Chimayo, NM + Chile Roasted Chicken

Recently, I went to New Mexico for the first time. Skies so big and so blue, my mind felt so clear. 
In Albuquerque, I slept on 25 acre lavender farm. 
In Santa Fe, I ate blue corn pancakes, haggled at flea markets for turquoise, and soaked in cedar baths.
In Chimayo, we went to see some folks about natural dyes and weaving, and touched the sacred dirt of Sanctuario de Chimayo, praying that life could always be this beautiful. 
The best part of the trip was the roads in between.  New Mexico is made for long drives. 

We took the High Road from Santa Fe to Chimayo. If you should ever find yourself in Chimayo, walk on down the road from the church and you will stumble upon a gentleman selling the famed Chimayo chiles and powders from a roadside stand. Be sure to bring some of the magical dirt and chiles home. 

This recipe is an adaptation of my friend Beau's killer beer can chicken. Juicy, crispy, spicy all in one.
Great with a squeeze of fresh lime at the end. 

Chimayo Chile Roasted Chicken

  • 1/3 cup fresh mint leaves
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • juice + zest of 1 lime
  • 1/2 tsp. salt 
  • 1 tsp. Chimayo chile powder, or chipotle chile power
  • 1 whole chicken, without innards 
  • 1 can of half-drank beer
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Lime wedges
Place the first seven ingredients in a blender, or using a mortar and pestle, to create a paste. Use your fingers to separate the chicken's skin from the breast, thighs, and drumsticks - creating little pockets. Rub the paste under the skin and all over chicken, place in a large ziplock bag and refrigerate 8 hours, or ideally, overnight. 

When ready to cook, place the rack in your oven at the lowest position and heat oven to 325 degrees F. Place the beer can in the middle of roasting pan, and rub a generous amount of olive oil all over the can (to ensure that the chicken slides right off when ready). Place the open cavity of the chicken over the beer can - it will balance itself, and just barely touch the bottom of the pan. Rub the access marinade/paste over the chicken. 
Roast for 45-55 minutes or until the breast temperature reads 140 degrees. 

Carefully pull the tray out of the oven. Turn the oven temperature up to 500 degrees. Pour 1 cup of water in the pan and place back in the oven for another 15 minutes,  or until the internal temperature of the chicken reads 160. *It is important to rotate the pan halfway through the cooking time so the skin evenly crisps. 

Rest for 10 minutes so the juices don't run out when carving the bird. Carefully pull off the beer can to a cutting board.