The one and honest-to-Santa only thing I miss about the suburbs is our weekly dinner at El Pollo Rico. And I know we already talked about how blah and boring chicken is, but holy shit this stuff is like crack. In slaughtered chicken form. Seriously, I know I'm the Queen of Hyperbole and all, but this shit is fucking awesome. It is so fucking awesome that last time Tony Bourdain was in town he ended up there just because every single person in the greater metro DC area was all, "GO THERE."
So he did. And he liked it.
And missing my weekly Pollo Rico dinners as I did, I decided (duh) that I would try to recreate a pollo a la brasa at home, except I don't have a giant rotisserie. And I keep using cornish game hens every time I make this. Why cornish game hens? I don't know, because they're cute. Also, how does one say cornish game hen in Spanish? Ah, córnico juego gallina. Thank you, Google Translate.
So, for the córnico juego gallina, you'll need:
2 hens, halved. (Or fine, use a whole chicken, quartered, if you want. Or a bunch of random chicken pieces. Either way you should have about 3 1/2 pounds of poultry total.)
How do you halve a cornish game hen? I'm glad you asked! Just pull out your handy dandy kitchen shears. Then use your handy dandy kitchen shears to cut out the backbone (save these for stock). Then take your chef's knife and slice the rest of your bird in half, right down the middle of its breastbone. (And feel free to trim off any excess fat or skin. You won't need them for nothin' 'cept cellulite.)
Throw these into a gallon-sized freezer bag and pour the marinade on top.
What's in the marinade? I'm glad you asked! You'll need:
1/3 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
5 garlic cloves
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Dump all of this into a blender and blend until smooth. It's not 100% exactly like Pollo Rico's marinade, but it is about 83.2% like Pollo Rico's marinade. And damn good in its own right.
So now that you've dumped your marinade in with your poultry pieces, seal up the bag, squeezing as much air out as possible.
Throw the bag in a bowl in case of leakage (heh) (also, ew), and throw the bowl in the fridge. Actually, no, don't throw the bowl in the fridge. More like, place the bowl in the fridge with authority! And let it sit in the fridge and think about what it's done! (Which is die so that you can eat a tasty dinner.)
You're going to want to let that marinate for AT LEAST 8 hours, but more like 24. FOR FLAVOR. And every time you go to the fridge for, I don't know, a glass of water or a piece of string cheese or whatever, give the bag a little shake to redistribute the marinate. Gotta keep your dead chicken on its toes.
When you're ready FOR FLAVOR, take that bag of poultry parts out to your blazing hot grill, throw your poultry parts onto your blazing hot grill (but not the bag, because that would be melty (in a bad way)), and char the hell out of your poultry parts until the internal temperature of your breasts (heh) reach 160 F on your handy dandy instant-read thermometer.
Pull your meat off the grill (heh) (also, ouch) and let it rest about 10 minutes before serving. And then serve!