Do you absolutely love Chipotle pollo asado in tacos, burrito bowls and salads? This simple grilled chicken comes together easily with a pollo asado marinade that is great on both chicken thighs, quarters and breasts.
Chipotle pollo asado is a fantastic way to grill chicken thighs for deliciously seasoned chicken tacos, burritos and nachos. The seasoning has the perfect spice level, not overly spicy but with just a bit of a kick.
In Spanish, pollo asado is translated to “roasted chicken” or “barbecued chicken.” Pollo asado is a very flavorful marinated chicken, using several 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.
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.
Chipotle Pollo Asado Ingredients
Here’s a quick-reference check list of the ingredients you’ll need for this recipe:
- 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.
- Seasonings -I used a blend of cumin, coriander, onion powder, ground pepper and smoked paprika. You can also use regular paprika if smoked paprika is unavailable.
How to Make Chipotle Pollo Asado Marinade
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 using a whisk.
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.
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.
Cooking the Chipotle 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.
Storage and Freezing
Storage: You can store any leftover chipotle pollo asado in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days.
Freezing: This chicken also freeze really well. You can store cooked chicken in an airtight container or freezer bag for up to three months,
More Flavorful Chicken Recipes
Chipotle Pollo Asado
- 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 pepper.
- 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.
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.