These red-stained wings hit all notes.
These pollo asado rojo wings are my creation inspired by many Mexican food dishes. Namely pollo asado & al pastor, but I wanted to create something spicier and fruitier that would pair well with wine (or a summer beer). Wings are the perfect blank palette for any flavor combination as this fatty chicken and skin can take the punishment from the grill while absorbing anything you can throw at it.
My wife and I are pretty much a beer family, but every now and then we’ll ignorantly stare down the wine aisle wondering where to start. I had a Riesling company reach out to me recently and happened to ask me if I’d be willing to create a dish that would pair with one of their Rieslings for some late summer BBQ. I admit I was pretty nervous, being a complete n00b with wines.
As seen on LIVE with Kelly & Ryan
Check out the Live segment of me cooking this on the LIVE with Kelly & Ryan show!
This sauce is boss.
This pollo asado rojo sauce takes a little work, but also cuts down on the need to apply a rub or make something separate for a glaze – you end up just using more of it. The high level of acidity in the sauce tenderizes the chicken quickly too, so you can start marinating just 2-4 hours before you plan to grill.
I love the addition of smoke with this recipe, so if you have a smoker you’re in for a treat. The thick marinade absorbs smoke particles very well and adds another depth of flavor.
First you make the adobo, taking the garlic, spices, oil, and achiote paste and cooking it down on low heat. The spices bloom with flavor, the garlic fries lightly with that oil, and the achiote paste starts to break down and emulsify with everything. This step is crucial. Ignoring it means you’ll have a funky, chunky, adobo.
The adobo cools quickly, and that’s when you toss it in the blender with the rest of the ingredients. Blending it for just a minute or two will create the marinade and you’re ready to go.
What is achiote and bitter orange?
Reading the recipe below you might be like… what the heck, I can’t make this? You can! Let me break it down for you:
Bitter oranges are a very common ingredient in Mexico, being one of the main ingredients for famous dishes such as cochinita pibil. We don’t have them fresh in Arizona, so I will buy the bottled marinade.
Achiote Paste is a mix of toasted spices and annatto seeds (known in Mexico as achiote) which are the main ingredient that makes everything red. This paste is the main ingredient for al pastor, and is extremely potent on it’s own. It’s not spicy, but fruity and herbal. It’s amazing if you decide to make it freshbut you can also buy it pre-made and it’s still delicious.