Restaurant Recipes

Havana Harry's Chicken Vaca Frita

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  • 2 pounds chicken legs and thighs
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 head garlic, cloves slightly mashed to loosen skins
  • 3/4 cup bitter (Seville) orange juice
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh oregano
  • 1/8 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 onions, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 4 to 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper


  1. Place the chicken and bay leaf in a stockpot. Cover with water by an inch and bring to a boil; skim and discard impurities.
  2. Turn heat down and cook, covered, at a lively simmer for about 45 minutes or until meat falls off the bones.
  3. Strain, reserve cooking liquid for another use. Discard chicken skin and bones.
  4. When chicken is cool enough to handle, shred into strips with your hands. Reserve.
  5. To make the mojo, heat 2 tablespoons oil in a heavy skillet and lightly sauté the garlic until it begins to color, 1 or 2 minutes.
  6. Remove garlic with a slotted spoon; slip skins off and mince.
  7. Remove pan from the heat and add the minced garlic, citrus juices, pepper, oregano and cumin; stir well and reheat.
  8. Transfer to a bowl and keep warm.
  9. In the same skillet heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil and sauté shredded chicken and onions over medium-high heat until the meat is brown and crisp, stirring in minced garlic halfway through.
  10. Season with salt and pepper.
  11. Transfer to serving platter.
  12. Pour mojo over.


Havana Harry's - Coral Gables, Florida

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