Mexican Roadside Chicken

June 24, 2013

As the Summer heats up, citrus flavors really hit the spot. PatioDaddio goes south of the border for a simple and easy grilled chicken (with a surprise ingredient.)


grilled chicken with peppers

As I’ve said many times before, poultry is hands-down my favorite thing to grill and barbecue, especially chicken. I’m always looking for new ways to explore fire-roasted yard bird. This time out I go south of the border, Daddio-style.

This recipe is perfect for summer outdoor entertaining. It’s simple, but the result is a beautiful and somewhat mysterious (in a good way) blend of light citrus and spices that is a welcome departure from your typical grilled chicken. You can serve it cut into pieces on the bone or shred it for some killer chicken tacos. It’s traditionally served with grilled green onions, and I threw in some fire-roasted jalapenos and limes.



1 whole Chicken (about 5 lbs), rinsed, patted dry, and spatchcocked/butterflied

Chicken Marinade

2 cups Sunny D® Tangy Original

1 Tbsp Kosher salt

1 bunch Green onions (optional)

2 whole Limes (optional)

2 tsp Sugar (if using limes)

2 whole Jalapenos (optional)


Wet Rub

8 whole Allspice berries (or 1/4 tsp ground)

2 Tbsp Red wine vinegar

1 Tbsp Olive oil

1 Tbsp whole Mexican oregano, dried

1 Tbsp Garlic salt

2 tsp Chili powder

1 tsp Cumin seed (or 1/2 tsp ground)

1 tsp Black peppercorns (or 1/2 tsp ground)

1 tsp Ground ancho chile

1/2 tsp Ground chile de Arbol (or cayenne)

1/4 tsp Ground coriander

1/8 tsp Ground smoked paprika

1/8 tsp Ground cinnamon



Put the chicken in a gallon zip-top bag and add the Sunny D® and salt. Seal the bag while removing the excess air. Slosh the bag gently to combine. Put the bag in a lipped baking dish or sheet pan (to catch any leaks) and refrigerate six hours, or preferably overnight.

About 90 minutes before you want to serve, start your grill and prepare for indirect cooking over medium heat (300-350º).

While the grill is starting, make the wet rub. Combine the allspice berries, oregano, cumin seeds, and peppercorns in a spice grinder, grind fine, and pour into a small mixing bowl. Add the remaining wet rub ingredients to the bowl, whisk/stir well to combine, set aside.

Remove the chicken from the marinade, rinse well with cold water, and pat dry with paper towels. Smear the entire outside of the chicken on both sides with the wet rub.

grilled chicken recipe

Clean and dry the onions, jalapenos and limes. Trim the ends of the onions. Halve the limes and sprinkle the cut sides with sugar.

green onions limes and peppers

Grill the chicken indirect until the internal temperature in the thickest part of the thigh reaches 165º (about 60-75 minutes).

Just before the chicken is done grill the onions, limes and jalapenos on the direct heat side of the grill until each is nicely roasted, set aside.

green onions limes and peppers

When the chicken reaches 165º in the thigh, remove it from the grill, let rest five minutes, and serve with the onions, limes, and jalapenos on the side.

grilled chicken with peppers and green onions


(Makes about 4 servings)



Related Topics: 2-zone Cooking | Back To Basics | Barbecue Chicken Recipes | Barbeque Chicken Recipes | Basics Of 2-zone | Bbq Chicken Recipes | Chicken | Chicken Marinade | Chicken Rub | Citrus | Direct Cooking | Direct Grilling | Direct Heat | Direct Method | Editor's Picks | Grilled Chicken Recipes | Grilling A Whole Chicken | Indirect Cooking | Indirect Grilling | Indirect Heat | Indirect Method | Main Dish | Mexican | Patiodaddiobbq | Simple | Summer Grilling | Whole Chicken

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