Vaca Frita de Pollo (Cuban-style Crispy Shredded Chicken)

Vaca Frita de Pollo (Cuban-style Crispy Shredded Chicken)
Yield: 4
Author: Ana Marti
Vaca Frita de Pollo (Cuban-style Crispy Shredded Chicken)

Vaca Frita de Pollo (Cuban-style Crispy Shredded Chicken)

Prep time: 5 MCook time: 20 MTotal time: 25 M


  • 2 lb chicken breast
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 2 tbsp cilantro, chopped
  • Juice of 2 or 3 limes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 3 tbsp oil (canola, vegetable or olive oil)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 3 cups water (reserve ¾ cup cooking water)


  1. In a pressure cooker or medium saucepan, add chicken breast, 3 cups water, bay leaf, ½ tsp salt.
  2. If using a pressure cooker, cook the chicken for 10 minutes. If using a saucepan, start cooking the chicken on high heat and bring the water to a boil. As soon as the water boils, lower the temperature to medium-low and cover with a lid. Cook the chicken for 20 minutes.
  3. Once the chicken is done, set it aside to cool and reserve ¾ cup of the chicken broth. When the chicken is cooled enough to handle, shred using your hands or two forks.
  4. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil. Once the oil is hot, cook the onion for 1 to 2 minutes, add the garlic cook for another minute. Add the shredded chicken, oregano, cumin, salt, and pepper. Mix all the ingredients and make sure everything is in a single layer and cook the chicken for 5 minutes.
  5. After five minutes, add the chicken broth, and cook for another minute or so, then add the lime juice and cilantro.
  6. Mix everything one last time and place it in a single layer again. Once the liquid evaporates, the chicken will start to develop crispy bits. Stir the chicken and cook for a couple more minutes until the other side develops nice color and crispiness.
  7. Remove from the stove and enjoy!

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