Chicharrones de Pollo is a Puerto Rican style fried chicken dish. Pieces of chicken are marinated in a mixture of spices, citrus juice and seasonings. After marinating, the chicken is coated with flour then fried.
In addition to the spices, the flour coating typically contains sazon which gives the chicken more flavor and makes it uniquely Puerto Rican.
Sazon is a store-bought seasoning mix consisting of spices like cumin, oregano, garlic and the flavoring MSG. Puerto Ricans believe that the best tasting Chicharrones de Pollo is made with dark meat chicken such as thighs, with the bone in, skin left on and finally, fried more than once to develop the crispiest skin.
Cuba and the Dominican Republic also have their own version of Chicharrones de Pollo. Cuban Chicharrones de Pollo is marinated in a garlicky-citrus mix sometimes containing run while the Dominican version is more toned down, containing just a handful of spices.
Origin & Cultural Significance
Chicharrones are fried pork skins while chicharron means cracklings, referring to the sound made by frying meat. Both words are used interchangeably. In northern Puerto Rico, just outside the capital city of San Juan, the city of Bayamon is called El Pueblo del Chicharrón or Chicharron city where its residents claim to have the best chicharron on the island.
- Olive oil – 1 tsp
- Vinegar – ½ tsp
- Orange or lime juice – 2 tsp
- Oregano - 1 tsp
- Salt - 1 ½ tsp
- Black peppercorns - 2
- Garlic cloves - 4
- Chicken, bone-in skin on - 3 lbs
- All-purpose flour - 2 cups
- Sazon, packet - 1
- Pepper – ¼ tsp
- Vegetable oil for frying
- Combine all the marinade ingredients in a mortar and pestle or food processor.
- Trim off any excess chicken skin, but do not entirely remove the skin.
- Cut the chicken into smaller pieces, this may require cutting through bone.
- Place the chicken in a bowl or dish and pour the marinade over the chicken, massage it evenly into the chicken.
- Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.
- When ready to prepare chicken, heat enough oil to cover chicken in a large pot to 400 degrees.
- While the oil heats combine flour, sazon and pepper in a large ziploc bag, shake to combine ingredients.
- In batches, place chicken in the flour bag and shake until well coated. Shake off the excess flour.
- When the oil reaches 400 degrees, fry chicken pieces in batches for 3 minutes.
- Remove from the oil and drain on a plate lined with paper towels.
- Lower the heat of the oil to 300 degrees and place all the chicken back in the pot, cover and fry for 10 minutes.
- Remove chicken from the oil and drain on paper towels.
- Raise the heat again to 400 degrees, fry the chicken in batches, uncovered until dark golden brown, without burning.
- Remove chicken from the oil and drain on paper towel lined plate.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 696Total Fat: 33gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 21gCholesterol: 213mgSodium: 744mgCarbohydrates: 37gFiber: 2gSugar: 2gProtein: 59g