Latin-Caribbean Fried Chicken

I'm sharing one of my personal favorites here. There's fried chicken, good fried chicken, and damn good fried chicken. Then, we reach the heights of my Latin-Caribbean fried chicken. It's got spice, comfort and a little something extra, plus more. Inspired by traditional chicharrones de pollo, this also borrows notes from my friend's mom's cocina! I love to serve this with sauteed onions, sofrito, or with my favorite salad or rice dish.


INGREDIENTS

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs cut into large 2-inch chunks (Sub: Breasts)

  • 1 tsp ground cumin

  • 1 tsp oregano

  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

  • 1 tsp smoked paprika (Sub: paprika)

  • 1/4 onion, grated

  • 2 cloves garlic, grated

  • 1/4 lime, juice squeezed from

  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 1/2 tsp cornstarch 2 tsp salt, divided + more, to taste

  • 2 tsp white pepper, divided + more, to taste

  • Vegetable oil for frying (enough to cover the chicken)

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. In a mixing bowl, add cut-up chicken, grated onion and garlic, lime juice, oregano, cumin, cayenne pepper, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper, and 1 tsp vinegar. Use your hands to mix it all together, evenly. Set aside for at least 30 minutes. RECOMMENDATION: Do this part overnight. Leave in the covered mixing bowl overnight.

  2. Preheat oven to 250 degrees.

  3. In a separate mixing bowl or brown paper bag, mix up flour, cornstarch, extra salt and pepper.

  4. Heat cooking oil in a Dutch oven, deep fryer or a 5 quart pot. Temperature should be about 350 degrees. Or, wait until you see wavy lines throughout the pot, just before smoking.

  5. Toss chicken in the flour mixture, just before adding it to the hot oil. Make sure the oil is hot. Working in batches, add the floured chicken pieces to the hot oil. Allow them to cook for 5-7 minutes, flipping one time, or until they are golden brown.

  6. Remove from oil, add to a rimmed baking sheet covered with paper towels or a brown paper bag. Place batches in oven while completing the next batch. Repeat.

  7. Place all cooked chicken on a serving platter. Sprinkle with a few pinches of salt and pepper as needed.

  8. Serve hot and enjoy!

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