Speaking of fried chicken...well, we were speaking of fried chicken, right? Recently, I had just deep fried some tofu for the Missus and really wanted to maximize my use of the oil for deep frying. I'd been keeping the Chicharron de Pollo recipe from Copeland Mark's The Exotic Kitchens of Peru marked for a while and this was the perfect chance to try out the recipe.
While Pollo ala Brassa rules the poultry scene, I'd say Chicharron de Pollo runs a decent second place. Though you can't turn a corner without running into a rotisserie chicken joint in Peru, the Chicharronerias have "the sell" down pat. During lunch hours on Pampas de Castillo in Cusco the Chicharronerias will wheel their portable fryers out onto the sidewalk and the smell of frying chicken and pork will create a mouth-watering, almost edible cloud of deliciousness......
The recipe from Copeland Marks is quite basic, but I appreciated the mild "Chifa" influence in the recipe. I've mentioned the wonderful Chinese influence in many posts before, so I won't go into it again.
The recipe calls for chicken breast, but I prefer dark meat and a good skin to meat ratio so I went with boneless chicken legs from Marukai. I also added some oregano and cumin for a more complex flavor, though I think I'll pass on the cumin next time. The recipe also uses both lemon juice and white vinegar, which turned out to work fairly well. The chicken is dredged in cornstarch which gives it a lighter, very crisp coating which doesn't take anything away from the skin.
Chicharron de Pollo:
1 1/2 lb boneless chicken leg (chicken prepped for karaage is good)
1 Tb premium Chinese soy sauce
1 tsp lemon juice
3 cloves garlic finely grated
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
1 tsp white vinegar
oregano and cumin if desired to taste
- Mix all ingredients except for cornstarch and marinate chicken for 20 minutes
- Dredge chicken in cornstarch and fry in 350 degree oil until cooked
Man, I was just thinking, has it almost been five years since we visited Peru. Looking through my posts, I noticed that I never posted a photo of anything in Lima's Chinatown aka Barrio Chino. Looking though my photos, I only have a couple of photos from the area, here's one.
You know, I'm kinda missing Peru right now.....