Wednesday, September 16, 2009

0 Recipe #53: Pollo A La Brasa (Peruvian Rotisserie Chicken)

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Yessssss, the chicken recipe I promised to post here -- y'know, the one you've all been eagerly awaiting since 9/15/09 :-D -- has finally arrived.

So feel free to jump up & down in excitement. :)

Although to the casual observer, it might look like this recipe was posted only a day after I'd first mentioned that I'd be posting it here, the honest-to-goodness truth is that this post was actually finished on 2/9/10, and was only backdated to 9/16/09 so as not to wreck the numerical sequencing of recipes on this blog. :) [Truth be told, I just can't bear posting a recipe out of order -- Recipe #53 has just got to appear before Recipe #54. "Oh the horror!," should it be otherwise. :) ]

OK, let's not mince words: I took my good sweet time posting it. In fact, it took 2700 times longer for me to get around to posting the recipe than the time it took to actually marinate & cook the chicken. :)

So bleepin' what. :) I was really busy from September '09 onward. The bottom line is this: When the schedule gets busy, blogging & recipe creation/testing have to necessarily take a backseat to other, higher priority items. That's just life, & can't be helped. Until the day that a book publisher offers to pay me a hefty sum for my writings &/or recipes, any blogging I do here is going to be purely recreational in nature, and is going to be done when I darned well feel like it. :) [Yes, that's the "attitude" part in the profile description, "Corey Irwin, G.W.F.A., Gourmet Foodie with Attitude," in case you haven't noticed. :-D The disclaimer had already posted on this blog since its inception on 7/21/07, so you can't say you weren't warned. ;) ]

Also, there's actually another reason I didn't post the recipe right away:  To be honest, my first test kitchen experience was mildly disastrous, as I hadn't yet perfected the recipe, was feeling rushed due to time pressure (never a good sign!), & so, very hastily proceeded to add a bit more liquid than was actually necessary.  One leaking Ziploc bag & a very thorough refrigerator cleaning later, I decided that I would take a second shot at it at a later time.  Of course, after that rather unpleasant experience, I really wasn't in any hurry to make that next attempt. :)

(On that note, here's a good kitchen tip: It's not a bad idea to put items marinating in a Ziploc bag in a bowl as a preventative measure, just in case it starts leaking. Word to the wise: The slow seeping of liquid from a leaking Ziploc bag isn't always apparent at first glance. :) )

The truth of the matter is that, if I had only checked on the chicken, instead of leaving it marinate for an extra day or so, that little spillage mishap probably could've been avoided.  On the plus side, a chicken marinating for a few more hours can actually be a good thing: It typically can only enhance the flavor even more. So, in other words, "Good things come to those who suddenly become very busy & must thereby prolong the marination process." :) Except, that is, when the marinade seeps out of the Ziploc bag & into every crevice of the refrigerator. Not pretty.  Not at all. :)

Anyhow, back to the story: Months passed, & I just didn't seem to have the time or the inclination to finish the recipe or test it out.  I know I promised to post the recipe soon after I'd mentioned that the chicken was marinating, provided it met with the "Cooking with Corey" seal of approval, but since it didn't turn out as planned, I wasn't about to rush the next go-round just to meet a self-imposed deadline. I was determined that the next attempt would be carefully planned to ensure a successful outcome.

On the plus side, any mistake made in the kitchen usually means a course-correction for the next time around.  Sometimes it can take an attempt or two to work out the kinks in a recipe, depending on its complexity, but in my own case, most times I can thankfully get it right on the second try.

The good news is that I've finally perfected the recipe & it is now ready to be unveiled for public consumption. And now I will dispense with the 'tude & tales of trickling tragicomedy & transcendent triumph, & give you the long-awaited recipe. Drum roll, please. :)

Pollo A La Brasa (Peruvian Rotisserie Chicken)

Ingredients:

2 Cornish hens, 1.5 lbs each
4 Tbsp. distilled white vinegar
3 Tbsp. white wine
2 Tbsp. ground dried oregano
2 Tbsp. cumin powder
2 1/2 Tbsp. garlic powder
2 1/2 Tbsp. paprika
2 1/2 Tbsp. Mexican-style chili powder
2 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. kosher salt
juice of 1 lemon (or lime)
1/3 c. soy sauce
2 Tbsp. olive oil

Ingredients For Prepping The Chicken:
 (Important Note: These ingredients are totally separate from marinade ingredients!)
freshly squeezed lemon juice + water mixture, (1 part lemon juice to 10 parts water) for washing chickens
1 Tbsp. water, for diluting marinade

Directions:
1. In medium-size bowl, combine all ingredients for the marinade, minus, of course, the Cornish hens.
2. Remove giblets (which are typically packaged in plastic & then stuffed inside the inner cavity of the chicken) & set aside. (You can use these for other dishes or if not, just discard them.)
3. Wash chickens thoroughly under running water, & then wash a second time with lemon water, making sure to remove excess fat from the chickens. Be sure to clean both the outside & inner cavities of the Cornish hens.
4. With a large carving fork, poke deep holes all over chicken, including under wings. Pour marinade into a large, sturdy (i.e., freezer-quality) plastic bag. (Check bag to make sure it's well-reinforced around the bottom & side edges. That way, you will avoid the above-described leakage mishap.) Place chickens inside plastic bag & thoroughly rub the marinade all over the chicken, making sure to cover both the inner cavities and the outside skin/flesh of the chicken. Seal the bag & marinate for at least 2 hours -- preferably up to 6 hours, but no longer than 24 hours -- in the refrigerator.
5. After marination process has been completed, remove chicken from bag and dilute marinade left behind in bag with 1 Tbsp. of water. (Place marinade in a small saucepan, bring to a boil and simmer 2-3 minutes. Set aside.).
6. Place chicken on a rotisserie spit on the grill, and roast at medium heat for 45 to 55 minutes. If broiling, cut chicken in half lengthwise and broil for 30 to 40 minutes, basting with marinade every 10 minutes.

Yield: 2 dinner-sized portions.

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