AFI: Pollo al Ladrillo with Mojo de Ajo at La Duni

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Photos by Sarah Johnson
Pollo al Ladrillo with Mojo de Ajo (Argentinean Butterfly Grilled Chicken)
Demonstrated by Julia Lopez of La Duni

For today's Appetite for Instruction, we're going to travel down to Argentina for our recipe, or at least, to La Duni at NorthPark mall. Chef Julia Lopez let us in her kitchen last week to watch her prepare the Pollo al Ladrillo with Mojo de Ajo. What is that exactly, you ask? Pretty much it's Argentinean butterflied grilled chicken with garlic sauce.

While she was slicing, dicing, grilling and sautéing, we were taking photos and scribbling notes to share with you. Oh, and drooling. We asked chef Lopez why she picked this dish to demonstrate, and she said the restaurant featured it during one of La Duni's Argentinean dinners, and it was a hit.

If you decide to try this recipe out at home, then chef Lopez suggests pairing it with roasted potatoes or Argentinean-style vegetables like broccoli, carrots and asparagus seasoned with salt, pepper and herbs with extra virgin olive oil.

The NorthPark La Duni location will host another three-course Argentinean dinner on July 15 for $35 or $55 if you want to pair it with wine, and reservations are required. For now, follow the jump for the step by step process on how to make the Pollo al Ladrillo with Mojo de Ajo.

See the pictorial breakdown in our slideshow.

Chicken Ingredients:
1 chicken, about 3 lbs
Coarse salt (for seasoning)
Black pepper (for seasoning)
1.5 oz pomace olive oil

Mojo Ingredients:
2 cups pomace olive oil
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
5 garlic cloves, minced
2 garlic cloves, sliced very thin
1 oz butter
1 small sprig of rosemary
1 cup white wine vinegar
2 TBSP chopped Italian parsley
1 tsp ground cumin
3 fl oz lemon juice
1 tsp black pepper
1 TBSP salt


Grilled Chicken Recipe:

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Step 1: Place the chicken on its breast and hold the tail tightly. Using a boning knife and in a single swift movement, cut alongside the back bone from the chicken tail to head. Lay the chicken flat on the cutting board and remove the back bone by cutting through the ribs connecting it to the breasts.

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Step 2: Split the chicken in two down the breast. With the help of the boning knife, trim off the bones along the breast and the wings' tips.

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Step 3: Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Heat a large cast-iron comal or skillet to medium heat. Add the oil and place the chicken skin-down on the heated comal or skillet.

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Step 4: Find a heavy brick and cover it with aluminum foil and press the chicken with it. Cook the chicken until the skin browns and crisps nicely on the first side, takes about 10 minutes.

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Step 5: Turn the chicken and cook on the other side until it browns and crisps. Finish cooking the crispy chicken in a 375-degree preheated oven, takes about 20 minutes.


Mojo Recipe:

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Step 1: In a mixing bowl, place the vinegar, minced garlic, salt, pepper, cumin, and ½ of the lemon juice. Whisk in the extra virgin olive oil and ½ of the pomace olive oil in a slow steady stream.

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Step 2: Place the butter and the other ½ of the pomace olive oil in a heated sauté pan; add the sliced garlic and rosemary. Fry garlic until it start getting brown.

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Step 3:Turn off the heat and leave garlic in the pan until it turns golden brown. While the garlic chips and butter oil is still hot, add it to the mojo and discard the rosemary sprig and add the chopped parsley.

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Step 4: Place the chicken on your favorite plate and cover it with the garlic mojo.


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