Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Chicharrones de Pollo aka Dominican style cracklin chicken

There are a few things i will never forget in this lifetime,  the birth of my daughter, my wedding day, the first time i set foot on foreign soil, and the first time i sunk my teeth into Dominican fried chicken. It was a great little Dominican restaurant called El Conuco complete with live dancing, lots of great music and side dishes that made me feel complete. A word of advice for travelling abroad, if you like to cook and enjoy the local cuisine buy spices at the local market to bring back with you....many times you cannot find the same things at home and they often cost little to nothing by comparison when you buy them overseas.

But i digress......CHICKEN!!!

the above served a home, complete with all the fixins'

Since i cant afford to fly to Santo Domingo every time i want to get my fix i decided to make it at home, what follows is the recipe that will turn you into an immediate Chicharrones de Pollo addict.

First you will need to make your marinade, its really the key to the whole conglomeration:

First take some garlic, about 4 cloves should do.

To easily access the garlic press down on it with a knife and it will pop right out of its little shell.

Then mince it or use a garlic press and add to a large bowl. Then get your limes ready, you will need enough lime juice for a cup so i would recommend at least 10-12 depending on how juicy they are. Roll them with the palm of your hand to get them to release their juices before you cut into them.

Cut em, juice em, and add em to the bowl. The add your soy sauce (4 Tbsp) + Worcestershire (2 Tbsp)  

Add your cut up chicken to the marinade, i use both breasts and legs with bone in but you can do whatever type you want. Typically when you go to a restaurant in Dominican republic and order this dish you will get legs that have been fried and chopped into pieces but since my household prefers white meat i add in breast pieces. 


After it has sat for at least a few hours, (not overnight though as you dont want the lime juice to turn the chicken into a ceviche) you can begin to make your dry ingredients which you will dredge the chicken pieces in before tossing them in your fryer (or pot of hot oil).

Combine 2 cups of flour, 2 Tsp of paprika, and Salt and pepper to taste to a paper bag. I only had a leftover diesel bag which, while nice looking in its own right, is absolutely horrible for dredging chicken as it all came out of the sides. If you dont have a paper bag you can just put it in a bowl but the paper bag absorbs some of the moisture and makes for a better even coating. Shake it up in the bag, then grab some tongs.

set your deep fryer to 350, or if your using a pot like me you may have to just do it by eye and check each piece as it comes out.

Drop in 3 or 4 pieces at a time keeping in mind larger pieces and pieces with bones will take longer to cook than boneless breast pieces. 

When its done it should look like this....Serve with tostones a very easy recipe can be found here, and some nice white rice + beans. 

And dont forget your Presidente!!!

Taken from an original recipe by Hector Rodriguez 

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