Chicharrones de Pollo are perfectly crispy pieces of Puerto Rican fried chicken made with a simple but flavorful marinade and traditional island spices. These bite sized pieces of chicken are crisp and crunchy on the outside, and juicy and flavor-packed on the inside.

If you’ve tried many Puerto Rican recipes, you know that the chicken dishes (like this arroz con pollo and asopao de pollo) are super flavorful.

These crispy chicharrones de pollo take similar seasonings and a classic method of frying chicken for ultra moist and juicy bite sized pieces of Puerto Rican fried chicken.

The name chicharrones comes from the traditional dish made from fried pork belly or pork rinds. Obviously we are frying chicken in this recipe, hence the name chicharrones de pollo!

And if you enjoy crispy fried Puerto Rican recipes like this one, be sure to check out my recipe for bacalaitos, papas rellenas, and sorullos.

I also recommend pairing these with a veggie based side like ensalada verde or guineos en escabeche.

a bowl of marinade

Ingredients

If you do a lot of Puerto Rican cooking and are familiar with the spice profiles, you may have all the ingredients you’ll need for this recipe.

Here’s what you’ll need:

For the Marinade

For the Chicken

  • chicken thighs, cut into bite sized pieces (about 3 lbs)
  • all-purpose flour
  • sazon seasoning (see note for substitute)
  • adobo seasoning (see note for substitute)
  • vegetable oil, for frying

See recipe card for exact quantities.

Instructions

Hint: using a glass bowl for the marinade is important as metal can react poorly with the vinegar in the mixture.

Chicharrones Seasoning

You could easily substitute the seasonings in the marinade and flour mixture for whatever you have on hand.

That said, the seasonings are what truly makes this Puerto Rican fried chicken unique, so I recommend sourcing as many of the spices are you can.

Here are some recommendations for substituting the spice blends:

lime squeezing over Puerto Rican fried chicken

Let’s Talk Chicken

As with many Puerto Rican recipes, the methods of preparation vary greatly between households. I’ve heard many cooks swear by making this recipe with bone-in chicken, while others insist on using boneless cuts of meat.

While frying the chicken with the bone in can help to guarantee a super moist, juicy piece of fried chicken, it isn’t the only way to achieve this.

I find that using boneless chicken thighs results in just as juicy, and equally easy to eat chicharrones de pollo.

Equipment

Make sure to use a glass bowl for plastic bag/bowl for the marinade. This step is important as metal can react poorly with the vinegar in the marinade.

a plate of Puerto Rican fried chicken

Leftover Fried Chicken?

Like most fried chicken recipes, chicharrones de pollo are best enjoyed fresh out of the fryer, for that peak crispy texture.

If for some strange reason you have a large amount of leftovers, you can reheat them in the oven or microwave and enjoy the next day.

Buen provecho!

Salima written in cursive
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a plate of Puerto Rican fried chicken

Crispy Chicharrones de Pollo (Puerto Rican Fried Chicken)

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 2 reviews
  • Author: Salima Benkhalti
  • Prep Time: 2 hours
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Entree, Dinner, Lunch, Main Dish
  • Method: Fried
  • Cuisine: Puerto Rican, Latin

Description

Chicharrones de Pollo are perfectly crispy pieces of Puerto Rican fried chicken made with a simple but flavorful marinade and traditional island spices. These bite sized pieces of chicken are crisp and crunchy on the outside, and juicy and flavor-packed on the inside.


Ingredients

Units Scale

For the Marinade:

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 2 tbsp white vinegar
  • 2 tsp sazon seasoning (see note for substitute)
  • 2 tsp adobo seasoning (see note for substitute)

For the Chicken:

  • 56 chicken thighs, cut into bite sized pieces (about 3 lbs)
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp sazon seasoning (see note for substitute)
  • 1 tsp adobo seasoning (see note for substitute)
  • 5 cups vegetable oil, for frying

Instructions

  1. Marinate the chicken. In a glass container combine the marinade ingredients and mix well before adding in the chicken pieces and mixing to coat. Seal and refrigerate for at least two hours or overnight.
  2. Prepare the dry ingredients. Once the chicken has marinated for at least 2 hours, combine flour with sazon and adobo seasoning in a large bowl or ziplock bag and mix to combine.
  3. Fry the chicken. Heat the vegetable oil in a heavy bottomed pot. Add a few pieces of chicken to the bowl/bag and toss to coat each piece with flour. Once the oil is hot, fry the chicken in batches, for about 6 minutes or once they reach an internal temperature of 165.
  4. Serve the chicharrones de pollo. Garnish with lime juice. Buen provecho!

Notes

Seasoning Substitutes: