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Weekend Recipe: Latin Fried Chicken

Photo courtesy of Cook's Country
Photo courtesy of Cook's Country

Sometimes we crave the familiarity of crispy fried chicken, but the unexpected Latin flavors make this batch especially drool-worthy. This makes a great summer meal and is pretty great as picnic food, too. Cook's Country says to be sure not to marinate for more than two hours or the acid from the lime will toughen the chicken.

Latin Fried Chicken
Serves 4

Marinade
2 tablespoons kosher salt
6 garlic cloves, chopped coarse
1 tablespoon pepper
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons grated lime zest plus 1/4 cup juice (2 limes)
3 pounds bone-in chicken pieces (split breasts cut in half crosswise, drumsticks, thighs, and/or wings), trimmed

Coating
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup cornstarch
1 tablespoon pepper
1 tablespoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon white pepper
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 large egg whites, lightly beaten

Frying oil
3 quarts vegetable or peanut oil

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For the marinade: Combine salt, garlic, pepper, cumin, paprika, oregano, and lime zest and juice in bowl. Add chicken and turn to coat thoroughly. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 2 hours.

For the coating: Whisk flour, cornstarch, pepper, granulated garlic, baking powder, white pepper, salt, cumin, and cayenne together in bowl. Place egg whites in shallow dish.

Set wire rack in rimmed baking sheet. Remove chicken from marinade and scrape off solids. Pat chicken dry with paper towels. Working with 1 piece at a time, dip chicken into egg whites to thoroughly coat, letting excess drip back into dish. Dredge chicken in flour mixture, pressing to adhere. Transfer chicken to prepared wire rack and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 hours.

Add oil to large Dutch oven (6 quarts or more) until it measures about 2 inches deep and heat over medium-high heat to 325 degrees. Add half of chicken to hot oil and fry until breasts register 160 degrees and drumsticks/thighs register 175 degrees, 13 to 16 minutes. Adjust burner, if necessary, to maintain oil temperature between 300 and 325 degrees. Transfer chicken to clean wire rack set in rimmed baking sheet. Return oil to 325 degrees and repeat with remaining chicken. Serve.

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