Adobo BBQ Chicken (Adobo de Pollo a la Barbacoa)

Adobo BBQ Chicken
Adobo BBQ Chicken
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Fire up the grill! It’s BBQ season, and we’ve got an irresistible Mexican culinary treasure for you. Presenting the succulent Adobo BBQ Chicken – a dish that’s as fun to make as it is to eat. Prepare to amaze your friends with this simple yet impressive recipe, bursting with vibrant flavors and infused with the smoky goodness of hickory.

The Origin of Adobo BBQ Chicken

Adobo BBQ Chicken is a fusion of rich culinary traditions. Adobo, originating from Spanish cuisine, marries with the bold and smoky flavors of American barbecue. Together, they create an unforgettable and unique taste experience, tinged with the warmth of Mexican spices. This recipe represents a beautiful blend of cultures that is sure to tantalize the taste buds.

Why This Recipe Works

This Adobo BBQ Chicken recipe is a foolproof favorite for a reason. The marinating process allows the zesty Italian dressing to penetrate the chicken, infusing it with moistness and flavor. The adobo seasoning with pepper brings a robust earthiness, and the hickory smoke barbecue sauce adds a sweet and smoky finish. Together, these ingredients create a flavor profile that is complex yet harmonious, making this dish an exciting addition to any BBQ meal.

Tips for The Best Adobo BBQ Chicken

  1. Choosing the Chicken: Select fresh, high-quality chicken for the best flavor. The size and cut of the chicken will influence cooking time, so be sure to monitor the internal temperature.
  2. Marinating Time: While an hour of marinating will provide a nice flavor, letting it rest longer (up to 4 hours) can deepen the taste.
  3. Grilling Technique: Maintaining a consistent medium heat ensures even cooking. Using a thermometer to check the internal temperature eliminates any guesswork.
  4. Serving Suggestions: Complement this dish with Mexican-inspired sides like saffron rice, grilled corn, guacamole, or a fresh salsa.

Health Benefits

Adobo BBQ Chicken is not only delicious but also nutritious. Chicken is a lean protein source, and the addition of zesty Italian dressing and hickory smoke barbecue sauce keeps the dish relatively low in fat. With the right side dishes, this can be part of a balanced and satisfying meal.

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Adaptations and Variations

Feel like experimenting? Try different marinades or substitute the hickory smoke barbecue sauce with another favorite variety. You can also switch up the side dishes or even use this recipe with other meats like pork or beef.

Adobo BBQ Chicken

Adobo BBQ Chicken

Recipe Author : Mike Gonzalez
Adobo BBQ Chicken (Adobo de Pollo a la Barbacoa) combines the zest of Italian dressing with the depth of adobo seasoning and the smokiness of hickory barbecue sauce. Marinated, seasoned, and grilled to perfection, this dish is a delightful fusion that's simple to make and offers a unique taste experience. Perfect for a BBQ gathering or family meal, it pairs beautifully with saffron rice and peas.

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Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 4 people
Calories 650 kcal


  • ½ cup Zesty Italian Dressing
  • 1 whole chicken (about 4 lbs.), cut into 6 pieces or 2 chicken legs, 2 chicken thighs, and 1 split chicken breast, halved
  • 1 tsp Adobo Seasoning with Pepper
  • ½ cup Hickory Smoke Barbecue Sauce


  • Marinate: In a shallow dish, pour ½ cup Zesty Italian Dressing over the 1 whole chicken, ensuring an even coat on both sides. Cover the dish and let the chicken marinate in the refrigerator for 1 hour, allowing flavors to meld.
  • Prep Grill: Heat your grill to medium heat, aiming for an even cooking surface.
  • Grill: Remove chicken from marinade (discard any remaining marinade) and season generously with 1 tsp Adobo Seasoning with Pepper. Place the chicken on the grill, and cook through, maintaining an internal temperature of 165°F. This should take about 40 minutes.
  • Glaze: During the last 15 minutes of grilling, brush the chicken with the ½ cup Hickory Smoke Barbecue Sauce, giving it a nice glazing, smoky finish.
  • Serve: Plate up your Adobo BBQ Chicken with saffron rice and peas, and savor the beautiful blend of textures and flavors.


Marinating Time:
  • The chicken can be marinated for as little as 1 hour or as long as 4 hours, depending on the depth of flavor you desire. A longer marination time will result in more intense flavor.
Grilling Tips:
  • Monitor the grill’s temperature to avoid flare-ups or uneven cooking. If using a charcoal grill, you might want to create a two-zone fire to have a safe space for any pieces that cook faster.
  • Using a meat thermometer will ensure the chicken is cooked to the perfect internal temperature of 165°F.
Sauce Substitution:
  • Feel free to substitute the hickory smoke barbecue sauce with your favorite BBQ sauce or even make your own for a personalized touch.
Serving Suggestions:
  • Adobo BBQ Chicken pairs wonderfully with saffron rice and peas, but you can also consider serving it with grilled vegetables, fresh salsa, or a refreshing salad.
  • Leftover Adobo BBQ Chicken can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in the oven or on the grill to retain its texture.
  • This recipe can be adapted to other meats, such as pork or beef, by adjusting the cooking time as needed.
Dietary Considerations:
  • Check the labels of the Italian dressing and barbecue sauce for specific allergens or dietary preferences, such as gluten-free or vegan options.


Calories: 650kcalCarbohydrates: 18gProtein: 60gFat: 40gSaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 220mgSodium: 1300mgPotassium: 500mgFiber: 1gSugar: 10g
Keyword Adobo, Chicken
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Sizzling Companions: Perfect Pairings for Adobo BBQ Chicken

Adobo BBQ Chicken is a show-stopping main dish, but the party doesn’t have to stop there! Complement this smoky and flavorful entrée with sides and salads that enhance and harmonize with its unique taste profile. Here are some sizzling companions to consider:

Grilled Corn with Lime Butter: The zestiness of lime butter plays off the hickory smokiness, creating a side dish that dances with flavor.

Spicy Mango Salsa: A fresh and fruity salsa offers a sweet and spicy contrast that’s delightful with the rich, savory chicken.

Jalapeno Mango Salsa
Combining all the ingredients together, you get a sweet, spicy and savory party in your mouth.
Check out this recipe
Jalapeno Mango Salsa

Cilantro Lime Rice: This aromatic rice side adds a touch of freshness that complements the robust adobo seasoning.

Roasted Sweet Potato Wedges: Sweet and earthy, these wedges provide a hearty counterpoint to the zesty chicken.

Avocado and Black Bean Salad: Creamy avocado and protein-packed black beans create a salad that’s both nutritious and delicious.

Mexican Corn Salad
This Mexican Corn Salad is a delicious side dish made from grilled corn and loaded with black beans and a few other add-ins. The dressing is creamy and a little smoky, with just the right amount of zing from the lime juice.
Check out this recipe
Mexican Corn Salad

Chilled Margaritas or Agua Fresca: To drink, why not opt for something refreshing and Mexican-inspired? A chilled margarita for the adults or a fruity agua fresca will round off the meal beautifully.

These complementary dishes are more than mere sidekicks; they are co-stars that elevate the Adobo BBQ Chicken to an unforgettable feast. Experiment and mix-and-match to find your perfect BBQ ensemble!

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