Chicharron de Pollo at Fritanga


  • The chicharron de pollo at Fritanga
Welcome to Try This Now, in which Gut Check writers recommend new dishes, drinks and more that you need to try right now.

Since I last visited Fritanga (2208 South Jefferson Avenue; 314-664-7777), the excellent Nicaraguan restaurant has added several items to its menu, including chicharron de pollo.

Yeah, it's fried chicken. And, yeah, it's pretty freakin' good.

As you can see in the picture above, the chicken (a breast and wing) is hacked into small pieces. This provides at least one advantage: the ratio of meat to crisp, light batter is much closer to even than it is in a whole fried chicken breast.

The chicken is marinated in lemon juice prior to deep-frying, which gives the flavor a pleasantly bright edge. This also helped compensate for the breast meat being just a touch on the dry side. (The wing meat was pretty much ideal, though of course there wasn't much of it.)

For an added kick of flavor, to each piece I added a dollop of Fritanga's awesome homemade chimichurri sauce, tart and spicy.

The chicharron de pollo is also a fantastic deal. At lunch, the entire plate -- chicken, rice and beans and fried plantains (tajadas) topped with a light, mildly tart slaw -- costs $7.50.

Update: (Monday, 6.14, 11:15 a.m.) A colleague ran into Fritanga owner Orlando Hidalgo over the weekend. Hidalgo told him that this is a Dominican recipe.

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