Pollo de Campo

Pastured chicken brined overnight in smoked chile powder and annatto, then roasted with peppers, onions and a cilantro, lime & pumpkin seed pesto.

Made in a Dutch oven, this Pollo de Campo (camp chicken) is easy to prepare at home or on the trail..


Pollo de Campo

For the brine

1/2 gallon filtered water
3 oz kosher salt
5 whole cloves
1/2 teaspoon sweet cinnamon shards
8 allspice berries
2 teaspoons smoked chili powder
1 tablespoon organic annatto powder
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced

Bring the water to a bowl.  Stir in salt and annatto powder and stir to dissolve.  Allow to cool then add the rest of the ingredients.

For the Pesto (can be made a day ahead)

1/3 cup fresh cilantro leaves
1/3 cup fresh parsley
juice of 1 small lime
1/4 cup toasted pumpkin seeds
pinch of salt
olive oil

For the Chicken

1 3-4 pound whole pastured chicken, rinsed
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
1 poblano pepper, chopped
2 red Fresno or jalapeño peppers
1 teaspoon paprika
sea salt and cracked pepper

For the Rice

1/2 cup Bomba rice (a short-grain Spanish rice that holds 3x its weight in stock)
2 1/2 cups water + roasted chicken stock in situ
Roasted onions and peppers in situ


Submerge the chicken in the brine and refrigerate overnight. Remove the chicken, pat it dry and place it on a bed of chopped onions and peppers in a Dutch oven.  Roast fro 40 minutes in a 400 degree oven.

Remove chicken from the pan and scrape the vegetable and juices into a clean pan with the rice and water.  Cook the rice 20 minutes, season to taste and hold under cover.

Meanwhile, place the chicken back into the Dutch oven and use a spoon or spatula to coat it with the cilantro pesto.  Return to oven and continue to roast until the juices run clear, about 20 minutes.

Allow the chicken to rest 10 minutes before carving and serving with the rice.