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Apr 18, 2012 02:27 PM

Anyone knows what's the marinade on the chicken of Dino's in Pico Los Angeles?

I cant find the recipe of there chicken anywhere? Thank you

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  1. it's gotta be like a greek chicken that's been spiced up. a byzantine/latino thing, which is appropriate for the area.

    1 Reply
    1. re: smssms

      It is secret. The workers don't even know. The owner or one of his kids goes in and makes it. At least that is what one of the workers told me when I asked. I could drink the stuff. However, I do think that I have figured out they use the juice that those hot yellow peppers are in. That is all I've got. I was thinking of sending in my request to that guy who figures out recipes to see if he would do it since I really love that stuff.

    2. I love the stuff too. I order extra, and even though it sogs the fries they are still so good.

      Gotta start with vinegar -- it definitely has that tang. Gotta have lots of garlic. The red? Cayenne, paprika, some sort of chili powder? Maybe some lemon juice? Turmeric? Those are my guesses so far...

      7 Replies
      1. re: nosh

        the fries are the best part after they soak up all that juice. similar to greek chicken and fries i used to eat in chicago, but spiked up.

        agreed on the vinegar and garlic. i'm not sure on the red either. being a fast food establishment, i wouldn't be surprised if it's something simple like tapatio.

        1. re: smssms

          Tapatio, the red hot sauce, would become way too diluted in the liquid marinade to account for the red color on the chicken. Maybe a rub of some sort? It does seem like the thick pasty marinade that the chicken is prepared with is probably a very different substance than the thin, vinegary garlicky "sauce" the chicken is basted with on the grill and is poured over the fries.

          1. re: nosh

            For the red yellowish I thiink is red or eggyolk food coloring

            1. re: nosh

              Yes, I agree with Nosh - two different animals. Wonder if there is tumeric in there somewhere.

              1. re: WildSwede

                now that i thought about it, i concur. i've been going there for over 10 years and i still can't figure out the spice note.

                1. re: smssms

                  What makes it red is likely annatto seed or achiote paste (made from annatto seeds), which is popular in Mexico.

                  But, yeah, the rest is probably mostly Greek stuff with a little Mexican thrown in. There's a lot of oregano and garlic and then probably some other herbs and spices. And, yes, the sauce is obviously very heavy on the vinegar and the garlic.

            2. re: smssms

              I'd say that marinade also contains plenty of orange juice.

          2. What's he charging now for that plate? When I worked in the area, I think it was like $3.50, but that was many years ago. It was an outrageously good deal.

            Mr Taster

            17 Replies
            1. re: Mr Taster

              Around $5.99. I get mine with extra juice (I go to the Azusa location), fries cooked well done - solves the soggy problemo. Sometimes, I even go back and ask for more sauce. I am sure they think I am crazy, but they always let me have it. It got to the point that when I walk in, even if there is a line, the cookers see me as I walk in and ask if I also want an order to go. When I do get an order to go, I bring my own plastic container since it invariably spills on the drive home. I also get the fries well done, packed on the side. Oh yeah, I also skip the tortillas and coleslaw (though it is good) since my belly has no room for that nonsense when there is that juice and fries around!!

              1. re: WildSwede

                Chicken combo now costs $5.50, at least at the Pico/Berendo location. Many years ago, when I first went, they would give me extra sauce in a small container to dip the fries and the chicken. But for several years now they won't -- they just spoon more of the marinade in the container over the fries. (And I always make it a point to be obvious about contributing to the tip jar.) Never heard anyone ordering fries extra-done there -- I'll give it a try.

                1. re: nosh

                  Yes, I thought about it more and think the cost is closer to the $5.50 you indicated rather than the $5.99 I did above. They will not give the sauce on the side. No way, no how. Believe me, I have asked! ;-) I order fries well done both when I eat there and when I get it to go. Makes them stay more crispy in the delicious sauce. I am feeling a venture there this weekend! YUM! Yes, ALWAYS add the $$ to the tip jar when they are looking!!

                  1. re: WildSwede

                    My husband was not a fan of the soggy fries, I apologized to him for not ordering them well done - and then had to work at not scarfing them all myself.

                    They are SO good soaked in that marinade.

                    1. re: happybaker

                      LOL! I went on Friday and had a nice time scarfing myself! Have the leftovers in my fridge. I asked for the fries well done and they actually brought them on a separate plate (first time for that) - perfectly crispy. I actually realized I like it better - then I can add the fries at my leisure! They even came around to check on me a couple of times to make sure I was happy.

                      They have a couple of newspaper articles blown up along the back wall. I think I remember in one the owner talks about how it is originally a Greek recipe that he made more demographically friendly for the latinos in the area of his LA (first) location.

                      1. re: WildSwede

                        Yeah, I thought the owner was either Greek or Armenian.

                        And the service is great.

                        I just really prefer those fries slathered in that surprisingly addictive sauce.

                        1. re: kevin

                          I eat that damn sauce with a spoon!! ;-) AND would swim in it if 1) they would give me enough, and, 2) if it would not burn my eyes!!

                2. re: WildSwede

                  Yeah, the soggy fries work with that sauce, even though I'm not a big fan of soggy fries usually. I don't find the coleslaw and tortillas particularly memorable, so ditch them too. Spend the calories on all the fries and soaking up extra sauce.

                  1. re: Jase

                    I use the cole slaw and tortillas to make little sandwiches (or tacos). Pull off a strip of chicken, tear off a swatch of tortilla, put the chicken, a couple of soaked fries, and a forkful of cole slaw, then dip the whole thing in the "sauce." Cole slaw is improved by several of the tiny packets of pepper. Including the cole slaw makes me think I'm eating healthier -- veggies.

                  2. re: WildSwede

                    Love it. "no room for that nonsense"

                    I'm pretty sure there's no Tapatio in the sauce. I would say definitely lots of vinegar and some chili powder, cayenne pepper, paprika, or the barest hint of saffron (though I highly doubt the saffron since it would be extremely cost-prohibitive for a fast food joint doling 5 dollar lunch plates).

                    I like to get the fries only with that sauce. Just a whole plate of it. And then go to town.

                    1. re: kevin

                      You sir, are a true fanatic. I salute you.

                      1. re: kevin

                        First off, Kevin? I salute you too!

                        Now, I went there tonight for the first time (wish I'd remembered to get my fries well done) but overall - very happy.

                        Here's a clue I can offer you. The chicken and fries were very much like the portugese chicken and fries I'd had in Montreal on a visit. Just spicier. But same type of marinade, same style of serving it over fries.

                        So maybe we all need to start looking at Portugese chicken recipes. Anyone have a good one?!

                        1. re: happybaker

                          Oh my god, a clue, thank you!

                          Seriously, I may have daydreamed about one day obtaining this recipe through criminal means if necessary. I just love them that much.

                          These NEED to be reverse engineered.

                          I also second the request for a Portuguese chicken recipe!

                          1. re: happybaker


                            Piri-piri sauce (used as a seasoning or marinade) is Portuguese in origin and "especially prevalent in Angola, Namibia, Mozambique and South Africa".[6] It is made from crushed chillies, citrus peel, onion, garlic, pepper, salt, lemon juice, bay leaves, paprika, pimiento, basil, oregano, and tarragon.[7


                            That sounds like it could be it. Maybe this is what they use.

                            Anyone want to try this out? I'd do it, but I don't have a grill. Maybe I'll buy a small one just for this.

                            1. re: bukujutsu


                              Please continue any recipe discussion on the Home Cooking board ( ) where other knowledgable Hounds can contribute their recipe knowledge.


                              1. re: The Chowhound Team

                                Here is that further discussion of Dino's recipe for the marinade and/or sauce:


                              2. re: bukujutsu

                                I've never been to Dino's, but I love the Chicken Piri-Piri plate at Springbok (Victory Blvd. @ Woodley). The chicken breast filets are slathered in that wonderful sauce and they are served over fries. Yummy!!!