Recipe: Andrew Zimmern's Pollo al Carbon

Try Andrew Zimmern's rendition of pollo al carbon, inspired by his travels in the Dominican Republic for Bizarre Foods.

While retracing the steps of controversial explorer Christopher Columbus through the Dominican Republic on this season of Bizarre Foods, Andrew Zimmern happened upon a busy pollo al carbon business. Immediately transfixed by the rich marinade, he spent hours studying the chef's secret sauce and immediately worked on his own rendition of the dish upon his return home. Here, Andrew shares his recipe for a version of pollo al carbon you can make at home while dreaming of Dominican beaches and roadside stands like the ones Andrew visits in Bizarre Foods

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Andrew's Pollo al Carbon 03:06

Andrew replicates a marinated chicken dish from the Dominican Republic.


1 whole chicken
2 serrano peppers, thinly sliced
10 garlic cloves, smashed
Juice of 2 limes
Juice of 2 oranges
4 sprigs fresh oregano


Wash and dry the chicken. Place the Serrano peppers, garlic, lime juice, orange juice and oregano in a large Ziploc bag. Season the chicken with salt and place in the bag. Squeeze or withdraw as much air out of the bag as possible to intensify the marinade. Marinate in the fridge for 24 hours. 

Remove the chicken from marinade, reserving the liquid for basting. Tuck the wings under the bird and tie legs together with butcher’s twine. Thread the chicken onto a rotisserie spit, securing with the forks.

Prepare a grill for medium direct cooking. Place the spit with the chicken on the rotisserie attachment, cover the grill and cook over medium direct heat for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the internal temperature of the dark meat is 160 degrees F. Baste the chicken with the reserved marinade frequently, but not during the last 10 minutes of cooking. 

Remove the chicken and let it rest for 10 minutes. Serve with the Wasakaka sauce.


1 tablespoon oregano
2 cups orange juice
2 garlic cloves, sliced
¼ cup lime juice
1 teaspoon chile flakes or cayenne
2 tablespoons Worcestershire
¼ cup mirin

Combine all of the ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer, and cook for 20 to 25 minutes. You want the sauce to reduce by about 40 percent. Allow to cool and serve with the chicken. 

Recipe compliments of Andrew Zimmern. Visit for more recipes like this.  

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