Thursday, June 14, 2012

Pollo Pimentón a la Parilla

The sun was shining, there was a slight breeze, and all of my thoughts turned to grilling.  The only question is what would hit the grates at 400 degrees Fahrenheit.  Followers of this blog would immediately assume that it was some cut of beef ... ribeye, cowboy steak, strip steak, or sirloin.  I will admit that was my first thought.  But, I then thought I should do something different.  

I thought back to the time that I made Pollo a las Brasas con Cebollitas.  I really loved that dish ... nicely grilled chicken done in a Mexican roadstand style.  Given that my skills at butterflying (or spatchcocking) chicken have vastly improved since I made that dish, it only seemed natural to buy a whole chicken and grill it.  

I thought long and hard about making Pollo a las Brasas; however, I have not been cooking a lot lately and, as a result, I have not been posting much.  I decided to change that, by trying to develop an "Old World" version.  I thought about what I could do to make a Spanish version of a roadside, grilled chicken.  When one thinks of Spanish spices, pimentón is usually at the forefront.  Spanish paprika would make a great start to a rub.  I added some other base rub ingredients, such as onion powder, garlic powder, and salt.  I also added a little cumin to add a little depth to the rub.  Overall, the rub was amazing.  (I don't say that a lot about my cooking.) 

Finally, I decided to keep the cebollitas, although, in Spain, it is calcots or grilled green onions.   I did not make the romeso sauce.  After all, I need something for a future post....

 A Chef Bolek Original
Serves 2-4

1 four pound chicken, butterflied or spatchcocked
2 tablespoons of paprika
1/8 teaspoon of cumin
1/4 teaspoon of crushed red pepper
1 teaspoon of onion powder
1/4 teaspoon of kosher salt
2 teaspoons of garlic powder
1 teaspoon of dried thyme
1/2 cup of olive oil
2 bunches of scallions
Salt, to taste
Ground pepper, to taste

1. Make the rub and prepare the chicken and onions.  Combine the paprika, cumin, crushed red pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, salt and dried thyme.  Mix the spices.  Add half of the oil, stirring to turn the spices into a thin paste.  Apply the rub to all sides of the chicken.  Add salt and black pepper to the remaining oil.  Coat the onions with the oil.

2.  Grill the chicken.  Heat the grill to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Add the chicken, skin side up.  Grill for about twenty minutes.  Flip the chicken and grill for fifteen minutes.  Return the chicken to skin side up, and continue to grill for about five minutes more.  

3.  Grill the onions.  When you flip the chicken for the last time.  Add the onions and grill for only a few minutes, flipping them once. 

4.  Plate the dish.  Quarter the chicken.  Put one quarter or one half of the chicken on each plate.  Garnish with the onions.  


Given the Spanish inspiration behind this recipe, my first thought turns to a bottle of Cervezas Alhambra or Estrella Damm.  If you do not stock Spanish beer in your refrigerator, then look for a good Pilsner beer.  A dark ale could also work well with this recipe, provided that it does not have a high ABV and it is not aged in oak barrels.  A couple of suggestions include the following:

Great Lakes Brewing Company -- The Wright Pils
Cleveland, Ohio, USA
Flavors of hops and malt

New Belgium Brewing Company -- Fat Tire Amber Ale
Amber Ale
Fort Collins, Colorado, USA
Flavors of bread and biscuits


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