Pollo al Horno

(Easy Oven-Baked Chicken with Sherry)  

a person serves a large tray of pollo al horno beside somw fresh sprigs of rosemary

Pollo al Horno (oven-baked roast chicken) is one of those classic recipes that’s always a pleasure to enjoy. It’s comfort at its best and is one of those recipes that never disappoints! The recipe itself is delightfully simple and requires very little attention, and the result is a full-flavored, rich roasted chicken made in under an hour. 

Our Pollo al Horno recipe is made in one pot and is ideal for feeding the masses, or lovingly made as an easy supper for 2 with plenty of leftovers. Served piping hot straight from the oven with some fresh greens or potatoes as a side, this oven-baked chicken recipe is one of our all-time favorites!

Meat & Poultry Recipe | One-Pot Recipe | Easy to Make | Oven-Baked | Made in Under 1 Hour | Romesco Sauce | Andaluz Recipe | Makes 4 servings

Serving:

4 servings

Ready in:

Under 1 Hour

Skill level:

Easy

Serve with:

Your fav side

ingredients for making pollo al horno are laid on a wooden counter top

Ingredients you’ll need 

  • 600-800g (1.3 – 1.8 lb) of chicken thigh or drums sticks (bone-in) 
  • 1 onion, sliced fine
  • 1 head of garlic (around 12-15 cloves)
  • ¼ cup (60ml) sweet Spanish Sherry (Pedro Ximénez)
  • 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon of oregano (dried)
  • 1 teaspoon of sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon of smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon of coarse sea salt
  • Cracked black pepper (to taste)

Equipment needed

  • 1 large baking pan (10×14 inches/25x35cm) with sides at least 2-inches (5cm) deep
  • Oven
  • Basting brush

 Watch step-by-step recipe video

If you’re looking for this recipe’s video and many other great recipe ideas, why not check out our Spanish Radish YouTube Channel? We’ve got everything from quick and easy tapas recipes, delicious main meals, and incredible Spanish dessert options too.

What is Pollo al Horno?

Pollo al Horno translates from Spanish to English as ‘baked chicken’, although there is far more to any Pollo al Horno recipe. Using either a whole chicken or chicken pieces, the chicken is marinated in a flurry of spices and usually accompanied by some garlic, or occasionally some onion. 

This hearty and warming dish is all cooked in one pot, typically an earthenware dish or similar in Spain. It all comes together in well under an hour, allowing for plenty of time to prepare your choice of favorite sides. The result is a full-flavored baked chicken that’s cooked to perfection every time with minimal fuss.

How to make Pollo al Horno (2 Easy Steps!)

Step 1 – Season Chicken

  • Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C
  • Start by adding the chicken pieces to a large pan or baking tray with deep sides along with the garlic, onion, herbs and spices (except the fresh rosemary sprigs). 
  • Melt the butter and add that to the pan with the olive oil and sherry. Mix well.
  • Season with freshly cracked black pepper and some sprigs of fresh rosemary. 

Step 2 – Bake Chicken

  • Add chicken to the pan and bake for 45 minutes. 
  • Every 10-15 minutes, baste your chicken to keep your chicken moist and let it absorb all the juices. 
  • (Optional) For the last 10 minutes, turn up the heat slightly if you want crispier skin. 
  • Remove from the oven and allow to stand for 5 minutes before serving.
a try of uncooked pollo al horno with garlic onion spices and seasoning

What’s the difference between Pollo Asado and Pollo al Horno?

Pollo Asado is a Latin American chicken recipe where the chicken is roasted or barbequed. Pollo Asado is typically seasoned with spices (cumin, paprika, oregano, rosemary) and citrus fruit, usually lemon or lime. One distinctive spice also used is achiote powder, which gives the chicken flesh a reddish hue.

On the Spanish mainland, Pollo al Horno is a popular traditional oven-baked chicken recipe that varies in ingredients and flavoring from one household to the next. Perhaps the most celebrated recipes come from the southern city of Cádiz, where roast chicken recipes are handed down from one family member to the next. 

Another recipe that immediately comes to mind with the mention of roast chicken is that from Penelope Casas in her acclaimed cookbook “1000 Spanish Recipes”. 

Our roast chicken recipe draws on Penelope’s now-famous Pollo al Horno recipe and adds a few special touches to enhance the flavor even more.

Oven-Baked Chicken with Sherry

Sherry and chicken work incredibly well together. The alcohol dissolves during the cooking process and the sweetened flavors cook through and soften the meat, allowing subtle flavors to layer.

If you add onion and garlic (we recommend it), the sherry also works wonders and will caramelize the onion and garlic. 

a tray of pollo al horno sits beside some fresh rosemary

Best chicken pieces to use

We use chicken thighs and legs with the bone in (dark meat) as this holds the best flavor. Of course, you can opt for chicken breasts with the skin removed for a healthier option, just be sure to adjust the cooking time accordingly.

(Note: boneless breast meat will take less time to cook)  

If you’re using a whole chicken, we suggest making chicken stuffing and adjusting the cooking time accordingly. See the note below on cooking times.

Roast Chicken cooking times

  • Cook whole chicken and chicken pieces in a preheated oven at 350°F/180°C.
  • Whole chickens should be cooked for 20 minutes per pound (450 grams) + 15 minutes on top.
A large try of oven baked chicken pieces pollo al horno sits waiting to be served

Cooking tips and Seasoning

Use plenty of seasoning, and we really mean plenty! We use a combination of fresh herbs and spices including;

  • Sweet paprika
  • Smoked paprika
  • Oregano
  • Romemary
  • Onion powder
  • Fresh garlic
  • Salt and cracked black pepper

We also use plenty of extra virgin olive oil and around 60ml of sweet Spanish sherry. The liquid will simmer down on the bottom of the pan, so be sure to baste your chicken often (every 10-15 minutes). 

If you use skin-on chicken pieces, you won’t need to cover the chicken with foil for this recipe. If using only chicken breasts, cover for the first half of the cooking time.

Ingredient substitutions

  • This recipe works great with turkey come Thanksgiving or Christmas. Simply adjust cooking times to suit. Turkey cooking times at 350°F/180°C are around 13 minutes per pound (450g) for an unstuffed turkey. 
  • We always throw in some finely sliced white onion and at least a head of garlic, although these can be subbed for leek, radish, or any other root veg. 
  • Spices can easily be substituted to taste. When we don’t have fresh herbs available, dried herbs also work fine. 
  • Sherry can also be omitted. To sweeten instead, use 1 tablespoon of honey, or around 60ml (¼ cup) of juice from a can of peaches.
a person serves a large tray of pollo al horno beside somw fresh sprigs of rosemary

Nutrition facts

Serving size: 150g
Servings: 4
Amount per serving 
Calories424
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 25.2g32%
Saturated Fat 8g40%
Cholesterol 149mg50%
Sodium 414mg18%
Total Carbohydrate 6.3g2%
Dietary Fiber 1.7g6%
Total Sugars 1.3g 
Protein 39.5g 
Vitamin D 4mcg20%
Calcium 65mg5%
Iron 3mg18%
Potassium 451mg10%

More Easy Oven-Baked Recipes

Spanish seafood pie sits in an earthenware dish

Spanish Fish & Seafood Pie

One-pot | Ready in 1 hour

oven baked fish casserole sits on a grey granite kitchen worktop beside some fresh sprigs of parsley

Oven Baked Fish Casserole

with homemade romesco sauce

A large try of oven baked chicken pieces pollo al horno sits waiting to be served

Pollo al Horno (Easy Oven-Baked Chicken with Sherry)

Byron
Pollo al Horno (oven-baked roast chicken) is one of those classic recipes that’s always a pleasure to enjoy. It’s comfort at it’s best and is one of those recipes that never disappoints! The recipe itself is delightfully simple and requires very little attention, and the result is a full-flavored, rich roasted chicken made in under an hour.
Our Pollo al Horno recipe is made in one pot and is ideal for feeding the masses, or lovingly made as an easy supper for 2 with plenty of leftovers. Served piping hot straight from the oven with some fresh greens or potatoes as a side, this oven-baked chicken recipe is one of our all-time favorites!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Total Time 55 mins
Course bbq, easy lunch, Main Course
Cuisine American, Authentic Spanish recipe, baked, Mediterranean, Spain
Servings 4 people
Calories 424 kcal

Equipment

  • 1 large baking pan (10x14 inches/25x35cm) with sides at least 2-inches (5cm) deep
  • Oven
  • Basting brush

Ingredients

  • 600-800 g 1.3 - 1.8 lb of chicken thigh or drums sticks (bone-in)
  • 1 onion sliced fine
  • 1 head of garlic around 12-15 cloves
  • ¼ cup 60ml sweet Spanish Sherry (Pedro Ximénez)
  • 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon of oregano dried
  • 1 teaspoon of sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon of smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon of coarse sea salt
  • Cracked black pepper to taste

Instructions
 

Step 1 - Season Chicken

  • Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C
    An oven dial turned up to 180C
  • Start by adding the chicken pieces to a large pan or baking tray with deep sides along with the garlic, onion, herbs and spices (except the fresh rosemary sprigs).
    600-800 g 1.3 - 1.8 lb of chicken thigh or drums sticks (bone-in), 1 onion, 1 head of garlic, 1 tablespoon of oregano, 1 teaspoon of sweet paprika, 1 teaspoon of smoked paprika, 1 teaspoon of ground cumin, ½ teaspoon of coarse sea salt
    ingredients for making pollo al horno are laid on a wooden counter top
  • Melt the butter and add that to the pan with the olive oil and sherry. Mix well.
    ¼ cup 60ml sweet Spanish Sherry (Pedro Ximénez), 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, 2 tablespoons of butter
    a try of uncooked pollo al horno with garlic onion spices and seasoning
  • Season with freshly cracked black pepper and some sprigs of fresh rosemary.
    2 sprigs of fresh rosemary, Cracked black pepper
    a try of uncooked pollo al horno with garlic onion spices and seasoning

Step 2 - Bake chicken

  • Add chicken to the pan and bake for 45 minutes.
    A large try of oven baked chicken pieces pollo al horno sits waiting to be served
  • Every 10-15 minutes, baste your chicken to keep your chicken moist and let it absorb all the juices. (Optional) For the last 10 minutes, turn up the heat slightly if you want crispier skin.
    a person serves a large tray of pollo al horno beside somw fresh sprigs of rosemary
  • Remove from the oven and allow to stand for 5 minutes before serving.
    a person serves a large tray of pollo al horno beside somw fresh sprigs of rosemary

Video

Nutrition

Serving: 150gCalories: 424kcalCarbohydrates: 6.3gProtein: 39.5gFat: 25.2gSaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 149mgSodium: 414mgPotassium: 451mgFiber: 1.7gSugar: 1.3gCalcium: 65mgIron: 3mg
Keyword chicken, oven roasted, Oven-baked, Pollo, Pollo al Horno, Roast Chicken, Sherry

Cooking Tips and FAQs

How long does Pollo al Horno take to make?

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 45-50 minutes
  • Total time: 1 hour

How long does it take to cook chicken in the oven?

Allow 20 minutes per pound (450 grams), plus 15 minutes on top, at 350°F/180°C.

Can I use a whole chicken instead of chicken pieces?

No problem, just adjust the cooking time to suit. If you’re cooking a stuffed chicken, check the weight before stuffing to gauge the best cooking time. 

Is Pollo al Horno spicy?

No, this recipe is not spicy. There will be plenty of flavors from the spices (paprika, cumin) but no heat comes from the spice.

Can I use Turkey instead of chicken?

Absolutely! This is a great Thanksgiving or Christmas recipe. Just adjust the cooking time to suit the weight of the Turkey. Turkey cooks at 13-15 minutes per pound (450g).

Our Blog

Marinated Olives Spanish-Style (Easy 5-Minute Tapas Recipe)

Marinated Olives Spanish-Style (Easy 5-Minute Tapas Recipe)

Marinated Olives Spanish-Style  (Easy 5-Minute Tapas Recipe) Marinated olives Spanish style is a classic tapas that’s served all over the country. From dusty roadside bars to the most decadent restaurants in the capital of Madrid. Spanish olives...

Spanish oven-baked rice with cauliflower and green beans

Spanish oven-baked rice with cauliflower and green beans

Spanish oven-baked rice with cauliflower and green beans (Easy-to-make, Vegan One-Pot Valencian Rice Recipe)   Spanish oven-baked rice with cauliflower and green beans is the perfect meal for entertaining and cooking for a large group. It is...

Castilla y León Foodie Guide

Castilla y León Foodie Guide

Castilla y León Foodie GuideIf you're planning a trip to Spain, the largest of Spain's autonomous regions is surely not to be missed! With an impressive selection of regional dishes, world-class produce, and incredible wines, there's plenty to taste and explore!  Our...