My family ate a lot of El Pollo Loco chicken growing up. I have had a major craving for their marinated chicken for a long time, and tonight I decided to try recreating it from scratch. After a little internet searching and some of my own improvisations, I think I nailed it! Give it a try - it's absolutely delicious and just as good (or better) than I remember.
El Pollo Loco Style Chicken Marinade
Juice of 1 lemon
Juice of 1 lime
A generous splash of orange juice (or the juice from 1 orange)
A generous splash of pineapple juice (I had some frozen pineapple and just threw a few chunks in)
2-3 smashed garlic cloves
A couple tablespoons of olive oil
About a tablespoon of turmeric
Salt and pepper to taste
Whisk the above ingredients together and pour over your chicken pieces (we used chicken breasts) in a shallow dish. Refrigerate for several hours before cooking on the grill. I highly recommend reserving and boiling the marinade for dipping while you eat!
I made some Spanish rice to go with it and served with warm tortillas and sliced avocado. It was delicious!
Easy Spanish Rice
If using leftover, pre-cooked rice:
Reheat rice on the stove. Add a generous amount of tomato sauce or diced tomatoes (I eyeball it depending on how much rice I have). Add some homemade taco seasoning to taste. Add in corn, peas, and/or olives to your liking. Stir well until heated through. Add more of each ingredient until you achieve desired flavor/consistency.
If using uncooked rice:
I would just go ahead and cook the rice as usual, then follow the above steps to dress it up to be Spanish rice.