Food Hack: Señor Pollo Roast Chicken and ChimichurriSeptember 18, 2016
On my first tentative bite of Señor Pollo’s roast chicken doused with chimichurri sauce, my thoughts were far from “I bet I can make this at home” and more of unintelligible noises. At the restaurant, the fowl is fork tender and carries an appealing complex mix of spice. Their chimichurri lends a fresh herbal and citrus contrast to the headiness of the spicy poultry. We hack the popular dish for the home cook, and emerge victorious! The next time you’re planning a roast to impress your family and friends, try your hand at our Señor Pollo food hack.
Señor Pollo’s Roast Chicken and Chimichurri
Yield: 4 servings
Time: 5 hours and 50 minutes (10 min prep / 5 hours brining / 40 min cooking)
Ingredients: Roast Chicken
- 1.5–2kg whole chicken
- 2L water, ice cold
- ½ cup rock salt
- ¼ cup sugar
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar
- 6 cloves garlic, crushed
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- ¼ cup lime juice, about 2 limes
- ¼ cup butter
- 3 tbsp ground cumin
- 2 tbsp paprika
- 2 tbsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp pepper
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp white vinegar
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- ½ cup fresh coriander, chopped
- ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
- 3 tbsp fresh oregano, chopped
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves, crushed
- ¾ tsp salt
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp chili flakes
- pepper, to taste
Procedure: Roast Chicken
- To brine, combine salt, sugar, and ½ cup of water in a pot. Heat up until everything is dissolved. Set aside and cool down for 5–10 minutes, then add the following: red wine vinegar, crushed garlic, olive oil, and lime juice.
- Remove the innards of the chicken and place in a large container like a ziploc bag.
- Combine the brining mixture with the remaining cold water inside the bag. Brine the chicken with the breast side down for at least 5 hours, turning halfway.
- Using a food processor, blend the following ingredients: butter, ground cumin, paprika, garlic powder, pepper, garlic, white vinegar, and soy sauce.
- After brining the chicken, pat dry the cavity and outside of the chicken. Loosen the skin from the flesh over the breasts and legs, being careful not to tear through the skin.
- Spoon about ⅓ of the paste evenly underneath the skin, and spreak the remaining ⅔ evenly over the skin.
- To grill, cut the chicken in half from the backside (butterfly cut) and cook over the grill, making sure the charcoal is around 4–6 inches away from the grill. Roast for 30–40 minutes or until the meat thermometer reads 160˚F when pierced in the breast area.
- Or, to bake, adjust the oven rack to the lower-middle position, and preheat the oven to 425˚F. Line a roasting pan with aluminum foil for easy clean-up.
- Cut the chicken in half from the backside (butterfly cut) roast for 20 minutes, until the skin is golden. Turn the heat down to 375˚F and continue to roast for about 20 minutes more, or until the juices run clear when you cut between the leg and thigh. (Keep an eye on the chicken, if it’s browning too quickly cover it loosely with foil)
Mix all ingredients in a bowl, season with pepper to taste.