Grilled Mexican Chicken

GrilledChickenThis is a great recipe, simply because it works nicely for a picnic where you want a no-nonsense chicken dish that doesn’t get in the way, tastes great, and is very adaptable to lots of sides.

The key here is to butterfly a whole chicken which makes the grilling ever so much easier. It also speeds up the whole process of marinading too.

So consider it a Labor Day possibility if you are looking at the last of the grilling this season. If you are in the Southwest, well, it’s just another day to grill. We grill throughout the year.


  • For the rub:
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ancho chile powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano, preferably Mexican
  • A big pinch of ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped or crushed through a garlic press
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt, plus a little more for the onions
  • 1 large chicken, about 3 lbs, butterflied
  • 2 limes (quartered for serving with the chicken pieces)


  1. Mix up all rub.
  2. Butterfly your chicken. (Take a good pair of kitchen scissors and cut up along side the backbone. Then go down the other side. Spread out the chicken flat. (Freeze the backbone to be added to other wingtips and backbones for making stock)
  3. Slip the chicken into a plastic bag.
  4. Pour the marinade in the bag and massage until the chicken is nicely covered.
  5. Slip into fridge for a good two hours minimum but up to a full twelve hours.
  6. Heat up the grill (charcoal or gas). Cook off direct flame until about 1/2 done, then place on the hot side and let it get really charred.


NOTES: You can make this a thoroughly Mexican meal with Southwestern salads and dressings, or have it with plain old potato salad. It goes with anything.

SOURCE: Rick Bayless’ Mexican Everyday


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