Spanish grilled chicken, also known as pollo a la brasa or pollo asado, is a popular dish in Spanish cuisine. It refers to chicken that is marinated in a flavorful mixture of herbs, spices, and citrus juices and then grilled to perfection. The marinade typically includes ingredients such as garlic, paprika, cumin, oregano, lemon or lime juice, olive oil, and sometimes vinegar. This marinade not only adds incredible flavor to the chicken but also helps to keep it moist and tender during the grilling process. Spanish grilled chicken is often served with traditional Spanish sides such as roasted potatoes, grilled vegetables, or a fresh green salad. It is a delicious and classic dish that showcases the vibrant flavors of Spanish cuisine.
Ingredients Of Spanish grilled chicken
To make Spanish grilled chicken, you will need the following ingredients:
Main protein: Chicken
Selection of chicken parts (such as thighs, drumsticks, or chicken breasts)
When selecting chicken parts for Spanish grilled chicken, you can either choose bone-in or boneless chicken. It mostly depends on personal preference and the cooking method you want to use. Bone-in chicken tends to be more flavorful and juicy, while boneless chicken cooks faster and more evenly.
You can use any chicken parts you prefer, such as thighs, drumsticks, wings, or chicken breasts. For a more uniform cook, try selecting chicken parts that have a similar size and thickness.
Also, it is recommended to choose chicken that has been raised without the use of antibiotics and hormones whenever possible. This ensures that the chicken is of high quality and thus tastes better when cooked.
Garlic cloves (minced or crushed)
Lemon or lime juice
White wine vinegar (optional)
Salt and pepper
It is important to note that the quantity of ingredients may vary depending on the size of the chicken parts and personal taste preferences. Adjust the measurements accordingly.
The chicken marinating process is an essential step in preparing Spanish grilled chicken. Marinating helps to infuse the chicken with flavor and tenderize the meat. Here’s a general description of the marinating process:
- Clean and pat dry the chicken parts: Rinse the chicken parts with cold water and pat them dry with paper towels. This helps to remove any excess moisture.
- Prepare the marinade: In a bowl, combine minced or crushed garlic cloves, smoked paprika, ground cumin, dried oregano, lemon or lime juice, olive oil, white wine vinegar (optional), salt, and pepper. Mix well to create a paste-like marinade.
- Coat the chicken: Place the chicken parts in a large resealable bag or a shallow dish. Pour the marinade over the chicken, making sure to coat each piece thoroughly. Use your hands or tongs to massage the marinade into the chicken, ensuring it is evenly distributed.
- Marinate and refrigerate: Seal the bag or cover the dish containing the chicken and marinade. Place it in the refrigerator and let the chicken marinate for at least 2-4 hours, or ideally overnight. This allows the flavors to penetrate the meat and tenderize it.
- Take out the chicken: Once the marinating time is complete, remove the chicken from the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature for about 30 minutes before grilling. This helps to ensure even cooking.
Remember to discard any remaining marinade that has come into contact with raw chicken, as it may contain bacteria. It is always important to practice good food safety and follow proper cooking guidelines.
Spanish Chicken Grilling Technique
Preparing the grill
When preparing to grill Spanish grilled chicken, there are different types of grills you can use, including outdoor grills and smokeless indoor grills. Here’s an introduction to different types of grills with an emphasis on smokeless indoor grills:
- Outdoor grills: These are the most common type of grills used for cooking outdoors. They can be fueled by charcoal, gas, or wood pellets. Outdoor grills provide excellent heat distribution and give the chicken a smoky flavor. Charcoal grills offer a unique smoky taste, while gas grills provide convenience and easy temperature control. Wood pellet grills add a distinct wood-fired flavor to the chicken.
- Smokeless indoor grills: Smokeless indoor grills are a great option for those who want to grill chicken indoors without producing excessive smoke. These grills are electric and come with a built-in mechanism for reducing smoke. They often have a drip pan or tray to collect excess fats and juices and prevent flare-ups, resulting in healthier and cleaner grilling. Smokeless indoor grills are also convenient for those who don’t have access to outdoor space or live in apartments.
Check this guide for smokeless indoor grills.
Some popular brands of smokeless indoor grills include George Foreman, Philips, and Ninja. These grills typically have adjustable temperature settings and can be easily cleaned. They provide a quick and efficient way to grill chicken indoors while still achieving deliciously grilled flavor.
Grilling Temperature And Cooking Time For Chicken Cuts
When it comes to grilling chicken, the temperature and cooking time can vary depending on the cut of chicken you are using. Here are some general recommendations for setting up the grilling temperature and cooking time for different kinds of chicken cuts:
- Chicken Breasts: Grilling chicken breasts requires a temperature of 350°F (175°C) to 400°F (205°C). Cook until the internal temperature reaches 165°F (75°C), which usually takes about 6-8 minutes per side.
- Chicken Thighs: Boneless chicken thighs cook slightly faster than bone-in chicken thighs. Grilling temperature should be between 375°F (190°C) to 450°F (230°C). Cook until the internal temperature reaches 165°F (75°C), which usually takes about 4-6 minutes per side for boneless thighs and 8-10 minutes per side for bone-in thighs.
- Chicken Wings: Grilling chicken wings requires a temperature of 375°F (190°C) to 425°F (220°C). Cook until the internal temperature reaches 165°F (75°C), which usually takes about 12-15 minutes per side.
- Chicken Drumsticks: Grilling chicken drumsticks requires a temperature of 375°F (190°C) to 425°F (220°C). Cook until the internal temperature reaches 165°F (75°C), which usually takes about 10-12 minutes per side.
Remember to always use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the chicken, as this is the most accurate indicator of doneness. It is also important to allow the chicken to rest for a few minutes before serving to ensure juicy and tender meat.
Additionally, remember to clean and oil your grill grates before grilling, and to keep an eye on the chicken while cooking to prevent overcooking or burning. Adjust the cooking time and temperature as needed based on your personal preference and the characteristics of your grill.
How To Serve Spanish Grilled Chicken
After grilling the Spanish chicken, there are several options when it comes to serving and accompaniments. Here are a few delicious ideas:
- Spanish rice: Serve the grilled chicken with flavorful Spanish rice. Use a mix of spices like saffron, cumin, and paprika to give it a distinctive Spanish taste.
- Grilled vegetables: Grilled vegetables like zucchini, eggplant, bell peppers, and onions make for tasty and healthy accompaniments to the Spanish chicken. Grill them on skewers or directly on the grates for a charred and smoky flavor.
- Salad: A fresh salad can complement the richness of the grilled chicken. Consider tossing together a simple green salad with a tangy vinaigrette.
- Aioli or Chimichurri: Create a dipping sauce using homemade aioli – a garlic mayonnaise – or chimichurri, a tangy herb sauce that originates from Argentina.
- Bread: Serve warm slices of crusty bread alongside the chicken to soak up any delicious juices and sauces.
- Wine: A Spanish red wine like Rioja would pair well with the smoky flavors of the grilled chicken.
By pairing the Spanish grilled chicken with a variety of bold and fresh flavors and textures, you can create a satisfying and flavorful meal. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different combinations to find your perfect accompaniment.
Spanish grilled chicken is a delightful dish that offers a burst of flavor and a juicy, smoky taste. By following the marinating process, setting up the grilling temperature and cooking time for different chicken cuts, and selecting suitable accompaniments, you can enjoy a truly delicious meal.
From marinating the chicken with aromatic spices to grilling it to perfection, the process of preparing Spanish grilled chicken is an enjoyable experience. The marinade infuses the meat with flavor and ensures tenderness, while the grilling process adds a smoky touch that elevates the taste.
I encourage you to try making Spanish grilled chicken at home. It is a versatile dish that can be enjoyed year-round, whether you are grilling outdoors or using a smokeless indoor grill. By following the steps and experimenting with different flavors, you will be able to create a memorable dining experience for yourself and others.
So go ahead and give it a try! Embrace the flavors of Spain and enjoy the deliciousness of Spanish grilled chicken. Bon appétit!