cuban fried chicken
- John T Edge
I am in search of Cuban fried chicken.
When last in NYC, I had fried chicken from a fast food joint called New Caporal. It tasted like it has been marinated in mojo sauce and then fried.
I head to Orlando and Miami and points in between in a couple of weeks, and I am in search of Cuban fried chicken thereabouts.
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks, John T
I live in the Orlando area and am unaware of any place serving Cuban fried chicken. We do have a few decent Cuban restaurants (Numero Uno, Rolando's, and El Bohio) which offer traditional Cuban dishes and it might be I've missed something on the menu, so you might want to call them and see.
While you're in Orlando you might want to visit Johnson's Diner on Robinson St. just West of I-4. It's open for breakfast, lunch and early dinner M - Sat and is one of the core restaurants in the black community but is also popular with white folks, particularly at lunch on weekdays. Good fried chicken, meat loaf, pork chops, stew beef, vegetables, sweet potato pie, plus salmon cakes at breakfast. I'd be curious to hear your opinion if you get a chance to try it out.
I've thoroughly enjoyed your books and articles on Southern food; would have loved to have gone to the SFA barbecue event but my schedule precluded any shot at that. You truly perform a wonderful service - keep up the excellent work for Cornbread Nation!
Thanks for the kind words -- and for the Orlando suggestion.
If anyone else knows of a specific restaurant that serves what might be called the paragon of pollo, I would really like to know of it.
I'm interestd in how fried chicken has become an iconic American dish and, that the underlying ethnicity -- in this case Cubano -- is oftentimes subsumed by the American-ness of the dish.
Most Cuban chicken is soaked in mojo criollo and deep fried (masas de pollo, chopped chunks w/bones), pollo empanizado (breaded boneless breast). There is also roast chicken (pollo asado), pollo con arroz amarillo (chicken and yellow rice), pollo de brasa (grilled chicken). From West Palm Beach southward, you'll not have trouble finding any of these dishes. At virtually any Cuban or Dominican restaurant, they'll offer at least two of these. You just have to know how to spot them on the menu. I'm ready to head out for some pollo fricase' (sauteed chicken breast in mojo and onions) right now.
Try the Havana restaurant at Forest Hill Blvd. and Dixie Hwy. in West Palm Beach. Get the masitas de pollo (fried chicken chunks) and an order of masitas de puerco (fried pork chunks) for contrast with mojo and lime. There are many other places but this one is pretty good and it's easy to find.
For the best fried chicken around, try the Palios Brothers here in Tampa on MacDill. It is not Cuban-- the bros are greek-- but man is it good. Fried shrimp are great as well. In my time eating around in Tampa, I've never seen Cuban fried chicken. I've seen the chunks of fried pork, but not chicken.
Your reputation precedes you, patrly because I work in the USF Library, where I've spent a good deal of time in Special Collections (lots of talk about the Johns Committee lately); and partly because I love your "Southern Food" book. Keep up the great work!
re: andy huse
I agree with Andy, Palio's is definitely worth a visit if you're in the Tampa area. Real old line South Tampa which appears to have changed very little since the '50s. Very local, interesting place. The crust on the fried chicken is darker than most I've encountered but it's certainly tasty.
Here is a dish I made this weekend, and it turned out wonderfully.
Cuban Fried Chicken Tenders
6 cloves garlic mashed
1 onion chopped
1 cup lime juice
½ cup white rum
1 ½ pounds chicken tenders
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
Cumin powder to taste
Ground oregano to taste
1 cup flour
2 t. salt
2 t. black pepper
1 egg beaten with 2 T. water
1. Combine garlic, onion, lime juice and rum. Add chicken, cover and refrigerate 2-3 hours.
2. Remove chicken from marinade and sprinkle liberally with salt, pepper, cumin and oregano.
3. Heat ½ inch of vegetable oil in skillet to medium-high.
4. Mix flour, salt and pepper in a large plate.
5. Dip chicken tenders in egg wash and dredge through flour mixture.
6. Fry until golden brown on both sides and cooked through.
I never have had Cuban Fried chicken outside my parent’s house or relatives homes. I have never seen it at a restaurant.
Take a whole chicken and used it make stock, remove the chicken when done. Drain well
Use stock for soup.
Fry the whole boiled chicken in hot oil till golden and crispy.
Cut in chunks bones and all
Pour mojo over it; not the marinating kind of mojo (lemon, garlic, onion,salt & olive oil).
Greasy but tasty