• 1 whole chicken (3-5 lbs)

  • 3/4 cup wheat flour

  • 2 cups lard*

  • 2 cups vegetable oil*

Adobo (per pound of chicken):

  • 1 large garlic clove

  • 1 tsp olive oil

  • 1/2 tsp fresh lime juice

  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano, or 1 tsp fresh oregano

  • 1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper

  • 1 tsp salt (or to taste)

1. Grind adobo ingredients into a thick paste using a pilón, large mortar and pestle, or food processor, starting with the garlic and salt then incorporating remaining ingredients. Set aside.

2. Wash and dry chicken, leaving the skin intact. Using a sharp knife, chop whole chicken into 2-inch chunks, leaving the meat on the bones.

3. Put chicken pieces in a large bowl and pour on adobo. Mix thoroughly with your hands to evenly coat each piece, being sure to get under the skin. Cover and let marinate in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour, or overnight.

4. Once marinated, put chicken in a plastic bag and add wheat flower. Mix well to evenly cover chicken pieces. In a large, deep sauté or fry pan, combine lard and vegetable oil. Over medium-high heat, bring oil to 400°.

5. Meanwhile, line a large dish with paper towels.

6. Working in batches, add chicken pieces until pan until full but not over-crowded. Fry chicken for 7-10 minutes, turning once halfway through, until golden brown on the outside.

7. Once browned, remove chicken from pan and place on lined dish to drain excess oil. Let cool for a few minutes.

8. Sprinkle with lemon juice and serve with hot sauce on the side. 

*You can use all lard or all vegetable oil if you prefer, but combining the oils gives the chicken a distinctly delicious porky flavor without being too heavy. 

Von Diaz
Von Diaz is a writer and radio producer based in New York City. Her work has been featured on NPR, StoryCorps, WNYC, PRI’s The World, BuzzFeed, Colorlines and Feet in 2 Worlds.