Pollo Frito a la Criolla


Pollo Frito a la Criolla is a Cuban fried chicken recipe marinated in a delicious lime and orange juice and garlic combination. Cooked in a pan until the skin is crispy, served over rice.

Pollo Frito a la Criolla | www.acozykitchen.com

There are days when I miss home. I didn’t grow up with my mom cooking Cuban food, but when you grow up most of your life in South Florida, Cuban food tastes like home, too.

Cuban food was a big part of my eating growing up. If there was a big family get together, we’d often times be eating at a Cuban restaurant. There were days when I’d get out of school and head to little hole in the wall Cuban joint and I’d sit there with my friends, in our Catholic school uniforms, drinking coke and eating chicken palomilla, maduros and my all-time favorite, ropa vieja.

I hardly ever get the opportunity to eat Cuban food now (the few Cuban restaurants in Los Angeles are kinda awful) so when this cookbook, The Cuban Table by Ana Sofia Pelaez, arrived at my doorstep, I was V V excited. I began thumbing through it, ooing and ahhing.

Pollo Frito a la Criolla | www.acozykitchen.com

How to Make Pollo Frito a la Criolla

  • This recipe starts with marinating! A very essential part of any good chicken recipe is marinating the chicken.
  • The marination is a combination of lime juice, orange juice, salt, garlic and onions.
  • Marinate the chicken for 3 hours.
  • When it’s done marinating, heat up some neutral oil in a pan. And sear the chicken until the skin is crispy.
  • Remove it from the pan.
  • Add the marinating sauce to the pan and then add the chicken back to the pan.
  • Cook the chicken until tender.
  • Serve it with over rice.

I landed on this chicken because it has everything I love about Cuban cooking. It’s inexpensive, it uses my favorite parts of the chicken (dark meat 4evr!) and it has mojo. MOJO IS EVERYTHING!

Mojo is a combination of sour oranges, onions, garlic and spices like ground cumin and oregano. It’s the heart and soul of this dish and a popular base for a lot of Cuban dishes.

Pollo Frito a la Criolla | www.acozykitchen.com

Pollo Frito a la Criolla | www.acozykitchen.com

I ate this chicken for lunch and dinner. And like a lot of Latin food, this is meant to be served on a bed of rice. Everything with rice!

The chicken was tart and rich all in the same bite. The stewed onions were delicious. This recipe and book feels as if a Cuban grandmother just handed you her best recipes.

Pollo Frito a la Criolla Recipe

5 from 4 votes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Marinating Time 3 hours
Total Time: 4 hours
Serving Size: 6
Calories: 414kcal
Pollo Frito a la Criolla is a Cuban fried chicken recipe marinated in a delicious lime and orange juice and garlic combination. Cooked in a pan until the skin is crispy, served over rice.



  • 3 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs and drumsticks
  • 4 large garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup lime juice
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1 large yellow onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup olive oil, plus more if needed
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine

For Serving:

  • 1 lime, cut into wedges
  • Cooked rice, for serving


  • Place the chicken in a large mixing bowl. Using a mortar and pestle (or you can use the back of a chef's knife), mash the garlic. In a measuring cup or medium bowl, add the garlic cloves, dried oregano, cumin, salt, pepper and orange and lime juice; stir until combined.
  • Pour the marinade over the chicken pieces, top with the sliced onions, and refrigerate, covered, for at least 3 hours or overnight.
  • Remove the chicken and onions from the marinade, drain and pat dry. Reserve the marinade for later use.
  • Heat the olive oil in a 6-quart cast-iron or heavy-bottomed pot over medium high heat until hot but not smoking. Working in batches, brown the chicken on both sides until the fat is rendered, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Do not overcrowd the pot. Replenish the oil as needed. Set aside the browned chicken pieces.
  • Pour out all but 2 tablespoons of the oil and saute the reserved onions in the pot until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the reserved marinade and wine and bring to a simmer. Return the browned chicken pieces to the pot and lower the heat.
  • Cook, partially covered, until the chicken is cooked through, 25 to 30 minutes. Serve with wedges of lime and rice.
CuisineAmerican, Cuban
Keywordcomo hacer pollo frito, pollo frito receta, receta de pollo frito
Serving: 6g | Calories: 414kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 36g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 117mg | Sodium: 485mg | Potassium: 713mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 62IU | Vitamin C: 19mg | Calcium: 52mg | Iron: 2mg
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Leave a Reply

  • Reply Kristine November 8, 2014 at 3:57 pm

    5 stars
    I made this last week and I actually modified it to go in my slow cooker. I did that because of the ease of letting it cook while I go about my day, also because I used all chicken breasts since I don’t like bone in chicken, but chicken breasts can be dry as a bone… so the slow cooker infused the juices into the chicken breasts. My family loved it and we were eating it all week. I browned the chicken and followed the recipe exactly as you said, but then when it’s time to “cook it partially covered for 25-30 min” – I just popped it all in the slow cooker for about 2.5 hours on high. It was deeeeelicious!! I love how you used very little cumin and you can barely taste it. It really is the perfect amount. Thank you for your beautiful cuban recipe!! I’m from LA and do not like Versailles or any other cuban restaurant I’ve tried so I get it! Maybe you can try a picadillo please? Or a salad with avocados and hearts of palm I had once a real good cuban restaurant in Denver – called Cuba Cuba. If you’re ever there, you NEED to go!! Lots of love!

    • Reply Adrianna Adarme November 9, 2014 at 12:08 pm

      5 stars
      Love these modifications! Amazing. Tomorrow I’m actually posting a recipe for Picadillo so stay tuned! xo

      • Reply Kristine November 13, 2014 at 4:53 pm

        I just saw it! Thank you, can’t wait to cook next week!

  • Reply Ileana October 28, 2014 at 7:13 am

    My family is Nicaraguan, but I grew up in Miami and know exactly what you mean about Cuban food feeling like home. Gimme that lechon and masitas de puerco.

    p.s. I’ve spent the last few years living in Tampa Bay. Cuban food in Miami is def where it’s at — with the exception of the bread and the Cuban sandwich. I like Tampa’s better!

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