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Vaca frita de pollo shredded crispy chicken with mojo marinade served on a yellow plate with white rice, black beans and fried sweet plantains on the side

Vaca Frita de Pollo

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
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Marinating the shredded chicken 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 229kcal


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


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. 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. 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.


Calories: 229kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 72mg | Sodium: 1280mg | Potassium: 615mg | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 95IU | Vitamin C: 27.4mg | Calcium: 30mg | Iron: 1.1mg