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Pollo Asado, oven roasted on a sheet pan or grilled on a grill. A delicious Mexican orange and paprika marinade which makes juicy and flavorful grilled chicken.

Perfect for summer BBQ, memorial day cookout or a any day healthy chicken dinner.
Pollo Asado (Oven Roasted, Grilled)

Flavorful chicken (roasted or grilled) marinated in orange, lime juice, garlic, paprika, herbs, and spices. Pollo Asado is Mexican (or Cuban depending upon spices) take on grilled chicken where citrus tenderize chicken, and herbs, spices make it juicy and flavorful. The beautiful orange color is so tempting. You will love the flavors.

Today, I'm sharing both cooking methods to make pollo asado; 1) Grilled 2) Oven Roasted. Plus vibrant made-from-scratch Pollo Asado marinade that you can use with any kind of meat. Even sauted shrimp tastes amazing with such bold and citrus flavors.

So, let's make some Pollo Asado!

Chicken marinating in Pollo Asado Marinade

Pollo means chicken. Asado means roasted. In simple words, pollo asado is chicken roasted. Some sources claim that pollo is slang word. We are not going to dig deeper in name but talk about the flavor; how delicious and simple this homemade pollo asado recipe is.

Pollo Asado Marinade:

Pollo Asado recipe, like any good roasted chicken starts with marinating the chicken in Asado marinade. Marinade is combination of two main components: citrus and asado seasoning.

In a best tasting Pollo Asado, I look for bright citrus notes, garlic, and aroma of oregano and smoked paprika.

My Pollo Asado seasoning is blend of roasted cumin, Spanish smoked paprika, onion powder, black pepper, and oregano. I add orange juice and lime juice, mix with olive oil, and fresh crushed garlic to make a paste like marinade. This marinade tenderize the chicken, infuse in ton of flavor, and yields a dark-spiced (not that spicy but darn delicious) chicken roast. Heavenly Pollo Asado it is!

Let's break apart few things that I do differently for Pollo Asado Marinade:

Achiote or Paprika: Like many other Cuban/Mexican Chicken recipes, all flavor of pollo asado comes from citrus, and spices. The beautiful orange-red color of chicken is either Achiote Paste Or Spanish Paprika. Even though I have used achiote paste for this recipe.. The recipe I'm sharing here uses Smoked Paprika. I feel achiote is not that easy to find and the smokey flavor of paprika gives good flavor boost to the pollo asado.

However, if you are after that red-orange color, I have also shared the Achiote Mariande recipe in the notes. 

Citrus: Most common citrus for asado marinade are: orange and lemon juice. I love the flavor of orange, but replace lime in place of lemon juice. Lime is perfect to cut the rich smoky flavor of smoked paprika. Since my recipe is paprika based, lime is the way to go. If you are planning to use Achiote Paste. I must tell you that achiote powders are often pre-seasoned with some citrus and spices. So, if you using only achiote and no paprika, you can use lemon juice.

Delicious Roasted Pollo Asado

I promised to share two ways to prepare Pollo Asado: Grilled and Oven Roasted. (these pictures show oven roasted chicken)

Oven roasted is great for weeknights and any time of the year when switching-on outdoor grill is not an feasible option. Grilling makes perfect sense for sunny days ahead. Late Spring and summer, The season of grill is here. On weekends, Vishal want to only eat grilled. My job is only to get the chicken marinated and ready. Grilling is his job. So, I keep lots of marinade recipes handy to make my life easier. 

Let's discuss both cooking methods, one at a time.

Pollo Asado in Oven:

To roast chicken in oven, pre-heat oven at 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray pan with oil, reserve marinade (to use later) before placing chicken on sheet pan. Roast until internal temperature on instant thermometer reads 165 degrees Fahrenheit. I like to broil for last 1-2 minutes for more roasted flavor. (optional)

Bone-in chicken thighs take 30-35 minutes. Boneless chicken cooks quickly. (25-30 minutes)

Note: Check chicken temperature sooner to avoid dry chicken. For more flavor and moisture, after first 15 minutes, rotate the pan, and baste chicken with reserved marinade (twice, every 5 minutes).

Pollo Asado on Grill:

Pollo Asado or any time grilling chicken, grill preheated to 375 to 400 Fahrenheit works best. This temperature keeps chicken moist and cooks evenly. Medium temperature don't let chicken dry out or cook fast from outside and leave inside raw.

Note: Always only flip the chicken when one side is done. Don't hurry or flip too many times. 

Pollo Asado - oven or grill prepare method

I hope this will make to your grill coming weekend. If you haven't started grilling yet (like us with still snowing outside). Oven roasted Pollo Asado recipe is great way to bring summer into kitchen even without grill. 

Mexican Grilled Chicken Pollo Asado

If you like Grilled Chicken, I'm sure you will enjoy these other recipes on blog: (all can be adapted to cook in oven too)

Chicken Souvlaki
Chicken Fajita
Malai (Cream) Chicken Kabobs
Hawaiian Chicken Skewers

Oh, and don't forget to pin this recipe for later.

Enjoy!

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Pollo Asado (Oven Roasted, Grilled)

Pollo Asado (Oven Roasted, Grilled)
Total Time Prep Time Cook Time Difficulty Easy Yields 3 lb Chicken Serves 4 Notes Total time does not include marination time.

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs Chicken  (I used bone-in skinless chicken thighs)
  • 8 Garlic  (large cloves, about 3 tbsp when minced)
  • 2 tsp Oregano  
  • 1 tbsp Paprika  (Spanish smoked paprika)
  • 2 tsp Cumin Powder  
  • 1/4 Cup Orange Juice  (fresh juice )
  • 3 Lime  (1/4 cup juice, more for serving)
  • 1/2 tsp Onion Powder  
  • 1/2 tsp Chili Flakes  
  • 1/4 Cup Olive Oil  
  • 1/2 tsp Black Pepper  (freshly cracked)
  • 1 tsp Salt  (adjust to taste)

Directions

  • 1. Heat grill to medium heat, about 375 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. (Oven instructions in notes)
  • Step for Recipe - Pollo Asado (Oven Roasted, Grilled)
    2. Pollo Asado Marinade: In a wide bowl, combine all marinade ingredients. Taste and adjust salt and lime to sharp bold taste before adding chicken.
    Additional Notes
    Time Saving Tip: I also like to put all marinade ingredients in blender and puree to smooth paste.
  • Step for Recipe - Pollo Asado (Oven Roasted, Grilled)
    3. Add in chicken. Rub marinade paste over the chicken, cover all sides. Cover and refrigerate for at-least 30 minutes to marinate. (up-to overnight).
  • 4. When ready to grill, brush hot grill with oil. Remove chicken from marinade and reserve marinade.
  • 5. Grilled Pollo Asado: Place chicken on grill. Cover and grill chicken until internal temperature (in thickest part of thigh) reads 165 degrees Fahrenheit on instant read thermometer. (about 20-30 minutes) (Oven instructions in notes)
    Additional Notes
    After first 10 minutes, baste chicken with reserve marinade for more flavor and moisture.
  • Step for Recipe - Pollo Asado (Oven Roasted, Grilled)
    6. Serve with side of beans, rice, salsa. Add to tacos or burrito bowls. Extra splash of lime before serving is highly recommended.
Savita's Notes:

*Oven Roasted Pollo Asado: To roast in oven, pre-heat oven at 425 degrees Fahrenheit. In step-3, place chicken on sheet pan . (reserve marinade). Roast until internal temperature on instant thermometer reads 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Broil last 1-2 minute for more roasted flavor. (optional) Bone-in chicken thighs take 30-35 minutes. Boneless chicken cooks quickly. (25-30 minutes) Check chicken temp sooner to avoid dry chicken. For more flavor and moisture, after first 15 minutes, rotate the pan, and baste chicken with reserved marinade (twice, every 5 minutes). Discard the remaining marinade.

Achiote Powder Marinade: When using achiote powder , replace paprika in above ingredients list with a tbsp achiote powder. Use half of lime juice and half of salt. Taste and adjust both after tasting.

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