This recipe for tailgate-ready, Sinaloan-style chicken comes from chef Michael Mina, die-hard 49ers fan and founder of the Mina Group, whose restaurants include International Smoke, MINA Family Kitchen, Clock Bar, Bourbon Pub and Estiatorio Ornos.
“Grilling is an essential part of tailgating during football season. Chicken is always well received and with a dish like this, you can feed a large amount of fans easily,” Mina says. “I like to serve the Sinaloan-style Chicken cut up with red onion, avocado and lime to give it a California touch. You can also serve it with cilantro, rice or roasted sweet potatoes.”
Sinaloan Style Chicken
Serves 1 to 2
3 red onion rings, sliced 1/2-inch thick
1 avocado, pitted and cut in half
1 lime, cut in half
3 cherry tomatoes, charred
1/2 a boneless chicken, skin on
Salt and pepper
2 ounces al pastor sauce (see recipe below)
2 tablespoons salsa macha (see recipe below)
Fresh cilantro for serving
Grill the onion rings for 1 to 2 minutes per side, the lime halves for 1 to 2 minutes per side and avocado for 10 to 15 seconds per side. Grill cherry tomatoes until just charred. Set aside.
Rub grill grates with an oiled towel; wipe off any excess. Heat grill to medium-low.
Brush the chicken with olive oil; season with salt and pepper. Place onto pre-heated grill skin-side down. Grill for 5 to 6 minutes, then lift the chicken, give it a quarter turn and replace it on a different part of the hot grill. Continue to cook for another 5 to 6 minutes. Flip the chicken and continue cooking for 4 to 5 minutes more or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
Spoon al pastor sauce on the bottom of a serving plate. Place chicken on top. Garnish with a drizzle of the salsa macha, onion rings, limes, avocado, cherry tomatoes and cilantro and serve.
Al Pastor Sauce
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 tablespoons julienned onion
Pinch kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon achiote paste
1/8 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/8 teaspoon coriander seeds
4 tablespoons water
5 ounces whole, canned tomatoes
1 tablespoon chipotle in adobo
2 tablespoons orange juice
2 tablespoons pineapple juice
1 teaspoon honey
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
Heat oil in a large pan. Add the onions and salt and let sweat. Add the achiote and spices and toast lightly, about 30 seconds.
Add the water, tomatoes, chipotle and stir to combine. Bring to a simmer, lower heat and let cook for 10 minutes.
Add the orange and pineapple juices, honey and apple cider vinegar, and continue simmering for another 20 minutes.
Let cool slightly, then puree in a blender until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning and spice level as needed. Reduce, if necessary, to achieve desired consistency.
1 cup vegetable oil or olive oil, divided use
1 dried ancho pepper, deveined
1 dried pasilla pepper, deveined
1/4 cup white sesame seeds, toasted
1 cup pumpkin seeds
1 cup almonds, blanched with skin off
1 guajillo pepper, seeded
1 cup golden raisins
Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat, add 1/4 cup oil and heat until hot. Add the ancho and pasilla peppers and fry quickly for 10 seconds on each side. The peppers should be crispy but not burnt. Set aside.
Working in batches, toast the sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds and almonds on separate baking sheets in the hot oven, toasting them until golden brown, 5 to 6 minutes. Set aside.
Place the fried peppers and guajillo pepper in a food processor or blender with a little bit of the frying oil. Pulse until consistently chunky. Transfer to a bowl.
Add the pumpkin seeds and almonds to the food processor and process until they are chunky as well. Add to the bowl.
Rough chop the raisins and add to the bowl along with the toasted white sesame seeds. Add remaining oil to create desired consistency. Taste and add salt as needed.
— Courtesy Michael Mina