Spatchcocked Mexican Roadside Chicken

A few weeks back I found a recipe by Rick Bayless for Mexican Roadside Chicken on Serious Eats. The description and pictures sold me right away, so last night we decided to give it a shot.

First, we spatchcocked a young chicken.



Then we mixed up the wet rub, which consisted of ancho chile powder, cinnamon, clove, garlic, orange juice, oregano, salt, and red wine vinegar, let it sit for a while, and fired up the UDS for high heat with charcoal basket elevated. Didn’t get pics of that or the wet rub on the chicken, but here how the bird looked when it was almost done:



The chicken after we pulled it:



The chicken was cut into pieces, served with The Missus’ all day simmered pinto beans, freshly made fire roasted salsa verde, and flour tortillas:


It was outrageously delicious!

Here’s the chicken recipe verbatim – please note I didn’t do the green onions, and used my own recipe for the salsa verde:

Mexican Roadside Chicken

Adapted from Mexican Everyday by Rick Bayless

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 Kosher salt, plus a little more for the onions
1 large chicken, about 3 lbs, butterflied
2 large bunches of green onions or knob onions
A little olive oil for brushing the onions

Grilled tomatillo salsa, for serving

1. Light a chimney 3/4 full of charcoal. While the charcoal is lighting, mix chile powder, oregano, cloves, cinnamon, garlic, vinegar, orange juice, and 1 teaspoon of salt together in a small bowl.
2. When the charcoal is fully lit and covered in gray ash, pour coals out and arrange them on one side of the charcoal grate, keeping the other side empty. Place the chicken over the cool side of the grill, skin side down, and brush exposed side with the wet rub. Flip the chicken over and brush the other side with the rub. Cover the grill and cook, basting occasionally with any remaining rub, at 350 degrees until an instant read thermometer reads 165 degrees when inserted into the thickest part of the breast, about 45 minutes. Remove the chicken from the grill and allow to rest for 10 to 15 minutes.
3. While the chicken is resting, brush the onions with olive oil and season with salt. Place the onions over the hot side of the grill and cook until tender and browned, about 5 minutes per side.

4. To serve, cut the chicken into quarters, top with green onions and tomatillo salsa.