Several years ago we had lunch from a Mexican chicken restaurant near us called El Pollo Primo. They cook the chicken on a couple large griddles, and then serve a few pieces of whole cooked chicken on a plate along with some corn tortillas, salsa, and Spanish rice. Then at the table, the chicken is shredded by customer, placed on the corn tortilla, mixed with some Spanish rice and some salsa. Then the tortilla is rolled up, and eaten. We found this to be a delicious and unique way of serving chicken.
So over the years we’ve tried to replicate their seasoning on the chicken and we think we finally hit it.
El Pollo Primo Grilled Chicken
1/2 cup canola oil
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup vinegar
1 tsp chopped garlic (about 2 cloves)
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground corriender
1/2 tsp annatto seed (from a Latin American grocer)
The annatto in this recipe adds the lovely yellow coloring to the chicken that you see in the photograph above.
Place the canola oil, water, vinegar, garlic, cumin, corriender, and annatto seed in a blender. Blend on medium high speed for 1 – 2 minutes to allow the annatto seed to be chopped up by the tines on the blender. Alternately use ground annatto, and whip up well with a wisk.
Wash, and place 5 – 6 chicken breasts and thighs in a large, freezer duty ziplock bag. Pour the seasonings over top of the chicken and seal the bag. Turn the bag over a few times to coat the chicken well, then place in the refrigerator. Let marinate for 4 to 6 hours, turning over ever hour or so.
Cook the chicken on a griddle or large iron frying pan until done, about 15 – 20 minutes to a side.
Serve with warmed corn tortillas, Spanish Rice, and your favorite salsa. You may optionally add sour cream, and cheese.