Pollo Loco Corn Recipe: A Flavorful Mexican Treat

Are you craving something deliciously different for your next meal? Look no further than the Pollo Loco Corn recipe! This flavorful Mexican-inspired dish combines the sweetness of corn with the smoky, savory goodness of grilled chicken, topped with a creamy, tangy sauce that will leave your taste buds dancing. Whether you’re planning a family dinner or a weekend barbecue, Pollo Loco Corn is sure to be a hit. Let’s dive into this mouth-watering recipe!

What is Pollo Loco Corn?

Pollo Loco Corn is a delightful dish that brings together grilled chicken (pollo) and corn in a uniquely flavorful way. Inspired by Mexican street food, this recipe features juicy, marinated chicken served alongside or atop sweet corn, all smothered in a delicious sauce made from mayo, cheese, lime, and spices. It’s a perfect blend of textures and tastes that’s both comforting and exciting.

Ingredients for Pollo Loco Corn

For the Chicken Marinade

  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the Corn

  • 4 ears of corn, husked and cleaned
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the Sauce

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup crumbled cotija cheese (or feta as a substitute)
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Optional Toppings

  • Chopped fresh cilantro
  • Extra crumbled cotija cheese
  • Lime wedges
  • Hot sauce

Step-by-Step Guide to Making Pollo Loco Corn

Marinating the Chicken

  1. Prepare the Marinade: In a bowl, combine olive oil, lime juice, minced garlic, ground cumin, smoked paprika, chili powder, salt, and pepper. Mix well to create a marinade.
  2. Marinate the Chicken: Place the chicken thighs or breasts in a large zip-lock bag or a shallow dish. Pour the marinade over the chicken, ensuring each piece is well coated. Seal the bag or cover the dish and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, preferably overnight, to allow the flavors to meld.

Grilling the Chicken and Corn

  1. Preheat the Grill: Preheat your grill to medium-high heat. If you’re using a charcoal grill, make sure the coals are evenly distributed and have a nice, even heat.
  2. Grill the Chicken: Remove the chicken from the marinade and shake off any excess. Place the chicken on the grill and cook for about 6-8 minutes per side, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F (75°C). Once done, transfer the chicken to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm.
  3. Grill the Corn: While the chicken is grilling, brush the corn with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place the corn on the grill and cook, turning occasionally, until the corn is charred and tender, about 10-15 minutes.

Making the Sauce

  1. Combine the Ingredients: In a medium bowl, combine mayonnaise, crumbled cotija cheese, sour cream, lime juice, chili powder, smoked paprika, and garlic powder. Mix until smooth and well combined.
  2. Adjust Seasoning: Taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning if needed. You might want to add a bit more lime juice for tanginess or chili powder for heat.

Assembling the Dish

  1. Cut the Chicken: Slice the grilled chicken into strips or bite-sized pieces.
  2. Prepare the Corn: You can either serve the corn on the cob as is, or cut the kernels off the cob for easier eating.
  3. Assemble: Place the corn (either on the cob or the kernels) on a serving plate. Top with the grilled chicken pieces. Drizzle the sauce generously over the top.
  4. Add Toppings: Garnish with chopped fresh cilantro, extra crumbled cotija cheese, lime wedges, and a splash of hot sauce if you like a bit of extra heat.

Tips for Perfect Pollo Loco Corn

Marinating Tips

  • Time: The longer you marinate the chicken, the more flavorful it will be. Aim for at least an hour, but overnight is best.
  • Even Coating: Make sure the marinade evenly coats the chicken for consistent flavor.

Grilling Tips

  • Heat Control: Maintain medium-high heat for even cooking without burning.
  • Char the Corn: Don’t be afraid to get a good char on the corn—it adds a delicious smoky flavor.

Sauce Tips

  • Consistency: If the sauce is too thick, add a bit more lime juice or a splash of milk to thin it out.
  • Flavor Balance: Adjust the spices and lime juice to balance the flavors to your liking.

Serving and Storing Pollo Loco Corn

How to Serve

Pollo Loco Corn is best enjoyed fresh off the grill. Serve it as a main dish with a side of rice, beans, or a fresh salad. It’s perfect for a casual family dinner or a festive barbecue gathering.

Storing Leftovers

  • Refrigeration: Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat the chicken and corn in a microwave or on the grill.
  • Freezing: You can freeze the grilled chicken for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating. The corn and sauce are best enjoyed fresh and are not ideal for freezing.

Conclusion

Pollo Loco Corn is a vibrant and flavorful dish that brings the spirit of Mexican street food right to your table. With its juicy marinated chicken, sweet and smoky grilled corn, and creamy, tangy sauce, it’s a meal that’s sure to please everyone. Whether you’re a seasoned cook or a kitchen newbie, this recipe is simple to follow and yields delicious results. So, fire up your grill, gather your ingredients, and treat yourself to this delightful dish. Enjoy!

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FAQs About Pollo Loco Corn Recipe

What is cotija cheese, and can I substitute it?

Cotija cheese is a salty, crumbly Mexican cheese that adds a distinctive flavor to the dish. If you can’t find cotija, feta cheese is a good substitute.

Can I use frozen corn instead of fresh?

Yes, you can use frozen corn if fresh corn is not available. Thaw and dry the corn before grilling to ensure it chars nicely.

How spicy is this recipe?

The level of spiciness can be adjusted to your taste. The chili powder and hot sauce add heat, so feel free to add more or less depending on your preference.

Can I bake the chicken instead of grilling it?

Yes, you can bake the marinated chicken in the oven at 375°F (190°C) for about 25-30 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F (75°C).

What other sides go well with Pollo Loco Corn?

Pollo Loco Corn pairs well with Mexican rice, black beans, guacamole, and a fresh green salad for a complete meal.