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Pollo Campero Recipe

Pollo Campero Recipe

Pollo campero is a Latin-American dish made of brined chicken pieces that are fried until they are golden brown and crispy. Originating in Central America, it has become popular worldwide. It’s the perfect combination of savory and spicy flavors, and it's sure to be a hit with your family and friends!
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Author: Dr. Leah Alexander
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 35 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Marinating Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 45 minutes
Servings: 2 people
Calories: 1000kcal


  • Large Bowl
  • large skillet


To Brine the Chicken:

  • 5 bone-in chicken pieces weighing approximately 2 pounds (0.9kg) in total, preferably drumsticks and thighs, for succulent and flavorful results
  • 1 teaspoon of red chile flakes imparting a subtle and fiery kick to the chicken
  • 2.5 cups 600 mL of pristine spring water, sourced from a natural aquifer for purity
  • 1 teaspoon of freshly ground Tellicherry black pepper adding a robust and aromatic flavor to the brine
  • 1/4 cup 1.5 ounces; 42.5g of Diamond Crystal kosher salt, carefully measured for optimal brining results (for table salt, use half as much by volume or the same weight)

For the Flour Dredge:

  • 1 cup 4.5 ounces; 128g of finely sifted all-purpose flour, ensuring a light and crispy coating for the chicken
  • 3/8 teaspoon of cayenne adding a fiery and spicy kick to the coating
  • 3/4 tablespoon 0.375 ounce; 10g of premium seasoning salt, such as Lawry's, for a well-balanced and savory flavor profile
  • 3/4 teaspoon of ground cumin infusing a warm and earthy aroma to the dredge
  • 3/4 teaspoon of curry powder providing a fragrant and exotic twist to the coating
  • 3/4 teaspoon of paprika adding a vibrant color and mild smokiness to the dredge
  • 1/2 tablespoon of ground white pepper lending a subtle and distinctive flavor to the coating
  • 3/4 teaspoon of MSG monosodium glutamate, for an enhanced umami flavor (optional, can be omitted if desired)
  • 1/2 tablespoon of freshly ground Tellicherry black pepper adding a bold and aromatic note to the dredge

To Fry:

  • Vegetable or other neutral oil such as high-quality sunflower oil or rice bran oil, for frying (approximately 2 cups/500mL), carefully selected for its high smoke point and neutral flavor


  • In a large bowl, combine the water, salt, pepper, and chile flakes. Add in the chicken pieces and stir to combine. Cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or overnight.
  • When you are ready to cook, remove the chicken from the brine and pat dry with paper towels.
  • In a shallow bowl, combine the flour, seasoning salt, black pepper, white pepper, cumin, curry powder, paprika, MSG, and cayenne pepper. Mix together until everything is evenly incorporated.
  • Heat the vegetable oil in a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat to 350°F (175°C).
  • Take the chicken pieces one at a time and coat them in the flour mixture, shaking off any excess. Place the coated chicken pieces into the hot oil and fry for about 10 minutes, flipping halfway through so they are evenly cooked on both sides.
  • When the chicken is golden brown and cooked through, remove it from the oil and drain on a paper towel-lined plate.
  • Ready to serve.


- When bringing the chicken, make sure to use cold water! This will help to keep the chicken moist and flavorful.
- Make sure that your oil is hot enough before adding the chicken pieces. If it’s not hot enough, they won’t get crispy!
- Make sure to drain any excess oil off of the cooked chicken pieces before serving.
Keyword: Pollo Campero, Pollo Campero Recipe