma that would waft over to us. For first time I found that smell: this recipe.
Ive made it for my parents and brother three times now, each time its a hit. It brings us all back to those warm California summer days.
can this be marinated too long? I would like to let it go overnight, but dont want the acid to ruin the chicken
BTW Love the site. Have made a number of recipes and all have been great. Keep up the great work!
Mike Vrobel says
Yes, it can go too long. I wouldn’t go over 8 hours.
Made this recipe last night in our new Hamilton Beach Rotisserie Oven. Turned out great Mike! The flavor was supreme. I had the bird bathe in the marinade for 24 hours--flipping him every few. Just bought your book on rotisserie chicken. Thanks Mike!!
Mike Vrobel says
Wow! Mr. Vrobel nails it again ...
I made this yesterday and it was out of this world, although a little crispier than I would have liked. Due to time constraints, I was only able to marinade for 3 hours but, I'm going for the whole 8 next time.
I don't have as big & fancy a grill as Mike, so next time I think I'll do is slower/cooler than 1 Hr. @ 450. On my rig this would be perfect at 350 for 30 minutes/pound.
I have a reputation with friends & family for making great food on my grill. If only they knew that I get most of it from Dad Cooks Dinner ...
I do of course share this website with my "grilling buddies". 🙂