Weekly Winner: Geographically Impaired Chicken

Panamanian chickenActually, truth be told it was not the chicken that was geographically impaired … it was the cook.  I had been going around thinking that on Saturday I was going to make Peruvian Garlic Chicken.  I told my husband that he was grilling Peruvian Garlic Chicken.  I wondered “what should I serve with the Peruvian Garlic Chicken?” I considered what wine would be best with Peruvian Garlic Chicken.  It wasn’t until said chicken had been quartered, marinated for half a day, and was being taken out to the grill that I actually re-read the recipe.  Apparently we weren’t traveling to Peru at all for dinner…. it was Panama!!  Panamanian Garlic Chicken or Pollo Al Ajillo to be exact.

Oh well, no worries.  It was garlicky.  It was citrusy.  It was luscious.  Panama….. Peru….. wherever.  It’s dang good chicken.  The recipe comes from Saveur Magazine and the grilled corn on the cob I decided to have with it went perfectly — regardless of country of origin.



1 (3-4-lb.) chicken, quartered
3 bay leaves
25 cloves garlic, peeled
2 tsp. kosher salt, plus more to taste
1 cup fresh orange juice
½ cup sherry vinegar
2 tbsp. freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp. ground allspice


1. Place chicken and bay leaves in a bowl. Purée garlic, salt, and 2 tbsp. water in a food processor to a smooth paste. Add juice, vinegar, black pepper, Worcestershire, and allspice; purée until smooth. Rub mixture over chicken. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 4 hours or up to overnight.

2. Heat a charcoal grill or set a gas grill to high; bank coals or turn burner off on one side. Remove chicken from marinade; grill on hottest part of grill, flipping once, until slightly charred and cooked through, 25-30 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh reads 165°. If the outside starts to burn before the chicken is fully cooked, move to the cooler side of the grill until done.


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