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Pollo Asado

How to Make Pollo Asado

Pollo Asado is a delicious Mexican dish consisting of marinated and grilled chicken, known for its vibrant flavors and tenderness.

Texture-wise, Pollo Asado typically features chicken pieces, often bone-in or boneless chicken thighs or drumsticks. The chicken is marinated in a flavorful blend that commonly includes citrus juices like lime or orange juice, garlic, onions, herbs like oregano and cilantro, cumin, paprika, and sometimes achiote paste or chili peppers. This marinade infuses the chicken with a zesty and aromatic taste.

After marinating for some time, the chicken is then grilled over direct heat, which results in a charred and slightly crispy exterior while maintaining a juicy and tender interior.

The grilling process imparts a smoky flavor to the chicken, enhancing its overall taste and creating a delightful contrast between the crispy, caramelized skin and the succulent meat.

Pollo Asado is often served as a main dish accompanied by rice, beans, tortillas, salsa, guacamole, and lime wedges. It’s appreciated for its bold and tangy flavors, tender texture, and versatility in various recipes, making it a popular choice in Mexican cuisine, especially in outdoor gatherings or family meals.

Key Takeaways

  • Who this meal appeals to: Grilled chicken enthusiasts, those seeking a taste of Mexican barbecue, anyone desiring a light yet satisfying meal.
  • Estimated duration: A delectable delight ready in about 30 minutes of preparation plus marinating time.
  • Nutrition facts: A protein-packed dish with bold flavors, offering a healthy and delicious option.

About this Recipe

Pollo Asado, translating to “grilled chicken,” is a classic Mexican dish that captures the essence of outdoor cooking. The magic lies in the marinade, infusing the chicken with a burst of flavors, resulting in tender and juicy meat that’s perfect for any occasion.

Equipment Required

  • Grill or barbecue
  • Mixing bowl
  • Ziplock bag or airtight container for marinating
  • Tongs


  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil


  1. Prepare the marinade: In a bowl, combine orange juice, lime juice, minced garlic, chopped cilantro, cumin powder, chili powder, salt, pepper, and vegetable oil.
  2. Marinate the chicken: Place the chicken breasts in a ziplock bag or airtight container, pour the marinade over them, ensuring even coating. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or overnight for maximum flavor.
  3. Preheat the grill: Bring the grill to medium-high heat.
  4. Grill the chicken: Remove the chicken from the marinade, letting excess drip off. Grill for 6-8 minutes per side or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C).
  5. Rest and serve: Allow the chicken to rest for a few minutes before slicing or serving whole.

Side Dishes

  • Cilantro lime rice
  • Grilled vegetables
  • Fresh avocado salsa

Storage Options

Pollo Asado is best enjoyed fresh off the grill. If you have leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Reheat gently to maintain the chicken’s juiciness.

Ingredient Substitutes

  • Chicken: Experiment with bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces for a different texture and flavor.
  • Citrus juices: Adjust the ratio of orange and lime juice to suit your taste preferences.

Alternatives to this Meal

Transform your Pollo Asado into tacos, salads, or wraps. The versatile grilled chicken pairs well with a variety of accompaniments for a delightful dining experience.


Pollo Asado brings the sizzle and flavors of grilled chicken to your table, offering a taste of Mexican culinary tradition. Whether you’re hosting a barbecue or craving a light and savory meal, this recipe promises a fiesta of flavors. ¡Buen provecho!