Flavour-filled recipe for Tequila Chicken Flattie, also known as Pollo Asado
1 tsp finely crushed garlic
4 sprigs oreganum (or 2tsp dry oreganum)
¼ cup olive oil
juice of one orange
zest of one lime
Pollo Asado basting sauce:
1 tsp garlic
½ cup tomato sauce (ketchup)
4 tbs tequila
3 tbs soft brown sugar
1½ tsp smoked Spanish paprika
juice of one lime
1-3 red chillies, roughly chopped
1½ tsp salt
bunch of coriander (cilantro), finely chopped
Place the spatchcocked chicken in a large ziplock plastic bag. (See Notes below for how to spatchcock a chicken in under 20 seconds! I kid you not, it’s so easy my cat can do it.) Add the marinade ingredients to the chicken. Squeeze out the air, zip it up and massage the chicken gently. Place in the fridge to marinate for at least two hours, taking it out every half hour or so to give it another gentle massage.
In the meantime make your Pollo Asado basting sauce. Simply add all the ingredients together, cover and place in the fridge for the flavours to get to know each other.
You can go about braaiing this Pollo Asado in one of two ways.
Method 1: Indirect
My preferred method of braaiing any biggish piece of meat is indirect in a kettle braai – aka the lazy cook’s way. Simply use those handy Weber baskets to make two briquette fires and place them opposite each other against the sides of your Weber. The middle stays clear and this is where your Pollo Asado chicken flattie rests. Your fire is ready when the briquettes have burned down and started turning white. Remove the chicken from the marinade and place on the grill. Cover with the lid and walk away for 20 minutes. Then you can start basting with the sauce. You could take your chances and start basting sooner, but as there is sugar in the sauce, it will most likely start burning, giving you an acrid black-bits vibe I do not enjoy at all. You do NOT need to turn the chicken if you cook it this way. Cooking time depends on the size of the chicken and your fire, but give it a stab in the thickest part of the meat after 35 minutes. As soon as the juices are running clear and not pink, it’s ready and should come off straight away.
Method 2: Direct
Once your coals are ready, spread them evenly over your braai grid. Place the chicken directly over the coals. Once again allow it to braai for a bit before you start basting. You will need to turn the chicken a few times if you cook it this way. Tip: I don’t use braai tongs to turn a whole spatchcock chicken as it invariably rips the skin and sometimes even breaks up the bird. Instead I use two long steel burger flippers (one beneath, one on top) to turn it over gently.
Serve with warm tortillas, sour cream, coriander, lime wedges and a basic salsa made of corn, finely chopped spring onion and diced tomato drizzled lightly with olive oil and lime juice.
Notes: How to spatchcock a chicken
Simply flip the chicken on its back. For those of you who don’t know what the back of the chicken is (no judgement) it’s the part that’s flat, not the part that’s rounded. You want the flat part on the board and the rounded part (the breast) facing you. Take a good, sharp pair of kitchen scissors of a very sharp chef’s knife. Run your fingers down the centre of the chicken. You’ll feel a bone. This is the breast bone.