Grilling is exciting. It means spending time outside with people you care about and relaxing together enjoying the weather.
Give a little extra thought to the menu this summer as you plan the grocery list. We have the ultimate list of unique chicken grilling ideas otherwise known as Pollo a La Parilla. Break away from the same old, same old, and reinvent the grill with these choices.
Why Grill Pollo?
Burgers are delicious. But do you ever get bored with eating the same thing all the time? Even if you throw in some hot dogs or brats, it still seems like you’ve had the same menu all summer.
Make the barbecue a little different this weekend with some juicy chicken options. The pollo in your backyard ought to give your taste buds a thrill, instead of just satiating your hunger.
Switch things up and try chicken instead of beef.
1. How to Make the Perfect Grilled Pollo–A Basic Lesson
The easy way to grill chicken is to use a marinade. You can change the marinade based on what else you’re doing with the chicken after the grill, but if you start there, the extra flavor makes it good no matter what.
Use vinegar or lemon juice in your marinade to tenderize the meat. Then add your flavors, like garlic and onions, or honey and maple syrup for a sweeter experience.
While you’re cooking, use a meat thermometer so you know when it’s done. No one wants to eat burned chicken, and no one wants to get sick from underdone poultry either. Cook the pollo to at least the safe temp of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
You can add any grilled chicken to many recipes, like a jalapeño casserole. Make it with corn and jalapeños and creamy cheese, and top it with something a little crunchy, like hashbrowns.
2. Arroz con Pollo–with a Twist
Instead of simmering the chicken with the rice, try grilling it outside and then pairing the two. You can even use something different like cous cous or quinoa instead of rice, to give the dish a new flavor.
Try using less traditional spices in your marinade, too, like saffron. Or make it tangy with some cranberries or other unexpected fruit.
3. Pollo Asado on the Grill
In a normal kitchen, you’d roast a chicken in the oven, but you can achieve a similar delicious result on the grill. Use chicken pieces that still have the skin on for extra juicy flavor (thighs or breasts are fine).
Now try combining your spices and using them as a rub instead of choosing a marinade for this. An orthodox combination like garlic, cumin, oregano, and paprika works great, but you can also an Indian theme with garam masala, coriander, and curry. Use your hands to coat the chicken in olive oil, then rub the spices on each side.
Start the chicken on a hot grill to sear each side of the meat, then lower the heat to cook it evenly throughout.
4. Caldo de Pollo
Chicken soup is comforting, but you don’t have to reserve it for when you’re sick. Use leftover grilled chicken when you make this so that you get a perfect smoky flavor. You can even do something different and add smoky ham to go along with the pollo.
5. Peruvian Chicken
Pollo a la brasa is a traditional chicken dish in Peru, and they serve it with a green sauce. If you want to try your chicken this way, use the flavorful chiles and similar spices (lime juice, garlic, etc.). Change it up and throw it on the grill after you’ve prepped the meat.
Serve with bacon, avocado, and cucumber salad. You can really thrill the guests when you serve some Peruvian desserts along with it.
6. Chicken with Plantains
Grill some plantains with your chicken to add some sweetness to your barbecue. Cut a slit in the middle and brush with olive oil, then add your favorite spices. For a Jamaican style, try some jerk seasoning.
The sweetness of the plantain goes great with the spicy flavor, and after you’ve grilled the chicken, shred it and stuff the plantains with it. You won’t be disappointed.
7. Chorizo Paella with Grilled Chicken
Why not make some traditional paella with your chicken? Instead of shrimp, go for Spanish chorizo, and then grill the chicken to go with it. This dish is to die for, and by grilling the pollo and adding it later, you get some fiery flavor it’s missing otherwise.
8. Fire-Grilled Pollo
Add a bit of spice to your fire-grilled pollo when you make delicious sides to accompany it. Try this little-known tip–make regular fries spectacular when you turn them into taco fries.
Add some taco seasoning while the fries are cooking, and sprinkle cheese on top. Drizzle with crema fresca to finish.
9. Zesty Pesto
This dish will give you a unique spin on traditional Italian flavors. Make a sweet pepper pesto sauce for tortellini, but add some oregano and cumin.
Grill the chicken and then chill it. Slice and then serve on a bed of greens, with the tortellini pesto salad cold on the side.
A Mouthwatering Summer
Spend your summer grilling your favorites and also some new inspired pollo recipes. These ideas will keep you going all season, and your friends will love coming to experience your unique ideas.
Master the grill by adding chicken to the menu. And if you haven’t gotten enough yet, read more on the Amigo Foods blog.
Our blog is all about sharing our love of Latin American foods & drinks. We will bring you articles and recipes of the very best Latin American & Spanish cuisine. Amigofoods was founded in 2003 and is the largest online grocery store offering a wide variety of hard to find freshly imported foods & drinks from all over Latin America and Spain.