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What is chicharron de pollo made of?

Chicharron de pollo is a popular fried chicken dish in many Latin American cuisines. It consists of small pieces of chicken that are seasoned, breaded, and deep fried until crispy. The dish is beloved for its crunchy texture and robust chicken flavor.

Main Ingredients

The main ingredients in chicharron de pollo are:

  • Chicken – Small pieces or cubes of chicken, usually from the breast or thigh.
  • Breading – A coating of flour, breadcrumbs, cornmeal, or masa harina.
  • Oil – For frying, usually vegetable or canola oil.
  • Seasonings – Salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, chili powder, etc.

Preparation Method

Here are the basic steps for making chicharron de pollo:

  1. Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces, about 1-2 inches. Pat dry thoroughly.
  2. Season the chicken pieces with salt, pepper, garlic powder, cumin, and other spices of choice.
  3. Coat the chicken in the breading of choice – flour, breadcrumbs, cornmeal, or masa harina all work well.
  4. Fry the breaded chicken in hot oil (350°F) until golden brown and crispy, about 2-5 minutes per batch.
  5. Drain the fried chicken on paper towels and season again if desired.
  6. Serve hot, garnished with lime wedges, sliced avocado, cilantro, etc.


There are many regional and family variations on chicharron de pollo:

  • Mexicans often use masa harina for breading.
  • In Honduras, they add queso fresco on top.
  • Cubans marinate the chicken in mojo criollo (citrus garlic marinade).
  • Puerto Ricans add pique creole seasoning to the flour coating.
  • Peruvians garnish it with Rocoto pepper sauce.

The dish can be accompanied by rice, beans, fried plantains, or served as street food with warm tortillas.

Cultural Importance

Chicharron de pollo holds cultural significance in many Latin communities:

  • It’s a popular celebratory food for gatherings and parties.
  • Street vendors sell it as an affordable, on-the-go snack.
  • The crunchiness represents the desire for “good crackling” in life – prosperity, success, and good luck.
  • Frying it is a social event – friends and family gather to fry up a big batch together.
  • The recipe connects people to their Latin heritage and traditions.


Since chicharron de pollo is deep fried, it is high in fat and calories. A 3 oz (85g) serving provides:

Nutrient Amount
Calories 230
Fat 16 g
Protein 12 g
Carbs 7 g

While not the healthiest, chicharron de pollo is fine in moderation as part of an overall balanced diet. It provides protein, vitamins and minerals from the chicken.

Cost Analysis

Chicharron de pollo is relatively inexpensive to make at home. Here is a typical cost breakdown for 4 servings:

Ingredient Cost
1 lb chicken breast $3
1 cup flour $0.15
1 tsp seasoning $0.05
Oil for frying $0.50
Total $3.70
Per serving $0.93

At $0.93 per serving, it provides a budget-friendly chicken dinner. Buying it from a restaurant or food truck would be more expensive at $3-5 per serving.


Chicharron de pollo is a popular Latin American dish of fried chicken that is beloved for its crispy texture. It mainly consists of chicken, breading like masa harina, and oil for frying. Preparation involves cutting the chicken, seasoning, breading and frying until golden brown. It has many variations across regions and holds cultural significance. While high in fat and calories, it can be enjoyed moderately as part of a healthy diet. Making chicharron de pollo at home is also very budget-friendly.