During this last push until the warmer months come, I catch myself missing summer a lot. Visits to the beach, the sound of rain outside open windows, and grilling. I can feel the tears welling up as I describe it. I really love summertime! It’s a thing of beauty.
What better way to experience a bit of summer good times than to make one of my favorite grilling recipes? There is this chicken that I absolutely love made by Mexican cooking superstar, Rick Bayless. It’s a whole chicken served just like the street side vendors dish it up in Mexico. It is so smoky, tender, and delicious. The chicken is slowly grilled while being brushed with a unique mixture of ground ancho chile, cinnamon, clove, garlic, and orange juice. So good, so summery.
Wait, reality check. It’s still just a wee bit too cold for grilling, in my opinion. And lovingly basting chicken while it cooks for nearly an hour? Ain’t nobody got time for that! Time to improvise.
While this version of the recipe still takes a bit of time to prepare, it’s all hands-off. That means you’ll have more time for doing more important things, like Facebook stalking people you will never talk to or pretending to do chores while you actually watch The Walking Dead. You know, life’s essentials.
The best part? This chicken tastes and looks like you spent a lot of hard hours in the kitchen, when in reality it’s darn near effortless. If you’ve got a bit more time, you could even finish it off on the grill (instead of broiling it, like I do in this recipe) for that extra layer of flavor.
You can enjoy this recipe with a bit of rice and grilled green onions, or cebollitas. And if, for some ungodly reason, there are leftovers (there won’t be), you can shred the chicken the next day and put it in enchiladas, on tostadas, or make a chicken salad with a bit of mayo, mandarin oranges, and cilantro. Oh man, don’t get me started. Now I almost want to make this just for the leftovers!
I hope you love this recipe as much as we do and since it’s so easy to make, you don’t have to worry about setting aside a huge chunk of your day to enjoy a little taste of Mexico. This recipe has made its way into our meal rotation. Trust me, after you try it, you’ll see exactly why.
- 1½ tablespoons ground ancho chile powder
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano, preferably Mexican
- large pinch of ground cloves
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- ¼ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 4 large garlic cloves, crushed and skins removed
- 4 chicken quarters (about 3 pounds)
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and top with a flat roasting rack.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the ancho powder, oregano, cloves, cinnamon, vinegar, orange juice, and salt.
- Place the chicken quarters in a large casserole dish or resealable plastic bag. Add the garlic cloves, then pour the ancho mixture over the chicken.
- Massage to evenly distribute, cover, and place in the refrigerator to marinate for 5-8 hours.
- Place the chicken on the rack. Pour the excess marinade over the chicken and brush to evenly coat.
- Cook the chicken in the oven for 45 minutes. Increase the heat to 500ºF, then continue cooking for 10 minutes more. Turn the chicken and cook for an additional 10 minutes, or until the middle is no longer pink.
- Allow the chicken to rest for 10 minutes, then serve.