Posted by: Food Lover | May 15, 2012

BBQ Chicken in the Park – Sayulita


On one of our many languid strolls through Sayulita, we had noticed a woman with a large charcoal BBQ set up at Av. Revolución and Rio Zarquito.  It seemed like a simple family operation, with a rather loyal following.   For a couple of days the aroma of the chicken teased us as it wafted through the streets and knowing how good the local chicken was it set our imaginations into full gear.   Eventually we decided to enjoy a picnic in the park.

The lady at the barbecue didn’t speak a lot of English but communication wasn’t a problem. She went out of her way to dig out a nice big and juicy whole chicken for us and asked if we’d like rice and beans. Pleased that this was an option we gave an excited nod and someone ran off to a nearby house to fetch the sides. They arrived in little plastic baggies, as did the extra sauce.  A ridiculously affordable $8.

Giddy with delight we sauntered off to the neighbourhood bakery, owned by a fantastic French baker who relocated to Sayulita and makes to-die-for baguettes (review pending our next visit).  Freshly baked baguette in hand we stopped by the neighbourhood butcher for a stick of butter,  then made a quick stop at a small convenience store for napkins and cutlery. Finding neither, we got our roll of paper towels and headed for a park bench.

Before The Carnage

Let the shameless debauchery begin, as this was the equivalent of a food orgy for us.  We ripped the chicken and baguette apart with our bare hands.  Unfoiling only half the stick of butter we allowed the tropical heat to soften it, then smeared it onto the bread, at first trying to be civil by holding the foil as we did so, but eventually just using our fingers to slather on the goodness (we find butter in Mexico to be richer in flavour than at home).  How wonderful it was to lick of fingers and forearms covered in chicken juices, bbq sauce and butter – GOD DAMN!

The chicken was as tasty as we expected it to be. We’ve learned the chicken in Mexico is quite different than the bland monstrosity we see in our North American grocery stores. The breasts are in proportion to the rest of the animal, and the fat is tinged yellow, suggesting a diet that would be natural for chickens – grains, seeds and grasses.   Charcoal always imparts a lovely flavour to food, and they barbequed it just right, leaving it moist with a lightly charred skin.  Add to that the absolutely delicious sauce, and rice cooked in chicken broth (also eaten with our bare hands), and it was a meal fit for a Roman Bacchanal.

Damn Good, Can’t Believe We Ate The Whole Thing!

The clean up was a challenge to say the least, much licking of fingers, palms and forearms to be had – we wouldn’t have it any other way. Forks almost seem inappropriate for such a simple feast, this tastes all the better when you let your guard down and ravage your food.  In a town like Sayulita, no self consciousness is required; it’s a town of laid back locals, hippies and surfers – they do it too.

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