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Cuban Fried Chicken

The Secret Recipe for Irresistible Cuban Fried Chicken

Anybody out there looking for a new recipe to make fried chicken? Well, look no further, I got you! Cuban fried chicken is here. If you are getting tired of cooking the same old chicken dishes over and over, I’ll say it again, I got you! Cuban fried chicken has a delicious bright flavor sure to bring a tickle to your taste buds and bring a smile to your face.

With a few pantry ingredients you probably already have on hand you can easily prep the chicken for marinating the night before and really let the flavors develop or you can do it the same night and let the chicken marinate for just an hour. Either way get ready for scrumptious fried chicken. Indulge in a taste of the tropics as you savor the crispy and succulent chicken, infused with a blend of citrus and garlic. Get ready to take your taste buds on a flavorful journey like no other.

As you take your first bite, the crispy golden crust shatters, revealing the tender, juicy meat inside. Each mouthful is a heavenly combination of textures and tastes, leaving you craving for more. Whether you're hosting a summer backyard get together or simply looking to elevate your weeknight dinner, this Cuban fried chicken will leave you craving for more.

Ingredients for Cuban Fried Chicken

  1. Whole Chicken
  2. Naranja agria (bitter orange)
  3. Limes
  4. Garlic cloves
  5. Flour
  6. Seasoning (salt, pepper, garlic powder)
  7. Oil (for frying)

Step-by-Step Instructions for Making Cuban Fried Chicken

1. Start by preparing the chicken. Cut up a whole chicken and salt each piece liberally.

2. Prepare the marinade. In a bowl, combine naranja agria, fresh lime juice, and smashed or minced garlic. Whisk the ingredients together until well combined.

3. Place the chicken pieces in a large zip-top bag or a large bowl and pour the marinade over them. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or overnight for the best results.

4. In a shallow dish, combine all-purpose flour, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Mix well to combine the spices.

5. Remove the marinated chicken from the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. This will allow the chicken to come to room temperature and ensure even cooking.

6. Preheat vegetable oil in a large skillet or deep fryer to 350°F (175°C).

7. Take each piece of marinated chicken and coat it thoroughly in the flour mixture, pressing the coating firmly onto the chicken to ensure it adheres.

8. Carefully place the coated chicken into the hot oil, being mindful not to overcrowd the pan. Fry the chicken in batches, if necessary, to maintain the temperature of the oil.

8. Fry the chicken for 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown and cooked through, turning occasionally to ensure even browning. The internal temperature of the chicken should reach 165°F (74°C). Fry larger pieces first and then place in a 275 degrees oven while frying smaller pieces.

Tips and Tricks for Perfecting Your Cuban Fried Chicken

- For an extra crispy crust, double dip the chicken in the flour mixture after the first coating. This will create a thicker, crunchier crust.

- If you prefer a spicier kick, add a pinch of cayenne pepper or chili powder to the flour mixture.

- To ensure even cooking, use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the chicken. This will help you avoid overcooking or undercooking the chicken.

- Serve the Cuban fried chicken immediately to enjoy it at its best. The crispy crust tends to lose its crunchiness as it cools down.

Serving Suggestions and Side Dishes

Cuban fried chicken pairs perfectly with a variety of side dishes and accompaniments. Here are a few suggestions to complete your tropical feast:

- Black beans and rice: A classic Cuban side dish, black beans and rice add a hearty and flavorful element to your meal.

- Plantains: Fried plantains (maduros) provide a sweet and savory contrast to the crispy chicken.

- Avocado salad: A simple salad made with ripe avocados, tomatoes, olive oil, red wine vinegar and salt complements the richness of the fried chicken.

- Congri: Red Bean congri brings together red beans, white rice, bacon and a smoky hock to create the best rice and beans Cuban comfort dish.

- Papas Fritas: French fries make a great pairing for an easy weeknight dinner.

- Yuca Frita: Yuca fries are just as good as french fries if not better. They are so crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. They are a match made in heaven to Cuban Fried Chicken.

The Secret Ingredient That Sets Cuban Fried Chicken Apart

While all the ingredients in Cuban fried chicken play a crucial role in creating its unique flavor profile, there is one secret ingredient that sets it apart – sour orange juice (naranja agria). Sour orange juice, also known as bitter orange juice, is a key component of Cuban cuisine. It adds a tangy and citrusy note to the marinade, creating a burst of flavor that is distinctly Cuban. If you can't find sour orange juice, you can create a substitute. Simply mix a 1/2 cup of each; fresh squeezed limes, fresh squeezed oranges, fresh squeezed grapefruit and white distilled vinegar. Combine all ingredients and its ready for use or save for up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator..

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Cooking Method
Cuisine
Courses
Difficulty Easy
Time
Prep Time: 120 120 mins Cook Time: 25 25 mins Total Time: 2 hrs 25 mins
Servings 4
Cuban Fried Chicken Ingredients
  • 3-4 pounds Whole chicken
  • 1 cup Naranja agria (Bitter orange)
  • 4 Limes
  • 1/4 cup Smashed garlic
  • Salt
  • 3 cups Flour
  • 2 teaspoons Salt
  • 2 teaspoons Garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons Black pepper
  • 1 quart Oil
Cuban Fried Chicken Instructions
  1. First cut up a whole chicken. Next, add 1 cup of naranja agria, the juice of 4 limes squeezed and the 1/4 cup of peeled garlic that has been smashed or grated. Salt each piece liberally individually and put in a large glass bowl for marinating. Let marinate for at least 1 to 2 hours. If marinating under 2 hours I let the chicken stay out of the refrigerator so it’s not too cold when frying. That way it cooks evenly down to the bone. If you are going to marinate overnight then take the chicken out of the refrigerator an hour before moving on to the next step.

  2. Mix together flour, salt, garlic powder and black pepper. I find it easiest to use a large ziplock bag. Coat each piece of chicken in flour mixture one at a time. 

  3. Heat oil to 350 degrees. Fry chicken in batches so it cooks evenly. Keep checking the temperature of the oil for optimal frying. Fry breasts and thighs first for 10-12 minutes. Drain on a wire rack or paper towels. Transfer to a 275 degree oven while the rest of the chicken is frying to make sure chicken is cooked all of the way through. The smaller pieces like the legs and wings fry 6 minutes. Keep chicken in the oven until ready to serve for a crispier outside.