Pollo Frito - Puerto Rican Fried Chicken

Everyone loves fried chicken (at least almost everyone). It's one of the few dishes that if you have kids in the house, won't create any problems in terms of picky eaters. We Puerto Ricans have our own unique take on fried chicken. Our version is fairly simple, but it's more seasoned compared to other recipes. We also have plain fried chicken where you can skip the flour and cook the chicken in butter or olive oil instead of vegetable oil. The recipe given here is the classic floured chicken which is ubiquitous (I love those $20 words) in the fried chicken universe. Paired with mashed potatoes, some green veggies, and a good bottle of wine, you can't go wrong.

Let me get in a plug here. This recipe is from my first cookbook, Puerto Rican Cuisine in America (Perseus Books - Running Press). Actually, in that book I give two versions of  Puerto Rican fried chicken: one is with plain flour (as in the recipe below) and the second version is cooking the chicken in its marinade combined with bouillon or broth, lending to a more heady flavor. Want that recipe---buy the book.

(Fried Chicken)

1 fryer chicken, about 2 1/2 pounds, cut into generous bite-sized pieces
2 cloves garlic, crushed or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon onion powder (optional)
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon vinegar
Vegetable oil for frying
1 cup all-purpose flour

1. Rinse chicken pieces under cold running water and pat dry with paper towels.
2. Place chicken in a bowl and rub with crushed garlic. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, oregano and onion powder. Rub seasoning well into chicken pieces. Drizzle with olive oil and vinegar. Mix to combine. Cover and set aside for 15 minutes. It you really want strong flavors, refrigerate overnight.
3. Heat a generous amount of oil (1-inch to 1 1/2-inch deep) to medium temperature (about 340 degrees F.) in a heavy-bottomed pot, large skillet or deep fryer.
4. Remove chicken from marinade and dust lightly with flour. Use your hands to toss and coat each piece thoroughly.
5. Add chicken pieces to hot oil, a few at a time and deep-fry until golden brown and crisp (3 to 5 minutes). Remove and drain on absorbent paper towels. Serve piping hot.
    Yield: 4 servings.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Labels: , , , , , , ,