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El Pollo Regio

Does anyone have any idea how they make that wonderful chicken ? What do you think they marinade it in , besides lemon juice and lime juice ? TIA , 'tis appreciated .

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  1. Let's start the guessing - I'd guess that instead of lime or lemon, some sort of orange is used along with achiote and some sort of a mild smoked chile, like pasilla or something. There may an herbed,salt water brine (the flavor is actually inside the chicken), perhaps with another marinade. I can't re-create it exactly at home, and since I can't make it at home at a lower cost, I've given up trying.

    6 Replies
    1. re: rudeboy

      I don't think the marinade is that special. It's the GREEN SAUCE that makes me go to El Polo Rico (note the name change - are there really Any El Pollo Regio's left?). I stop there just to get their green sauce and eat it right off my fingers or sip it right out of the tub.

      1. re: sqwertz

        I just went to El Pollo Regio on Berkman, just off 290, south of Reagan High.

        1. re: sqwertz

          According to El Pollo Regio's Facebook page, they are suing El Pollo Rico for using that name.....so they are definitely not connected. There are many El Pollo Regio's around the metroplex.

          1. re: BluffViewChound

            Could you explain further, please? Was there a break between El Pollo Rico and and El Regio? What metroplex are you referring to? Thanks for any elucidation you have to offer.

            1. re: agoodbite

              He means Dallas. I did indeed see them all over last weekend in Dallas.

            2. re: BluffViewChound

              They don't stand a chance, is my guess. But maybe there's more to the story.

              They do have the exact same food, though. And Rico now occupies all the old Reggio stands.

        2. Not sure how they do it, but a citrus brine would achieve a similar result if you cook it the same way they do.

          1. Same for me, the green sauce has me coming back to El Pollo Regio/El Pollo Rico time after endless time. The chicken's seasoning is wonderful. I'm thinking the same as rudeboy, it's probably orange juice and achiote with ground smoked chile & salt. I love my El Pollo Rico on Stassney. We still call it "Jesus Chicken" even thought when they repainted they painted over the huge mural of the chicken with wings out and something that looked like a halo around it's head.

            6 Replies
              1. re: RoundSparrow

                Any green sauce hounds around Anderson Lane would be well served at La Casita next to the railroad tracks.The red's good too but the green...wow.Hot,fluorescent and delicious.

                I haven't been this impressed in some time. Homemade corn tortillas are hot off the comal.Make sure you get some chorizo with your refrieds though otherwise you'll be missing out on the pork fat[they don't use it in their beans].

                Little place is pretty hopping,food's cheap and the service;a team of Mexican girls,spot-on.

                1. re: scrumptiouschef

                  The Chron shows some love for La Casita this week as well. I haven't been there but will have to add it to my to-try

                  http://www.austinchronicle.com/gyroba...

                  1. re: scrumptiouschef

                    There is also an El Pollo Regio near the corner of Research and Ohlen In Austin, TX. I ate there today and ended up here after following a link in search of a copycat recipe for their incredible chicken. (I picked up a half chicken yesterday, had it for lunch and dinner and finished it off for breakfast. It was so good, I had my son pick us up some today for lunch since he wasn't around to enjoy it yesterday.)

                    -----
                    El Pollo Regio
                    704 W Stassney Ln, Austin, TX 78745

                  2. re: RoundSparrow

                    Nope, sorry. I don't know what time they open but I do know that they usually close around 10pm, sometimes sooner if they run out of chicken.

                    1. re: RoundSparrow

                      If I understand correctly, they're open from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., but they usually run out of everything except the chickens 5:00 p.m. or so.

                  3. Try this recipe from Rick Bayless: http://www.chefs.com/RecipeDetails.as...

                    I made it with much less or no cinnamon and it's pretty close. Needs tinkering to be an exact replica, but they are very very similar.

                    1. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/547584

                      I made a thread on the Home Cooking Board in my quest to replicate El Regio's pollo asado. Some recipes and ideas there. I still haven't manages an exact duplicate.

                      -----
                      El Regio
                      6615 Berkman Dr, Austin, TX 78723

                      1. They are selling it by the bottle now. Ingredients: jalapeno, oil, garlic, salt.

                        22 Replies
                        1. re: travisfare

                          Best sauce ever.

                          After some sleuthing, I made such a sauce with with roasted jalapeños, lime, salt, garlic, oil, and a dash of egg yolk (that was a few years ago)...then I saw a thread on CH linking a video of a recipe for 'Salsa Doce Chiles' which is reputed to pair well with roasted/grilled meats. I tried that style of salsa from the video using my own recipe but in a Vitamix blender and had the same success without the dash of egg yolk (before that when I used the regular blender, my mix didn't emulsify well and kept separating). The video made me confident without the dash of egg yolk and the results are just like El Regio's salsa verde. I am surprised there is no lime juice or vinegar in the El Regio salsa. I knew El Regio didn't roast their jalapeños, but I actually think it tastes even better that way with the smoky touch.

                          Here is the salsa doce chiles link so you can see what I mean-she uses serranos, but you can see how easily this could be done with jalapeños (well now that they're bottling it, you may not bother, but...) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zu6o-F...

                          1. re: luckyfatima

                            What did she put in just before the salt. It sounded like "Pimenta". So I assume it was some sort of pepper.

                            1. re: sqwertz

                              She said "We are not going to season it with anything other than salt and pepper..." pimienta is black pepper. Later she says she is putting una pizquita de pimienta, or a pinch of black pepper.

                              1. re: luckyfatima

                                OK, thanks. I made another batch this morning. I peeled the peppers this time, but one of the secrets to this is that you need a whiz-bang blender or commercial 1-horsepower stick blender to get a reeally creamy consistency. At times I've found parts of stems in El Pollo Ricos sauce - they must have one hell of a stick blender to be able to use whole jalapenos. Mine still tastes different. It's tastes "fresher" - grassier - like raw, pureed jalapenos. I'm gonna trying roasting them next.

                          2. re: travisfare

                            They sell something pretty close at HEB now, called "That Green Sauce", i think.

                            1. re: TroyTempest

                              i noticed that this week, but i believe it had vinegar and some other things in it, so i was afraid it would taste more like a (mexican, not italian) salsa verde.
                              plus it was all separated in the jar, so i couldn't tell by looking at it.

                              i should buy some for experimenting. you know, for the sake of the board...

                              1. re: dinaofdoom

                                i had a free sample at the store. It was pretty close.

                                1. re: TroyTempest

                                  hmmm maybe there are 2 difference sauces at HEB.

                                  1. re: dinaofdoom

                                    If you ate a whole jar like I did, you'll realize it's not the same. The ingredient list is so different than that of El Reggio.

                                    1. re: dinaofdoom

                                      Maybe. The sauce i am speaking of is called "That Green Sauce" on the label. It is green, creamy, etc. And i just saw it recently, for the first time.
                                      I have had the creamy green sauce at both El Pollo Regio, and El Pollo Rico, and i thought it was pretty close.

                                      1. re: TroyTempest

                                        that is the stuff i saw recently, and checked the ingredient list.
                                        the vinegar threw me off.

                                        there is also a non-HEB brand item in a hot sauce sized bottle, which is another "green sauce". it's an aguacate hot (not very but...) sauce from some company that also makes a habanero sauce too.

                                        someone told me the aguacate was just like the famous green sauce.
                                        it's totally not.

                                        1. re: dinaofdoom

                                          The green tomatoes in "That Green Sauce" threw me off. Way off.

                                          Could you be referring to El Yucateco hot sauces?

                                          http://www.elyucateco.com/

                                          -sw

                                            1. re: sqwertz

                                              Did you actually taste it? I am referring to the HEB brand

                                              1. re: TroyTempest

                                                not yet, but i double-checked the ingredients when i was running in for something, and it has sour cream and tomatillos in it, which is a bit different.

                                                1. re: dinaofdoom

                                                  It also contains chicken base, for any vegetarians considering it.

                                    2. re: dinaofdoom

                                      It has green tomatoes, water, chicken base, fake sour cream, and about 20 other ingredients. I stand by my statement that it is *nothing* like El Regio sauce except in color.

                                    3. re: TroyTempest

                                      There was thread on that in Yelp! and the consensus was that it wasn't Dona or El Reggi sauce. I started the thread and the was first to buy the sauce and I don't think it's ANYTHING like El Regio - except the color.

                                      -sw

                                      1. re: TroyTempest

                                        We just tried That Green Sauce. It's not _bad_, but it has almost zero heat.

                                        1. re: addlepated

                                          tonight i saw they reserved 2 or 3 shelves for it, and put a special sign over it (and it wasn't an end cap).
                                          they are really pushing this stuff hard.

                                          1. re: addlepated

                                            nevermind, duplicate post

                                            i wish i could delete my own posts

                                        2. re: travisfare

                                          I bought a couple containers there a week or so ago, but it didn't the ingredients. It actually says the ingredients on it? I've been trying to duplicate the recipe using those 4 ingredients but just can't get it right. I think there's a vegetable gum in there as well (guar or xantham gum to keep it homogenized)

                                          -sw

                                        3. The ingredients listed on the bottle are: Jalapenos, oil, salt, garlic, and preservatives (necessary for bottling). I have two containers of the regular which I will compare with the bottled version. I just can't understand why it says avocado flavor? Doesn't taste like avocado to me.

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: travisfare

                                            I "like" El Regio Dallas Fort Worth on Facebook and I saw their posts advertising their new bottled avocado sauce. I wondered to myself if that green sauce that I have obsessively tried to replicate for years actually DID have avocado in it even though I never thought it did.

                                            In the restaurant they just ask in Spanish if you want the red or green sauce (salsa roja or salsa verde), they never called it salsa de aguacate---I do remember asking the employees at some point if it had avocado in it and they said no. Not to mention that avocados are expensive and fluctuate in price during the year, so there is little chance that a place would just be giving it out for free with the meal in large quantities like they do.

                                            It doesn't taste like avocado to me, either...

                                            1. re: luckyfatima

                                              I have used avocado and there is no way they could keep the sauce that green if there were avocado in it. It turns brown. If they say avocado on their website/facbook page I kinda suspect it's a diversion :-)

                                              Here's another review of the HEB stuff:
                                              http://www.baylorfans.com/forums/show...

                                              -sw

                                          2. Just noticed this is an Austin board. Now I want to move back. think I'm gonna cry. DFW sucks!

                                            1. I went to the El Pollo Regio on Berkman about an hour ago and they gave me a bottle of the green sauce for free. I was about to buy a bottle and the cashier told me that they are giving it away today (March 16, 2012) with the purchase of a whole chicken. I have no idea if the offer is good at all locations or just the Berkman location. Just thought I would share the info. :-)

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: Elizus

                                                Like a retail bottle? Does it have an ingredients list?

                                              2. I hate to bring old threads back to life, especially long ones (very difficult to find the new posts) but I just wanted to mention that I just went to El Pollo Regio on 1st and Stassney this afetrnoon and was expecting to get a ~10oz plastic container of Green Sauce for $3+tax like I did last time (6 months ago). But this time I got a 24oz styrofoam drink cup's worth for the same price. Maybe they were just out out of the plastic containers, but the receipt did in fact say "Salsa Verde *24oz* $3.24". So this makes it the best salsa deal in Austin! Screw trying to make it myself - I've given up on that. And I'm perfectly happy paying the $3.

                                                I'm running out of things to use it on today - chicken tacos (home made), 2 small avocados, pita chips.... It's already half gone. Rice! That's what I need now - eat it on plain rice...

                                                -sw

                                                18 Replies
                                                1. re: sqwertz

                                                  I love to use it in place of mayo on burgers or sandwiches.

                                                  1. re: Alan Sudo

                                                    Yep, done that. This one with home made lamb bacon and a pepper crusted patty. You can see it oozing out around the sides and front.

                                                    http://i50.tinypic.com/8x6l9u.jpg

                                                    This batch seems a little milder than normal. Differences in the jalapenos, I assume. Some of the ones at the stores are getting pretty whimpy - no heat at all. Tomorrow I'll try it on my home made mac and cheese I made yesterday.

                                                    -sw

                                                    1. re: sqwertz

                                                      I am drooling over that picture. Wow.

                                                      1. re: sqwertz

                                                        Lamb Bacon. Man, that sounds good. Do you make it from the belly like pork bacon?

                                                        1. re: TroyTempest

                                                          Yes. I've made a fair amount of lamb bacon (about 20lbs finished weight). I documented one batch of it here if you're interested.

                                                          http://forums.egullet.org/topic/13996...

                                                          -sw

                                                        2. re: sqwertz

                                                          Lamb bacon.

                                                          Wow. I'm reeling.

                                                          Upon recovery, I'm heading off to EPR for a supersize green sauce. It is like a spicy Latin rouille...we love it over grilled fish. Also, used as a base for slaw.

                                                          More on lamb bacon, please. I'm going to make that picture my screensaver.

                                                          1. re: saticoy

                                                            I've got better pictures than THAT if you want burger pics! As for Lamb Bacon - see my previous post (which included this link)

                                                            http://forums.egullet.org/topic/13996...
                                                            (Chow's competitor <oops>).

                                                            Tonight I used the green sauce on a baked potato with bacon bits (storebought pork bacon). If I had vanilla ice cream, I'd try it on that, too. It seems to go on everything. I'm down to my last 100ml. Gotta get another fix tomorrow.

                                                            -sw

                                                            1. re: sqwertz

                                                              Oh, I AM interested, and I used to be a regular egullet lurker. Never made my own bacon, guess I will start with lamb, based on your instructions, unless you want to sell me a pound or two. Wowee.

                                                              I can see how this sauce might work on ice cream, tho' I am much more quickly going to try the fabulous baked potato idea. MMMMMM!

                                                              1. re: saticoy

                                                                I am a small batch operation, sorry! Charcuterie is very costly to make in small batches when you factor in the time. I'd give you a quarter pound, but I don't have any at the moment.

                                                                -sw

                                                                1. re: sqwertz

                                                                  How nice of you...I was kind of kidding...but you did inspire me to try it myself-in one lb increments!

                                                                  1. re: saticoy

                                                                    You can usually find lamb breast for sale at Hancock or Congress HEB's. Usually it;'s shrinkwrapped but lately they've had some monster ones on styrofoam. I buy the shrinkwrapped ones when they get marked down for quick sale ($.99-1.25 usually). As long as the cryovac hasn't lost it's suction, they are still just fine. Otherwise full price is up to $2.39/IIRC. They're not economical at that price, IMO. Which is why they end up getting marked down.

                                                                    And don't forget that rendered lamb fat rocks for cooking all sorts of things.

                                                                    -sw

                                                                    1. re: sqwertz

                                                                      Thank you - now, can I meet you over on the Home Cooking board for some recipe and technique tips!?

                                                                      1. re: saticoy

                                                                        I can't do any better thna the Ruhlman link that was posted. I never read a recipe when I started doing it, I just did it. Also, consider using generous black pepper or sage or long pepper in your cure(s). I've had good success with those.

                                                          2. re: sqwertz

                                                            I use the green sauce on everything. My husband had to physically take it away from me as I was pouring cereal.

                                                            For spicy, one of the hottest things I've had lately was completely surprising - the bonus red jalapeno with the beef fajitas at Lupe Tortilla. I am NOT a spice wuss, but one tiny strip (and no seeds) had my lips afire for 30 minutes. The hottest jalapeno I've encountered. Hotter than most habaneros I've had. I forgot to ask where they came from.

                                                            1. re: addlepated

                                                              I honestly want to try it on a good vanilla ice cream.

                                                              Today's green sauce vehicle was a crispy carnitas sandwich using HEB's asiago cheese bread with fresh cilantro and grilled onions. Oma's Choice (Schulenberg, TX) pickled quail eggs and bread and butter jalapeno chips on the side. Awesome sandwich. Can't wait to make another one!

                                                              http://www.flickr.com/photos/sqwertz/...

                                                              BTW: pork butts are on sale at HEB for $1/lb through Thanksgiving. I bought 37 pounds worth (4 of them at ~9lbs a pop). May even buy more...

                                                              -sw

                                                              1. re: sqwertz

                                                                that asiago bread is addictive. (and the sauce, too)

                                                                1. re: dinaofdoom

                                                                  The cheese bread makes great grilled cheese sandwiches (plus I throw in some token meat such as salami or pepperoni). Gruyere or sharp provolone, preferably.

                                                                  -sw