Frango a Passarinho (Brazilian Fried Chicken)

Frango a Passarinho (Brazilian Fried Chicken)

As some of my friends know I consider Rio de Janeiro, Brazil as my 4th home. My 1st home is Manila where I grew up, 2nd is NYC where I moved after college and built my career and 3rd is Fort Lauderdale where I currently live.  I've been to Rio a few times and would move there if only I can speak Portuguese.  This dish is one that I must have whenever I visit.  This version of fried chicken is very flavorful and best enjoyed while it is still warm.  I introduced this to mom and she loves it!!



  1. In a medium bowl, season chicken pieces with salt and pepper. Squeeze the juice of one lime and throw lime rind in there as well. Add the crushed garlic, the onion slices and mix well.  Pour the buttermilk and marinate covered in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes or better overnight.

  2. Remove the chicken pieces from the marinade, pat dry with a paper towel and place the chicken pieces in a clean platter

  3. Mix together the flour and cornstarch with 1 tsp salt and dust the chicken pieces.

  4. Heat up about 2 tbsp of oil to a deep pot and fry lime slices to use as garnish and to flavor the oil. Once limes are fried transfer to a paper towel lined plate to absorb excess oil.

  5. Add about 2 more tbsp of oil to the pan and fry the garlic slices until they are golden brown, then remove them from the heat and place them with the fried lime slices and set aside.

  6. Add the rest of the oil to the same pot and heat to 350 degrees F

  7. Working in small batches, fry in hot oil until golden brown and internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F(about 10 minutes), then remove them and place in a tray lined with paper towels.

  8. Arrange fried chicken in a platter with the fried lime slices and fried garlic chips. Season with some more salt and pepper according to your liking.  Serve with a glass of Caipirinha and enjoy!!

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