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El Pollo Loco

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Does anyone have a good El Poyo clone for the marinade. Please not the one with the chili sauce. Thanks...

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  1. http://www.recipelink.com/copycat.html Not sure if this will help you or not. good luck!

    1. El Pollo Loco Marinade Clone

      Source: Orange County Register

      Serves: 6

      6 ounces pineapple juice
      2 tablespoons lime juice
      1 tablespoon white vinegar
      2 cloves garlic, minced
      1/2 teaspoon salt
      1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
      1/8 teaspoon ground pepper
      1/4 teaspoon mild chili pepper (Anaheim or California), remove stem and seeds from chilies, finely minced
      8 drops yellow food coloring, optional (but accurate)
      1 tablespoon vegetable oil
      4 pounds frying chicken, cut up

      In a small bowl, combine all ingredients except chicken, measure out 1/4 cup marinade and reserve for basting while grilling.
      Place chicken in a shallow glass baking dish and cover with marinade. Cover with lid or plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight, turning at least once. Refrigerate reserved marinade.

      Remove chicken from refrigerator 45 minutes before cooking time. Drain chicken and grill over medium coals for 25 to 35 minutes or until no traces of pink color remain, turning every 10 minutes. Baste frequently with the reserved 1/4 cup marinade while cooking.

      7 Replies
      1. re: Antilope

        Antilope. That really sound like this the real thing. Off to the store so we can have it tomorrow. I will report. Thanks...

        1. re: Antilope

          How about the use of annatto in place of the food coloring ?I believe it's neutral in taste

          1. re: Antilope

            This recipe caught my eye yesterday. I had a bunch of chicken I was plannign to use for dinner for my family tonight....we all loved El Pollo Loco when we were all back in Los Angeles 15+ years ago so I thought I'd give this a try and surprise everyone.

            We all really liked the marinade a lot(I left the food color out). BUT....none of us could actually remember exactly what EPL tasted like to be sure if this was a true clone or not. True true as much as we all loved it so long ago we went around the table and none of could say whether or not this was a true clone. . LOL It's definitely the same type of marinade and flavors though.

            In any case, it's a recipe I'll definitely make again. Thanks for posting it!

            1. re: ziggylu

              I don't think its a true clone. El Pollo Loco is fairly similar to other butterflied chicken eateries in Sinaloa (where it originated)... almost everyone there uses Turmeric instead of food coloring, the oregano is Mexican oregano (does matter), there is definitely no minced Anaheim / California chiles... instead they use some Escabeche juices instead of White Vinegar (lends just a hint of Cloves & Allspice)... and they also typically include fresh Thyme & Marjoram.

              1. re: Eat_Nopal

                We loved El Pollo Loco when we lived in LA in 88-89, so I jumped on this recipe when I saw the thread. Made it last night and Eat Nopal is correct, the Orange County Register EPL marinade clone is nowhere close to what I recall as the flavor of EPL chicken. For one thing the pineapple juice makes it taste really really sweet, which I hate in savory foods. I did substitute tumeric for the yellow food coloring, and chopped up a jalapeno for the 1/4 tsp mild anaheim pepper. I used a whole, hot, jalapeno and there was really no trace of that flavor in the finished dish. I can't imagine why anyone would think 1/4 tsp of a fresh chile would be sufficient to add any flavor. So those of us looking for a real clone need to keep on searching. This ain't it.

            2. re: Antilope

              Is the 1/4 tsp of mild chili pepper a typo? Could it be 1/4 pound? I can't imagine stemming and seeding chilies to get 1/4 tsp minced.

              1. re: Antilope

                Sorry to revive such an old post, but I finally made chicken with the EPL clone recipe this past weekend and wanted to report. The only changes I made were using two hot green chilis, minced, instead of the 1/4 tsp mild chili and using about 1/4 tsp Bijol spice instead of the yellow food coloring. Bijol spice has annatto and I think some artificial food coloring in it as well as some cumin. I marinated overnight. I thought the chicken was good but rather bland. I thought it would be a bit more flavorful, especially with the hotter peppers I used. It seemed like it was missing something, but since I've never had chicken from El Pollo Loco, it was hard for me to know what that might be. Has anyone else tried this clone recipe and found it bland?

              2. Hey Fog City Kid, i stumbled on an old post by you with regard to canned bacon. an outstanding new product is available from mredepot.com. yoder's canned bacon. you might want to check it out. did i say old post....lol....yes back in 2006. good luck....later