Grilled Chicken: Pollo al Carbon

articles Food & Cuisine Recipes

Karen Hursh Graber

Although there are two distinct schools of thought on grilled chicken, one that advocates par boiling and one that does not, Mexican cooks do not par boil and are not afraid to let the chicken skin blacken on the outside while the chicken cooks through. The results of cooking the chicken this way are delicious, and the aroma mouth-watering for several blocks around.


  • 2 chickens, 3 ½ -4 pounds each, split down the middle and opened flat
  • 8 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • ½ cup vinegar
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • ½ cup vegetable or olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried hierbas de olor (this is a mixture of thyme, oregano and marjoram, sold in bundles in Mexican markets, made easily at home by combining the dried herbs)
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Place the chickens in a non-reactive container. Thoroughly blend the remaining ingredients and pour over the chickens. Marinate for 2 hours, turning once.

Drain and reserve marinade. Grill chickens for approximately 40 minutes, basting with the marinade, turning 4 times, or until the juice runs clear when a fork is stuck in the deepest part of the thigh. Serve with a choice of salsas and hot tortillas.

Serves 8.

Published or Updated on: January 1, 2003 by Karen Hursh Graber © 2008


Share This:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *