#270 pollo chuco

  • 2 pounds of chicken, preferably thigh & leg
  • 2 pounds of vegetable oil
  • 3 pounds of cabbage
  • 2 onions
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 cup of vinegar
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 jalapeños
  • 1/2 teaspoon of oregano
  • 1 tablespoon of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cumin

For the Marinade:

  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 cup of vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon of mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground bay leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon of pepper
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of chicken bouillon
  • 1/2 teaspoon of oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon of curry
  • 1 teaspoon of salt

For the Plantain Chips:

  • 2 large green plantains
  • Salt to taste

For the Flour:

  • 2 cups of flour
  • 1 teaspoon of chicken bouillon
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cumin
  • 1/2. teaspoon of pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt

For the Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup of mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup of ketchup
  • 1/4 cup of mustard
  • 1/4 cup of milk

Wash the chicken pieces and pat dry, In a food processor prepare the marinade by blending all the ingredients on the list. Place the chicken and the marinade in a seal-proof bag and coat well. Place in the fridge for at least an hour, overnight is always best!

Set the oil in a deep frying pan to medium heat. When hot, take each piece of chicken and drape it onto the flour to coat well. Remove the excess flour and drop into the oil. Each piece will take about 10 to 15 minutes to cook, the outside will be crispy and deliciously crunchy, with a juicy & well-cooked inside. Set aside on paper towels to remove excess oil.

At the same time your chicken is cooking, cut your green plantains into slices and fry simultaneously. This side is an essential addition to the dish. Green bananas can also be used. Salt to taste. Prepare the chismol, another yummy topping essential to the dish. Make the prepared cabbage with the first ingredients on the list. This is simply a sort of coleslaw that adds a nice tangy crunch to the dish. For the sauce, mix the mayonnaise, ketchup, & mustard well. Add milk to thin it out as much as you’d like.

Serve the chicken as soon as it comes out with a side of chips, a side of coleslaw, topped with chismol and the sauce, and voilá. Must be enjoyed with plenty of napkins & a glass of ice cold Coke. It is the law.

Even though I haven’t yet posted a true fried chicken recipe, I’ll jump start this train with one of the many savoury kinds of fried chicken, our very own Honduran pollo chuco. The literal translation is dirty chicken, and the name couldn’t be more obvious, since it’s a popular dish served in the least delicate way possible with loads of ‘dirty’ sides and a sauce that makes it impossible to eat politely.

Fried chicken somehow made its way into every single cuisine in the world. Each culture seems to have their own flour-coated, deep-fried chicken pieces on their entourage, and what makes the dish so special is the different sides that accompany it. The first dish know to have been deep-fried was fritters, which were popular in the European Middle Ages…and still are now! It was the Scottish, however who were the first Europeans to deep fry their chicken pieces in fat, and it’s also known that West African peoples had traditions of seasoned fried chicken in palm oil. The two different cultures clashed together in the American South, where Scottish frying techniques and West African seasoning techniques were combined by enslaved African-Americans to develop what we all now know as traditional fried chicken.

The dish known as ‘pollo chuco‘ is quite beloved around the country of Honduras. It is, without a doubt, the first choice of many after a soccer tournament or a long day of work. It is 100% sampedrano, or native to the northern city of San Pedro Sula & started off being prepared out in the suburbs without much thought. With its tasty dressing & sauce, there are sure to be a number of good sweet, spicy, & tangy variations to the dish around town. And don’t let the name fool you! Long ago, the dish could only be found on street stands, and was known simply as chicken with chips; with time it evolved into the familiar ‘pollo chuco‘, far more representative of its serving style & looks!

People in San Pedro Sula, our industrial capital, are quite proud of the savoury dish. In fact, they’ve designated a day in mid-January as National ‘Pollo Chuco‘ Day, where they enjoy a great number of activities through-out the celebration day. Restaurants that are famous for the dish are invited to come prepare it for culinary experts to judge & choose the best ‘pollo chuco‘ in town. A ‘pollo chuco challenge’ is also part of the celebration, where anyone who wishes can join the competition to be named the ‘comelon del pollo‘, or big chicken eater! In addition to bringing livelihood to city, the activities also help new businesses show off their own variations of the dish & boost sales. It has become a staple dish for Hondurans for many reasons, most significantly its low cost and most importantly its awesome taste & quick preparation! As part of the Honduras food entourage, pollo chuco appears on Apetito Catracho with a personal anecdote a friend of mine sent in! Keep on reading…


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