Citrus and Oregano Pollo Asado

Citrus and Oregano Pollo Asado

Citrus and Oregano Pollo Asado excerpted from Asada: The Art of Mexican-Style Grilling by Bricia Lopez and Javier Cabral. Photographs copyright © 2023 Quentin Bacon.

Asada: The Art of Mexican-Style Grilling by Bricia Lopez and Javier Cabral

In millions of backyards across Southern California, an asada means a gathering of family, friends, great music, cold drinks, good times, and community—all centered around the primal allure of juicy, smoky grilled meat with flavors and spices traditional to Mexico. The smell of asada is a cloud of joy that lingers in the streets of Los Angeles. With Asada: The Art of Mexican-Style Grilling, Mexican food authorities and the authors of Oaxaca, Bricia Lopez and Javier Cabral, are back with more than 100 recipes that show you how to prepare the right dishes and drinks for your next carne asada gathering. Asada will both guide you in crafting mouthwatering food and inspire the right laidback atmosphere.

Everyone says they love a spicy margarita and asada tacos, but very few understand the culture that informs these flavors. Divided into the eight crucial elements of any carne asada: botanas (appetizers), carnes (meats), mariscos (seafood), side dishes and vegetables, salsas, aguas frescas, cocktails, and dessert, Asada walks you through every step. From Lopez’s secret “michelada marinade” to game-changing salsas that will elevate any grilled meat, this cookbook is the ultimate guide to making and beginning to understand the magic of asada.

Asada: The Art of Mexican-Style Grilling by Bricia Lopez and Javier Cabral is available at, and   

Citrus and Oregano Pollo Asado

Citrus and oregano make this grilled chicken taste sophisticated. It is inspired by my mom’s traditional pollo en oregano, which is usually fried. (You can find that recipe in our first cookbook Oaxaca: Home Cooking from the Heart of Mexico.)

1½ tablespoons dried oregano
¼ teaspoon cumin seeds
¼ teaspoon whole black peppercorns (about 12 peppercorns)
1 head garlic (1¼ ounces/35 g), cloves separated, peeled, and minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1½ tablespoons sea salt
Juice of 2 lemons (about ½ cup/120 ml)
3 pounds (1.3 kg) bone-in chicken thighs

In a cast-iron skillet over medium heat, toast the oregano, cumin seeds, and peppercorns for about 3 minutes, until the spices are aromatic. Grind every- thing in a molcajete or spice grinder until finely ground.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the toasted ground spices, garlic, oil, salt, and lemon juice.

Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Using a gallon- size resealable bag, add the marinade and the chicken. Seal and let sit in the refrigerator for at least 30 min- utes but preferably overnight.

Remove the chicken thighs in their marinade from the fridge to allow them to reach room temperature.

Start a charcoal or gas grill. The gas should be set to high. If using a pellet grill, preheat your grill to 450°F (230°C) for at least 15 minutes. If using charcoal, the coals should be red but entirely covered with gray ash.

Remove the chicken thighs from the marinade and put them on the grill directly over the high fire, skin side up. Close the lid and cook, turning once, about 15 minutes on each side. The chicken is cooked when its internal temperature reaches 175°F (79°C) on a meat thermometer. Transfer the meat to a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Recipe reprinted with permission from ABRAMS Books.

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