Recipes · Cooking tips · Techniques

Vaca Frita de Pollo

Vaca Frita de Pollo

Vaca Frita de Pollo is a fried shredded chicken dish that’s popular in Cuban restaurants all over Miami. The literal translation is chicken fried steak, but that’s not this dish. Vaca frita de pollo is cooked, shredded chicken that’s flavored with a delicious homemade mojo marinade and skillet-fried until browned and crispy on the outside. It’s really easy to make and quite tasty. There’s a beef version of this dish too called vaca frita, and it’s just as amazing. Enjoy!

 

Mojo Ingredients

1 Large Garlic Clove, grated or minced
½ cup Sour Orange Juice (or lime juice and orange juice)
¼ tsp. Dried Oregano
¼ tsp. Cumin
½ tsp. Salt
¼ tsp. Black Pepper

Chicken Ingredients

1 lb. Chicken Breasts, skinless, boneless, trim any fat
2 cups Chicken Broth
1 tsp. Salt, divided
1 Small Yellow Onion, cut in half and sliced thin
2 tbsp. Canola Oil, or use your favorite vegetable oil

 

Instructions

Make the mojo marinade

If you’re making the sour orange juice: combine ¼ cup of orange juice (fresh squeezed is best) and ¼ cup lime juice in a jar or bowl. Stir or shake the juice to combine well. Set aside until ready to use.

Add the garlic, sour orange juice, ½ tsp. salt, dried oregano, cumin and black pepper to a jar or bowl. Stir or shake well to combine. Refrigerate the marinade for at least 30 minutes. Shake or stir well before using.

 

Poach the chicken

Place the chicken in a medium saucepan, large enough so that they fit side by side without overlapping. Cover the chicken with chicken broth (about 2 cups). Add ½ tsp. of salt. Start the chicken on high heat; bring the broth to a boil. As soon as it starts boiling, lower the heat to medium-low and cover. Simmer the chicken gently for 20-25 minutes. Make sure the internal temperature of the thickest part of the chicken breast is at least 165°F. Remove the chicken breast from poaching liquid and set on a cutting board to cool.

When the chicken has cooled enough to handle, shred using your hands or two forks.

 

Make the Vaca Frita de Pollo

Add the shredded chicken, sliced onions, ½ tsp. salt and the prepared mojo marinade to a large bowl; stir or toss well to combine. Let the chicken and mojo sit for 15-20 minutes so it absorbs all the delicious juice, toss occasionally.

Heat the canola oil in a large, non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the shredded chicken and arrange it into 1 layer.

Cook the chicken for 5-6 minutes, do not stir. Let the liquid cook out and let the bottom become browned and crispy.

Using a large spatula, get under a section of the chicken and flip (don’t stir). Pick another section and flip, repeat until all of the chicken is browned side up.

Cook for another 1-3 minutes. Keep in mind that this side will brown a lot faster since the liquid has cooked out already. Keep your eye on it, check a section after 1 minute to make sure it’s not burning. Flip over any sections that need to brown a little more. Keep checking and flipping until the chicken is golden and crispy on the outer layer.

White rice, black beans and mashed potatoes are all great sides to serve with the vaca frita de pollo. Enjoy!

Serves 4

 

Cook’s notes

To give the beans a Cuban flair: Add one or two cans of black beans to a saucepan – do not drain. Add a sprinkle of garlic powder, onion powder, a pinch of dried oregano and cumin. Then add a heaping tablespoon of olive oil and a teaspoon of red wine vinegar (two of each if using two cans). Give the beans a good stir and simmer for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

A note about sour oranges: Sour oranges are used in chicken and pork marinades, and in many mojo recipes. During the latter part of the year, near the Christmas season, many Latin markets will stock sour oranges. If you can find sour oranges, slice in half and juice. If you can’t get sour oranges, because they’re not available in your area, or it’s not season, try combining orange juice and lime juice (fresh squeezed is best). The ratio depends on the recipe. The last alternative is bottled sour orange juice, which is not really made with sour oranges (more like grapefruit juice and other citrus); however, it will still get that sour and sweet taste we’re looking for. Sour orange juice can be found in the international section of most large grocery stores, or find it online (although at a premium).

 

Vaca Frita de Pollo
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
35 mins
Marinating the shredded chicken
20 mins
Total Time
40 mins
 
Vaca Frita de Pollo is a fried shredded chicken dish that’s popular in Cuban restaurants all over Miami.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Cuban
Keyword: chicken recipes
Servings: 4
Calories: 229 kcal
Ingredients
Mojo Ingredients
  • 1 Large Garlic Clove grated or minced
  • ½ cup Sour Orange Juice or lime juice and orange juice
  • ¼ tsp. Dried Oregano
  • ¼ tsp. Cumin
  • ½ tsp. Salt
  • ¼ tsp. Black Pepper
Chicken Ingredients
  • 1 lb. Chicken Breasts skinless, boneless, trim any fat
  • 2 cups Chicken Broth
  • 1 tsp. Salt divided
  • 1 Small Yellow Onion cut in half and sliced thin
  • 2 tbsp. Canola Oil or use your favorite vegetable oil
Instructions
Make the mojo marinade
  1. If you’re making the sour orange juice: combine ¼ cup of orange juice (fresh squeezed is best) and ¼ cup lime juice in a jar or bowl. Stir or shake the juice to combine well. Set aside until ready to use.
  2. Add the garlic, sour orange juice, ½ tsp. salt, dried oregano, cumin and black pepper to a jar or bowl. Stir or shake well to combine. Refrigerate the marinade for at least 30 minutes. Shake or stir well before using.
Poach the chicken
  1. Place the chicken in a medium saucepan, large enough so that they fit side by side without overlapping. Cover the chicken with chicken broth (about 2 cups). Add ½ tsp. of salt.

  2. Start the chicken on high heat; bring the broth to a boil. Lower the heat to medium-low and cover.

  3. Simmer the chicken gently for 20-25 minutes. Make sure the internal temperature of the thickest part of the chicken breast is at least 165°F. Remove the chicken breast from poaching liquid and set on a cutting board to cool.

  4. When the chicken has cooled enough to handle, shred using your hands or two forks.
Make the Vaca Frita de Pollo
  1. Add the shredded chicken, sliced onions, ½ tsp. salt and the prepared mojo marinade to a large bowl; stir or toss well to combine. Let the chicken and mojo sit for 15-20 minutes so it absorbs all the delicious juice, toss occasionally.
  2. Heat the canola oil in a large, non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the shredded chicken and arrange it into 1 layer.
  3. Cook the chicken for 5-6 minutes, do not stir. Let the liquid cook out and let the bottom become browned and crispy.
  4. Using a large spatula, get under a section of the chicken and flip (don’t stir). Pick another section and flip, repeat until all of the chicken is browned side up.
  5. Cook for another 1-3 minutes. Keep in mind that this side will brown a lot faster since the liquid has cooked out already. Check a section after 1 minute to make sure it’s not burning. Flip over any sections that need to brown a little more. Keep checking and flipping until the chicken is golden and crispy on the outer layer.

Nutrition Facts
Vaca Frita de Pollo
Amount Per Serving
Calories 229 Calories from Fat 90
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 10g 15%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Cholesterol 72mg 24%
Sodium 1280mg 53%
Potassium 615mg 18%
Total Carbohydrates 7g 2%
Sugars 3g
Protein 25g 50%
Vitamin A 1.9%
Vitamin C 33.2%
Calcium 3%
Iron 6.1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Vaca Frita de Pollo is a fried shredded chicken dish that’s popular in Cuban restaurants all over Miami. Vaca frita de pollo is cooked, shredded chicken that’s flavored with a delicious homemade mojo marinade and skillet-fried until browned and crispy on the outside. #vacafritadepollo #chicken #Cubanfood, #Cubanrecipes #easydinners

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