This recipe is inspired by the fantastic Peruvian chicken that my brother and I would get growing up in DC. We’ll be adding vinegar and oil to our Hatch Chile Taco Gusto to make a paste that will be rubbed all over our chicken before cooking. This is something you really want to cook outside on a grill. It just wouldn’t be the same in the oven. I spatchcock/butterfly my chicken so that it lays flat on the grill. This is the best way to cook a whole bird on a grill without a rotisserie attachment. If you’re lucky enough to have a rotisserie on your grill, by all mean use that and cook as you normally would and skip the part about spatchcocking.
A note about scaling this recipe:
The quantities in the ingredients list below made enough paste to cover a 4.5lb to 5lb bird. If you’re cooking a larger or smaller bird you can scale this recipe up or down following this ratio: 2 parts Taco Gusto, 1 part oil, 1 part vinegar. If the paste seems too thick or thin, adjust the liquids as necessary.
A note about the spatchcocking the chicken:
I’m not going to go into how to spatchcock a chicken but here is a link to some detailed instructions that also includes a video by one of my very favorite food writers, J. Kenji López-Alt.
2.5 tablespoons Vinegar – (any type of vinegar, but I use red wine vinegar)
1 Whole Chicken, spatchcocked if not using a rotisserie (see note above)
1 to 2 teaspoons salt to taste
• Place Taco Gusto in a small bowl and add the salt, vinegar and oil.
• Massage with your fingers until a paste forms
• Rub the paste onto both sides of your chicken
I like to prep the chicken a little early and let if sit with the rub on it for a couple of hours, but I don’t think it would hurt to get it right on the grill after rubbing it with the chile paste.
Preparing the Grill:
• Light a chimney full of coals.
• When the coals are ready, set the grill up for indirect cooking. This means that there are only coals under half the cooking surface.
Grilling the Bird:
• Place your bird on the opposite side of the grill from the coals, skin facing up and the breasts pointed away from the hot side of the grill
• Open the bottom vents on the grill and align the top vent so that it is above the chicken and open it.
• Grill with the lid on until the internal temperature of the thick part of the breast has reached 115 degrees.
• Flip the bird so that it is skin side down and the breast is facing away from the hot side of the grill
• Place the cover back on and continue to grill until the breast temperature has risen to 155 degrees.
• If the skin begins to burn before the bird reaches temperature, move it to the cooler side of the grill and continue cooking.
• Once your bird has reached 155 degrees in the breast, transfer it to a cutting board and let it rest for 5-10 min.
• Bring to the table whole for an impressive presentation.
• Goes great with fried or grilled Yucca and Aji Amarillo Sauce
• Enjoy your Gusto Chicken.
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