July 9, 2024

How to Grill the Best Pollo a la Parrilla

Ready to up your grilling game? Today, we’re talking about how to make amazing pollo a la parrilla—grilled chicken, Argentine-style.  Chicken is a big part of Argentine asado, and I will show you how to nail it. We’ll cover everything from picking the right chicken to getting that perfect crispy skin. Trust me, once you […]

Jason Pittock

July 9, 2024

Ready to up your grilling game? Today, we’re talking about how to make amazing pollo a la parrilla—grilled chicken, Argentine-style. 

Chicken is a big part of Argentine asado, and I will show you how to nail it. We’ll cover everything from picking the right chicken to getting that perfect crispy skin. Trust me, once you try this, it’ll become your go-to for Argentine asado. 

Choosing the Right Chicken

Choosing the right chicken for your pollo a la parrilla is crucial to achieving the best result! For an authentic Argentine experience, I recommend going for a whole chicken, with an ideal size of around 1.5-2 kgs.

  • Look for a chicken with a nice, even color and firm flesh. 
  • The skin should be intact and free from blemishes. 
  • A good-quality chicken will also have a fresh, clean smell. 
  • Opt for free-range or organic chickens – they tend to have better flavor and texture.

The Marinade: Flavoring Your Pollo

Now, let’s talk about the marinade that will infuse your chicken with great flavors and help keep it moist during grilling. You can use a Tandoori marinade or a traditional Argentine one.

For this, you’ll need:

  • 1/2 cup of olive oil
  • 1/4 cup of white wine vinegar
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh oregano, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of paprika
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

First, mix all these ingredients in a bowl. Whisk them well to ensure that the flavors blend together perfectly.

Next, take your chicken and place it in a large, shallow dish. Pour the marinade over the chicken, making sure to coat it evenly. 

Here’s a pro tip: use your hands to massage the marinade into the chicken, getting under the skin where possible. This will really help the flavors penetrate the meat!

Grilling Chicken Step-by-Step

Now it’s time to fire up that Argentine parrilla! The key to a perfect grilled chicken is patience and consistent heat. Let’s break it down step by step:

  1. Just like with vacio or t-bone, we want a good bed of coals, not direct flames. Spread the coals evenly, aiming for a medium-high heat. You should be able to hold your hand over the grill for about 5-7 seconds – any less and it’s too hot!
  2. Now, take your chicken and let any excess marinade drip off. Place it on the grill, skin side down. You’ll hear a sizzle as the skin starts to crisp up.
  3. Cook the chicken for 15-20 minutes, then carefully flip it over. If you’re using a whole chicken, you might need to maneuver it to ensure even cooking. Don’t be afraid to move it around!
  4. As it cooks, paste the chicken with any leftover marinade. This will keep it moist and add extra flavor.
  5. The total cooking time will be about 45 minutes to an hour, depending on the size of your chicken and your level of heat. To check if it’s done, insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh – it should read 75°C (165°F).

Once it’s cooked, let the chicken rest for about 10 minutes before carving. This lets the juices redistribute, ensuring every bite is as delicious as possible. 

grill pollo a la parrilla

The Best Accompaniments for Pollo a la Parrilla

No Argentine asado is complete without sides! Let’s talk about some traditional accompaniments that’ll take your pollo a la parrilla to the next level:

  • Chimichurri: This iconic Argentine sauce is a must-have! Whip up a batch by blending fresh parsley, garlic, oregano, white vinegar, and olive oil. Find more details on how to prepare the best chimichurri here.
  • Grilled Vegetables: While your chicken is resting, throw some veggies on the grill. Bell peppers, zucchini, and eggplant are all great options. Brush them with a little olive oil and sprinkle with salt before grilling.
  • Salsa Criolla: This simple salad of tomatoes, onions, and sometimes bell peppers dressed with oil and vinegar is a refreshing counterpoint to the rich, grilled meat.
  • Provoleta: If you’re feeling indulgent, grill up some provolone cheese until it’s gooey and slightly charred. It’s irresistible!
  • What’s an Argentine meal without wine? A full-bodied Malbec pairs beautifully with pollo a la parilla. Pour generously and enjoy with good company – that’s what asado is all about!

Remember, the beauty of an Asado is in the relaxed, communal atmosphere. So take your time, savor each bite, and enjoy the process as much as the pollo asado itself. ¡Buen provecho!

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How to Grill the Best Pollo a la Parrilla
Article Name
How to Grill the Best Pollo a la Parrilla
Description
Chicken is a big part of Argentine asado, and I will show you how to nail it. We'll cover everything from picking the right chicken to getting that perfect crispy skin.
Author
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Argentine Asado

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