Editor's note: This story has been updated with further information from El Pollo Loco on how it prepares its Chicken Carnitas.
El Pollo Loco has brought back two limited-time offers for the holiday season: Chicken Tamales and a menu line featuring dark-meat Chicken Carnitas.
On Saturday, the Costa Mesa, Calif.-based quick-service chain began selling tamales, a holiday-related promotion that has been offered for the past 10 years.
Priced at a recommended $1.99 for a single and $6.99 for a four-pack, the tamales feature corn masa filled with spiced chicken simmered in a Colorado chile sauce and wrapped in corn husks.
This is the second time El Pollo Loco has offered items made with carnitas, chunks of dark-meat chicken that have been sautéed and “caramelized,” then are flash fried to order for added crispiness, company officials said. Carnitas, or “little meats,” are traditionally simmered in water and then cooked in fat until browned. The items were previously available in 2009.
The line includes a carnitas meal for a suggested $5.99, with the chicken accompanied by Spanish rice, pinto beans, a lemon wedge, warm tortillas and salsa.
A carnitas burrito is available for a recommended $5.49. Street-style carnitas tacos are $1.99 each, and a carnitas bowl with diced onion, lemon, cilantro and pico de gallo on rice and pinto beans is $4.99.
“Our fans are always looking for new ways to enjoy the delectable taste of El Pollo Loco,” Mark Hardison, El Pollo Loco vice president of marketing, said in a statement. “We’ve taken the craveable taste of carnitas and given it a mouthwatering new twist, the way only El Pollo Loco can.”
Both promotions will be available through the new year, officials said.
A multimedia advertising campaign is scheduled to begin Oct. 31 and will include general market and Spanish-language television spots in Los Angeles and select markets, as well as in-store marketing materials.
El Pollo Loco operates or franchises nearly 400 locations in California, Arizona, Connecticut, Illinois, Nevada, Oregon, Texas and Utah.