Welcome to The Storied Recipe!
My podcast guest Liz Coulter runs Louie’s HUWE, an organization connecting, uplifting, and conducting research for families with the same devastating genetic disorder as her oldest son. Liz find strength from faith, family, and her Abuela’s Pollo Frito! Make sure you listen to her episode while you make her juicy, crispy, marinated Puerto Rican fried chicken!
Here it is - the most juicy, tender, and flavorful fried chicken recipe!! Although this simple, easy fried chicken recipe uses NO flour (or flour substitutes like cornstarch or cornflakes), NO eggs, and NO buttermilk, I promise you won't miss a single one of those ingredients!
Traditional Southern Fried Chicken, delicious as it is, often results in a flavorful dredged crust that slips - with one bite - of rather "meh" chicken. This authentic Pollo Frito, on the other hand, leans heavily on a marinade/brine that makes the chicken itself incredibly juicy and flavorful. And you won't miss that golden crispy crust either - no, no, there's more than enough crispiness in that gorgeous skin!
Make this Pollo Frito recipe from Liz's Abuela - and let me know if this Low Carb Fried Chicken isn't also the most delicious fried chicken you've ever eaten!
Table of Contents (Jump To Section)
What does Pollo Frito mean?
- Pollo -> Chicken
- Frito -> Fried
- So “Pollo Frito” = “Fried Chicken”
- Pollo Frito Con Tostones is what’s actually pictured below – Fried Chicken with Fried Plantains. I’ve added the recipe for fried plantains to the notes.
Is it really possible to make fried chicken without flour?
It really is!!! Not only that, but you won't miss it with this Pollo Frito recipe!!!! The crispy, golden skin and flavorful & moist meat will satisfy that fried chicken urge!
What's the secret to flavorful fried chicken?
You’ll reach for a first drumstick based on the rich, golden, crispy skin alone – but it’s the deep FLAVOR of the meat that will have you reaching for a second!
- The secret to the flavor is a marinade of oil, vinegar, Goya Adobo seasoning, and garlic.
- The marinade has two important functions:
- First, the marinade infuses flavor into the chicken.
- Second, and perhaps even more importantly, the heavy salt content in the marinade (from the Adobo) acts as a brine.
- This brine makes the chicken super flavorful and moist, even if you happen to cook it a little longer.
What is the best part of chicken for deep frying?
- You'll want meaty pieces of chicken - the dark meat: chicken thighs, drumsticks, and wings.
- For flour free fried chicken you'll definitely want to keep the skin on. That's what's going to crisp so beautifully, covering that juicy meat with all the flavor!
- Boneless chicken, white meat, and chicken breasts will be delicious when cooked properly, but it is easier to overcook these pieces.
How long do you fry Pollo Frito?
- This is going to depend a bit on your own cooking equipment and technique.
- Elizabeth’s Abuela cooks the Pollo Frito for about 3 minutes on one side and 6 on the other.
- I used my favorite fryer with the oil temperature set to 350. I fried the chicken for 8 minutes, until the outside was beautifully golden and super crispy. However, I felt the inside was a little cool and pink, so I popped in in a 350 degree oven. I didn’t leave it in for any specified time – some got longer than others, because I added chicken to the pan as it came out of the fryer.
- Again, thanks to the marinade, the chicken was forgiving of longer oven times. Do not skip the marinade!
- For safety, you’ll want to make sure your chicken gets to an internal temperature of 165 degrees at the thickest part.
- For a tender texture, don’t let the chicken get much higher than 180. It will begin to dry out at higher temperatures.
What is the best frying oil?
- You're looking for a neutral-flavored oil with a high smoke point. Here are good candidates:
- Vegetable Oil and Canola Oil (smoke point of both is 400 degrees f)
- Coconut Oil (smoke point 350 degrees), Peanut Oil (smoke point 450 degrees), and Mustard Oil (smoke point 480 degrees) all have high smoke points. However, none are neutrally flavored.
What should I do with the chicken pieces after deep frying?
- For best results, don't place the fried chicken on paper towels. That can make it soggy.
- Instead, let the chicken sit on a wire rack over a baking sheet covered in parchment paper.
- I preheated the oven to 350°. As I removed the chicken from the hot oil, I put the chicken on a baking sheet covered in parchment paper and popped it in the oven until I was finished frying. You can see the result was golden brown crispy fried chicken.
How do you make Pollo Frito in the oven?
- Let’s just set expectations off the bat – baked will never be quite the same as fried. But! That doesn’t mean it can’t be delicious!
- To best approximate the rich, crispiness of fried chicken, keep the skin on during baking. You’ll need that fat to render and the skin will keep the meat moist.
- Don’t skip the marinating step! I’ve said this again and again, so I won’t belabor the point. 😉
- Bake on a sheet pan at 425 for 30 minutes, then flip and bake another 20 minutes or until chicken reaches 165 (and not over 180).
What can I serve with Pollo Frito?
- Tostones (fried plantains)
- Arroz Blanco (white rice)
- For a fancy alternative to Tostones, try these Fried Plantain Cups with fun & easy fillings
Equipment You May Need
Recipe Contributor: Liz Coulter
Today's guest, Elizabeth is mother to 4 very young children. Her oldest, Louie, was born with a genetic condition so rare that he was only the 12th person in the world diagnosed with it.
When Louie was 5, just as Elizabeth was hitting her stride as a special needs mom, she woke at midnight to find Louie was having a seizure. He had another, and another, and another....
Since then, Louie has had dozens - sometimes even 40 or 50 - seizures daily.
Elizabeth believes God chose her to be Louie's mom and gave her everything she needed - from her Puerto Rican heritage and the words of her wise Abuela to strong family support and faith - to make life better for Louie and others with his condition.
Liz has started a non-profit called Louie's HUWE with the goal of connecting, serving, and supporting other families like hers.
What Pollo Frito Means to Elizabeth
This is my favorite food that my Abuela makes. It is fried chicken, but made in the Puerto Rican style. My abuela is from Spain but married my Puerto Rican grandfather and moved to Caguas, Puerto Rico. There she learned how to make his favorite food. This is still a favorite among the entire family and all their friends, both from the island and locals. With the exception of my grandfather's Coquito, I love it more than anything else I've ever put in my mouth.
Listen to Liz's Episode on The Storied Recipe Podcast:
Episode 135: Chosen for This? Special Needs, Seizures, and Keto