Grilled chicken is marinated in the flavors of Mexico…achiote paste, lime juice, oregano, cumin and chipotle – just to name a few.
Into a small bowl, break up the achiote paste. Add the oregano and cumin and mash with a fork.
Next, add the lime juice, vinegar, oil, garlic and chipotle sauce. Mix to combine then add the salt and pepper and taste for seasoning. Add a touch more salt or pepper, if needed.
If you like things a bit more spicy, you can add some of the chipotle peppers from the can. Some people even add toasted and ground chile de arbol to the marinade for extra heat.
If you have brined the chicken, remove from the brine and pat dry. Next, butterfly the chicken.
Take half of the marinade and set it aside. Take the remaining marinade and rub it all over the chicken. Even rub a bit under the skin so it will penetrate the meat somewhat.
Once done, place the chicken into a suitable container and cover. Marinate in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 hours or overnight. You can cook the chicken immediately, but it will not have the same depth of flavor.
When you are ready to grill the chicken, preheat the barbecue to medium-high. Then turn off the middle burner so the chicken cooks over indirect heat. This will also help to prevent flare ups from any fat on the chicken.
Alternatively, you can also bake the chicken in the oven at 350 F for about an hour.
Once the grill is hot,, remove the chicken from the marinade. Let the excess marinade drill off before placing it breast-side up onto the grill. Let the chicken cook for approximately 30 minutes with the lid closed. Check occasionally to ensure the chicken is not flaring up or burning.
After about 30 minutes, turn the chicken over to cook on the other side. Let cook for another 10 to 20 minutes or until cooked through.
Once done, let rest for about 10 minutes while you heat the remaining marinade.
To prepare the reserved marinade, simply heat it in a small pot. Remove it from the heat and add a bit of oil. Taste for seasoning and adjust as necessary.
Once the chicken has rested, carve and serve. Serve individual portions of the sauce or pass a bowl around so guests can help themselves to more sauce if they like.
The achiote-marinade is a Mexican marinade from Yucatan. The primary flavoring ingredient is annatto seeds, which are hard red seeds of the annatto tree. The paste is available in many grocery stores, but it can also be ordered online.