DEAR SOS: The girls in my office would very much like to have the recipe for the El Pollo Loco chicken, or one similar to the chain's chicken recipe.
--DENISE AND ROSE
DEAR DENISE AND ROSE: El Pollo Loco, the highly successful spicy grilled chicken fast food chain in Southern California, is not about to turn over its trade secret, so we developed a facsimile. We think ours is terrifically close and hope the girls in your office will be happy.
1/4 cup cup corn oil
1/4 cup melted butter
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon annatto powder or few drops yellow food color
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 (2 1/2- to 3-pound) chicken, halved
Combine oil, butter, onion powder, garlic powder, annatto powder, cumin and lemon juice in large shallow pan. Add chicken halves, turning to coat well. Cover and marinate several hours or overnight.
Remove chicken from marinade, cook over medium coals on barbecue grill, or 4-inches from source of heat under broiler, until browned on both sides and meat is done, turning and basting frequently, about 25 minutes.
Cut chicken halves into pieces to serve with beans and rice, corn or flour tortillas and salsa, if desired. Makes 6 servings.
\o7 Note: \f7 Annatto powder can be found in Mexican grocery stores.
DEAR SOS: There are thousands of home gardens in Los Angeles and many of them produce zucchini. Any chance we can get a zucchini bread recipe from you?
DEAR BOB: Great thought. It's a perfect summer bread to serve with salads. This recipe is from the Broadway department store chain.
BROADWAY ZUCCHINI BREAD
1/2 cup oil
1 cup sugar
1 cup grated unpeeled zucchini
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
Blend oil and sugar together. Beat eggs into mixture 1 at time. Place grated zucchini in separate bowl. Fold egg mixture into zucchini.
Sift together flour, cinnamon, soda and baking powder. Gradually add flour mixture to zucchini mixture. Mix well. Pour batter in 2 greased 8x4-inch loaf pans. Bake at 325 degrees 1 hour. Makes 2 loaves.
DEAR SOS: I've been looking for a recipe for honey-mustard dressing and can't seem to locate one. Can you help?
DEAR JERRY: Here's one of our favorites from the Proud Bird restaurant in Los Angeles.
PROUD BIRD HONEY-MUSTARD DRESSING
3 cups mayonnaise
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup prepared mustard
1/4 cup vinegar
1/4 onion, minced
1/4 bunch parsley, chopped
1 cup oil
Combine mayonnaise, sugar, honey, mustard, vinegar, onion and parsley. Blend in oil. Chill about 1 hour before serving. Makes 4 cups.