Today is my dad’s birthday! And that means he gets to be front and center on the blog today.
I have no shame in admitting that I am a Daddy’s Girl. Just talking to my dad on the phone can make me homesick. I could pull out every positive adjective from the dictionary to describe my father. He is a very successful man who never once puts family second behind work. He travels a lot for his job and growing up we really only saw him on the weekends, but I never felt deserted. My dad knows how much I appreciate everything he has done for our family, I tell him in every Father’s Day and Birthday card. Yes, I’m one of those softies who just can’t buy the funny card – no matter how fitting.
Wedding photography by Cher Hanna
My dad’s birthday dinner is typically pierogi. It’s the test batch before Christmas Eve. With pierogi already on the blog Dad got free reign on the recipe I should post today. He asked for Chicharrones de pollo. Of course I couldn’t say no.
My father’s family is from the Dominican Republic, my dad was the first born in the states. So really this was a perfect dish to feature today. I don’t make Dominican food nor have I ever really eaten it. Dominican food is very similar to Cuban and Puerto Rican cuisine. I didn’t know if he had a recipe in mind and when I asked he pointed me in the direction of my aunt to get his mom’s recipe. But, of course my grandmother didn’t write down the recipe! So I found a couple versions of this classic Dominican dish and followed my aunt’s advice. I looked at the ratios of the ingredients in the marinade to adjust the quantity and added some seasonings. My aunt uses Ranchero Sazon de Criollo in her recipe but I don’t have that Dominican all-purpose seasoning on hand, so I had to compromise. I spent hours trying to find the ingredient list for this spice blend but had zero luck. Both of the recipes I used for inspiration put paprika in the flour – a step my aunt doesn’t do. But, because I don’t have Ranchero Sazon de Criollo I figured it’d help give it some more of the flavors I was missing.
Never having eaten Chicharrones de Pollo (at least that I’m aware of) I don’t know if my flavors were right, but I do know they were delicious. And funnily enough, the smell of the marinade made me think of my grandmother, the aroma was very comforting, so I knew I was at least on a good path. This fried chicken has a thin, perfectly crispy coating and a very bright flavor. I will definitely be looking for more Dominican recipes to add to my repertoire. I served the chicharrones with rice and beans.
Chicharrones de Pollo
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 8 tbsp lime juice (100 mL, between 1/3 – 1/2 C)
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp salt, divided use
- 1 1/4 lb chicken breast, cubed
- 1 C flour
- 1 tsp paprika
- vegetable oil, for frying
- In a small bowl whisk together Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, lime juice, garlic powder, onion powder, and 1/2 tsp salt. Place in a plastic bag with the cubed chicken. Let marinate overnight.
- Fill a high sided skillet with 2-3″ vegetable oil. Heat over medium-high heat until oil shimmers. Test oil temperature by tossing in a pinch of flour, if it sizzles you’re good to go!
- In a shallow bowl mix flour, paprika, and 1/2 tsp salt.
- Gently shake excess marinade off chicken and toss in flour mixture. Knock off excess flour.
- Fry chicken in hot oil in batches of 10-12 pieces for 2-3 minutes, flip and cook another 1-2 minutes, until nuggets are golden brown. Remove to paper towel lined plate.
And I can’t write a post about my father without using his tag line: Do your best.