Do you absolutely love Chipotle pollo asado in tacos, burrito bowls and salads? This simple grilled chicken comes together easily with a pollo asado seasoning and marinade that is great on both chicken thighs, quarters and breasts. The perfect pollo asado recipe that you’ll make over and over again!
This post first appeared at Savory Experiments where I am a contributor.
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Chipotle pollo asado is a fantastic way to grill chicken thighs for deliciously seasoned chicken tacos, burritos and nachos. The seasoning is has the perfect spice level, not overly spicy but with just a bit of a kick.
This marinade recipe is wonderfully versatile and can be used on multiple cuts of chicken. In this post we will go through what you’ll need to make the marinade, tips for marinating chicken and how to grill the chicken to get that perfect sear.
What do I need to make chipotle pollo asado?:
- Chicken thighs – boneless, skinless chicken thighs are ideal, as they are the most flavorful cut of chicken. You could also use chicken quarters (bone-in), chicken drumsticks or chicken breasts.
- Olive oil – necessary for making the marinade. You could also use avocado oil as a substitute.
- Orange juice – brings the perfect amount of sweetness and acidity to the marinade.
- Lime juice – the acidity and tartness of the lime juice balances the flavors.
- Chipotle pepper in adobo sauce – this comes in a can and can be found in the Hispanic foods section at your grocery store.
- Garlic – either jarred minced garlic or fresh cloves can be used.
- Adobo seasoning – a mixture of garlic salt and a few other seasonings, this can also be found in the Hispanic foods section of your grocery store.
- Onion Powder
- Smoked Paprika – you can also use regular paprika if smoked paprika is unavailable.
- Ground pepper
For exact ingredient amounts and full recipe instructions be sure to scroll down to the bottom of the post for the recipe. Thanks!
What is a chipotle pepper?
A chipotle pepper is a jalapeno pepper that has been smoked and dried over pecan wood for several days. Chipotle peppers bring a uniquely smokey, spicy flavor to foods, like slow cooked meats, chicken, pork, steaks and even beans and rice.
How do I make pollo asado?
In a bowl, combine the olive oil, orange juice, lime juice, garlic and the chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. Also add the adobo seasoning, cumin, coriander, onion powder, smoked paprika, and ground pepper. Mix together using a whisk. These pollo asado seasoning will add amazing flavor to the chicken.
When adding the chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, note that most canned chipotle peppers will be whole, and packed in a smokey adobo sauce. Measure out both the whole peppers and sauce. The peppers can remain whole, and don’t need to be chopped or minced.
Place the chicken thighs in a shallow dish or gallon-sized zip loc bag. Pour the marinade over the chicken and mix so all ingredients are coated well. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to 24 hours.
What is the best way to cook pollo asado?
When ready to cook the chicken, preheat your gas or charcoal grill. Oil the grates to prevent the chicken from sticking. Place the marinated chicken on the hot grill, and cook for 4-5 minutes per side, at a medium-high heat.
Be sure to discard any remaining marinade. It is not safe to reuse, save or brush the cooked chicken with the excess marinade.
What can I serve with pollo asado?
Chipotle pollo asado is great served with all your favorite Tex-Mex toppings and sides. Here are some of our favorites:
- Corn or flour tortillas for tacos or tostadas
- Cilantro lime rice (white or brown) for burritos or burrito bowls.
- Black or pinto beans]
- Homemade Taco Sauce
- Pico de Gallo salsa
- Black Bean Corn Salsa
- Pineapple Mango Salsa
- Sliced/cubed avocado or guacamole
- Fresh chopped cilantro
- Lime wedges for fresh juice
- Fresh romaine lettuce or spring mix for salads
Frequently asked questions about making pollo asado:
In Spanish, pollo asado is translated to “roasted chicken” or “barbecued chicken.” Pollo asado is a very flavorful marinated chicken, using a number of spices, and chipotle peppers.
Pollo asado seasoning traditionally consists of salt, garlic, paprika, cumin, coriander, onion powder and pepper. Some recipes use achiote paste for seasoning, others prefer to incorporate chipotle peppers in adobo sauce for a smokey, spicy flavor.
You can marinate the chicken in the asado marinade anywhere between 4 hours up to 24 hours. It is not recommended to marinate chicken for over 24 hours, as the protein in the chicken can begin to break down, and the chicken becomes grainy or stringy and unappetizing.
Grilling on an outdoor gas or charcoal grill is ideal to get the perfect sear on the chicken. If you don’t have access to a gas or charcoal grill, you could also use an indoor grill pan or cast-iron skillet.
Chipotle pollo asado is only mildly spicy. When combined with sweet orange and lime juice, the heat from the spices and pepper are muted, yet still flavorful with a great smokey flavor.
Love a great chicken recipe? Check out our other chicken recipes that are great for a weeknight dinner:
- Grilled Chicken Leg Quarters
- Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas
- Balsamic Grilled Chicken
- Lemon Pepper Grilled Chicken
- Air Fryer Drumsticks Recipe
- Boneless Grilled Chicken Thighs
- Honey Sesame Chicken
- BBQ Grilled Chicken Drumsticks
- Honey Dijon Chicken
- Slow Cooker Shredded BBQ Chicken
If you loved this Mexican inspired recipe, check out some of these other recipes great for making tacos, burritos, enchiladas and nachos:
- 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 8 medium thighs)
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- 2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice (juice of 1 lime)
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic (about 3 cloves)
- 2 Tablespoons chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (canned)
- 2 teaspoons Adobo seasoning
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons coriander
- 2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground pepper
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the marinade; include the olive oil, orange
juice, lime juice, garlic, chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (include whole peppers
and adobo sauce), adobo seasoning, cumin, coriander, onion powder, paprika and
- Place the chicken thighs in a shallow baking dish or resealable plastic bag. Pour the
marinade over the chicken, turning over to ensure all sides are well coated
with the marinade. Cover the dish with plastic wrap or seal the zip-loc bag.
- Refrigerate the marinated chicken for at least four hours, or up to twenty-four hours.
- When ready to cook, preheat your gas or charcoal grill to 400-425 degrees. Oil the
grates with olive oil to help ensure the chicken does not stick when turned.
- Place the chicken on the hot grates and cook for 4-5 minutes per side.
- To ensure the chicken is done, use an instant read digital meat thermometer. Chicken
should be at 165 degrees.
- When done cooking, remove from grill and let the chicken thighs rest for 5-10
minutes before slicing and serving.
This cook time indicated in the recipe is for boneless chicken
thighs. If you are using bone-in thighs, cook for 7-8 minutes per side. If
using bone-in chicken quarters, cook for 10-12 minutes per side, or until the
internal temperature reaches 165-170 degrees.
Don’t have access to a gas or charcoal grill? An indoor grill pan
or cast-iron skillet can be used. Cook the chicken over medium-high heat for
4-5 minutes per side, or until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 349Total Fat: 21gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 185mgSodium: 354mgCarbohydrates: 4gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 37g