The flavorful foods of South America have been making news for their unique flavors. Unlike the Mexican cuisine available in most of America, South American foods have very little heat but a ton of flavor. With use a variety of mostly mild chiles, a lot of citrus, and fresh herbs this chicken will make your taste buds sing, not sting.
This dish uses Pisco brandy, the national liqueur of Peru, to infuse a little extra flavor and provide a moist cooking environment for the chicken. It’s a truly delightful kick for cooking. The chicken turns out tender, moist, and full of flavor, perfect added to salad greens, as the main component of chicken salad or in sandwiches. We enjoyed it fresh off the grill for dinner. It is remarkable and easy to make with virtually no clean up.
If you have never cooked a whole chicken on the grill, give it a try. It is incredibly easy and creates a tender, moist chicken that your family will love. It takes a lot less attention than cooking cut-up pieces, giving you more time to make the rest of your meal.
This recipe calls for using a TRU-InfraredTM grill and Char-Broil’s Infusion Cooker. The TRU-InfraredTM grill provides perfect, even heat while the Infusion Cooker creates an oven-like environment for incredibly moist, tender chicken with the ease of outdoor cooking. A perfect combination! If you haven’t heard of the Infusion Cooker, check it out. It is a tidy little package that can totally change the way you approach outdoor cooking. An indirect heat source is great for delicate foods or those that need a slower cooking environment. The Infusion Cooker is perfect for both, can also be used on a campfire, and is dishwasher safe.
Don’t be afraid of it being too spicy because there isn’t any heat in the marinade. If you like spicy foods, switch out the mild chiles for cayenne, chipotle or habanero. Enjoy!
The traditional flavors of Peru are combined with American cooking ingenuity for a delightful chicken dinner that your family will be begging you to make for them again and again.
- 1 whole chicken (4-5 pounds)
- ¼ cup organic olive oil
- juice of 2 limes
- 3 large garlic cloves, peeled, split in half lengthwise and center core discarded
- 1 shallot, peeled and coarsely chopped
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons ground paprika
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon crushed Aleppo chili*
- ½ teaspoon Mulato chile powder or ancho chile powder*
- 1 ½ tablespoons ground cumin
- 3 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 lime, quartered
- ½ onion, peeled and cut in half
- 1 cup Pisco brandy, such as Barsol, Campo de Encanto, or Pisco Porton
- ½ cup water
- Remove the giblets and any excess fat from the cavity of the chicken
- Rinse inside and out under cold running water
- Set the chicken on a clean work surface; pat dry with paper towels.
- Carefully separate the skin from the breast meat using your hands to slide between them, breaking the connective tissue and creating two large pockets on either side of the breast.
- Combine the olive oil, lime juice, garlic cloves shallot, kosher salt, paprika, black pepper, Aleppo chili, Mulato chile or ancho chile powder, cumin and oregano in a food processor or blender and process until smooth.
- Spread about 2 tablespoons of the marinade under the skin, rubbing into the breast meat.
- Transfer the chicken to a large plastic bag or bowl.
- Pour half of the remaining marinade in the cavity of the chicken and rub it to cover all surfaces.
- Rub remaining marinade all over the outside of the chicken.
- Seal the plastic bag or cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate 4 to 6 hours or up to overnight.
- Turn the chicken over several times to evenly distribute the marinade.
- Pour Pisco brandy and water in the bottom of the Infuser Cooker and top with the perforated basket. This will create steam and infuse the flavor into the chicken as well as helping to keep it extremely moist during cooking.
- Remove the marinated chicken from the plastic bag and place, breast-side up, in the infuser basket.
- Insert the lime and onion pieces in the cavity of the chicken. Cover with the lid. Discard the plastic bag with the remaining marinade.
- Preheat your TRU-Infrared grill on high for 10-15 minutes.
- Place the infuser on the hot grill and cook for 15 minutes.
- Reduce the grill temperature to medium and continue cooking for an additional 25 to 30 minutes or until an instant read thermometer inserted in the breast (without touching any bone) reaches 160 degrees.
- Carefully remove the infuser from the grill and set on a heatproof surface. Using oven mitts or a pair of tongs, very carefully remove the lid from the infuser.
- Use tongs to move the chicken from the infuser basket to a cutting board.
- Tent loosely with foil and let it rest for 15 minutes. The chicken will finish cooking and the juices will redistribute into the meat while it rests.
- Carve chicken into quarters (or smaller portions) and serve immediately.
*If you do not have specialty chile powders, you can substitute 1 teaspoon of generic chili powder or chipotle chile powder for more heat and a smokier flavor.