I’ve been fumbling around today for a topic for today’s blog. There’s just been a lot on my mind, frankly, and I felt a little muddled regarding a topic. So, I thought, maybe, I would share a recipe I recently learned and made for the second time with stunning success.
As I’ve written before, while I’m not 100% committed to a Paleo / Whole30 diet, I do try to stay away from packaged goods. While being part of Third Way Man’s inaugural Body of a Warrior – a 90-day fitness challenge which is somewhat tribe-based with a group of guys from around the country – I dedicated myself to eating only single-ingredient foods. That is, eating nothing that came pre-mixed in a container. We could combine ingredients, but we should try to eat only those items which were found in the produce and meat aisles plus individual seasonings.
I really had to learn how to cook. I turned to blogs about Paleo and Whole30 eating. My wife was supportive and often set aside proteins or other ingredients so I could prepare them myself.
Fast forward to Father’s Day 2022. My wife’s family was over at our house for a barbecue. My new next-door neighbor had a similar plan. My sister-in-law and mother-in-law brought all sorts of meat including shish kebabs (pork, beef, and chicken) and arrechera (hanger steak). While I was outside barbecuing up a storm, my neighbor came by and offered me some chicken drumsticks he cooked on his charcoal grill. They were absolutely delicious, and I recall from my childhood going to one of our Hispanic neighbor’s homes and eating drumsticks which were exactly that shade of red with that flavor profile.
I had to learn what it was!
So, after some Internet research, I discovered that what I ate was pollo asado – grilled chicken. I found several recipes, and then did a riff on one of them. So, here is the recipe I have successfully executed twice with stellar success
Rich’s Red Chicken Drumsticks
- 12 chicken legs (drumsticks). I purchased a family pack at Aldi
- Homemade adobo seasoning:
- 2 tablespoons salt
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1.5 teaspoons onion powder
- 1.5 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 2 teaspoons black pepper
- 4 packets fo Sazon (yes, here I cheat a little because I am using a pre-packaged achiote powder because I’m unsure of where else I can go to get this amazing ingredient
- Olive oil
- Bunch of chopped cilantro
- 4-6 cloves of finely minced garlic
- Pat the chicken dry.
- Drizzle olive oil on the chicken and either brush or rub the oil to coat each piece.
- Place the chicken in ziplock bags (6 per bag).
- Put ½ of the adobo seasoning into each bag.
- Put 2 packets of Sazon in each bag.
- Put ½ of the cilantro into each bag.
- Put ½ of the garlic into each bag.
- Seal the bag and shake the devil out of bag to evenly coat each piece of chicken with the herb-and-spice mixture.
- Place in the refrigerator for at least ½ hour up to two days.
Get your charcoal grill started. I use a traditional Weber kettle-style grill. Open the bottom vent. Start the coals using a charcoal starter chimney. Once they are ashed over (usually about 15-20 minutes), carefully pour the coals into half of the grill. Place the grate (cooking surface) on the grill.
Cook the chicken with indirect heat by placing the marinated chicken legs on the side of the grill without coals. Close the lid and cook for five minutes. Uncover and flip the chicken. Cover and cook another five minutes. Flip the chicken again and move the chicken in the second row to the first row and from the first row to the second row. Cover and cook 2-5 minutes. Flip the chicken again, cover, and cook 2 minutes. Uncover and move the chicken over the coals carefully flipping after 1-2 minutes on each side to get a good quick char.
Once cooked to temperature of 165-degree Fahrenheit, remove to a plate and let rest 2-5 minutes. Serve and enjoy with your favorite side dish.