Cuban Chicharrones de Pollo – chicken thigh pieces marinated in a garlic, lime and rum marinade, dredged through flour and fried to perfection.
It is, in fact, quite true that I love to add alcohol to my food. Whether it’s wine, or rum, tequila or whatever alcohol I have lying around, I will use it in my food. So it may come as no surprise to you when I tell you that there is rum in this recipe, after all it is Cuban. Years ago I had the privilege of going to Cuba and there are a couple things I remember from my trip. The beautiful sandy beaches, the cigars and the rum. Lots and lots of rum. I remember rum in fact being cheaper than a can of coke, so I just went with the flow. But let’s not go there now.
I often look for chicken recipes to make, and yes there is a reason for that. My poor aging dog loves chicken and while she has her kidney problems and is supposed to be on a low protein diet, we do have a lot of pills to give her and the best and easiest way for her to swallow her pills is if we stuff them in a little piece of chicken. Yes, we are those people that feed our puppy people food, but only for her medication. Although when it comes to bacon, well that’s another story. Not to say that I made this chicken for my dog, because that is not true, the Jo Cooks residents love all chicken recipes. And this chicken is is one of the best fried chicken I’ve ever had.
It could have something to do with the fact that I marinated the chicken in this delicious garlic, lime and rum marinade for a few hours, which gave the chicken plenty of time to get infused with all that lime flavor. The chicken is then dredged through a flour mixture with herbs and spices, after which it’s fried to a crisp perfection. Squeeze a wedge of lime on your chicken piece before you pop it in your mouth, close your eyes and you’ll feel like you’re on the beaches of Cuba, with a margarita in your hand. That’s about as close as I can bring you to Cuba, my friends.
Try these other delicious chicken appetizers!
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Cuban Chicharrones de Pollo
- 1 lb chicken thighs boneless and skinless
- vegetable oil for frying
- 1 lime cut into wedges, for serving
- 1 tbsp fresh parsley chopped for garnish
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 onion roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup lime juice from about 4 limes
- 1/4 cup lime zest from the 4 limes
- 1/4 cup light rum
For flour mixture
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper freshly ground
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tbsp oregano dried
- 1 tsp sweet paprika
- Cut up the chicken thighs into bite size pieces. Place in a bowl or a plastic container with a lid.
- Add all the marinade ingredients together in a blender or food processor and pulse until mixture is smooth. Pour the marinade over the chicken and toss the chicken pieces, making sure they're all covered in the marinade. Cover the plastic container with the lid, or if you used a bowl, cover with plastic wrap.Refrigerate for at least 2 hours to 8 hours.
- In a shallow plate whisk together the ingredients for the flour mixture.
- Heat the vegetable oil in a Dutch oven or a deep frying pan.
- While the oil is heating up, dredge the chicken pieces through the flour mixture.
- Fry a few pieces of chicken at a time, so that they don't stick together. They should take about 5 minutes before they're cooked through. You might want to cut into a piece to make sure it's no longer pink inside. Continue frying in batches until done.
- Garnish with fresh parsley and serve with lime wedges.