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How to Make Pollo Frito y Aranitas

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This Instructable will teach you how to make two traditional Puerto Rican foods: a side called Arañitas (Spanish for "little spiders") and pollo frito ("fried chicken").  Anyone can make these simple dishes; if you can make ramen, then you can make these.  It may help if you have experience cooking chicken or frying food, though it is not at all necessary.

The history of Arañitas and Pollo Frito is quite the mystery.  Many believe that Arañitas is a Spanish variation on a dish introduced to Puerto Rico by African immigrants.  Pollo Frito seems to be the Spanish take on chicken, similar in ways to the many other variations found throughout the world.

Arañitas is a traditional variation of the salty side: Puerto Rico's "French Fry."  They can be served with meat, rice, or as simple snacks.  Pollo frito is a common dish found at family gatherings or community events served as a main dish.  Pairing these two together gives you a complete meal with a taste very different from American cuisine, and even from typical "Mexican food" eaten in America.

This dish will take 15 minutes of prep time, and 20 minutes of cooking, giving you a complete meal in just over half an hour.

When you finish cooking, you will enjoy a wonderful traditional dish from the island of Puerto Rico!
 
 
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Step 2: Cut Plantain Ends

Picture of Cut Plantain Ends
Cut the ends off the plantain similar to how you would remove the ends of a banana.  Make the cuts apx. 1 to 1.5 in from each end.  Cut completely through the plantain and discard the ends.

Step 3: Slice the Back of the Plantain

Picture of Slice the Back of the Plantain
While holding the plantain still, cut along the back of the plantain.  It is okay if you end up cutting the plantain fruit slightly.
mdeblasi14 years ago
Scooch, Since there is no batter coating on the chicken, it turns out to be better for you than the plantains. Wait, I'll explain. Without a crispy crust to isolate the chicken fat from the frying fat, the delicious schmaltz stays right where it is, in the chicken. Furthermore, the crispy coating would have also absorbed some of the frying grease, further ratcheting up the cholesterol count. No coating, and the chicken fat dissolves into the cooking oil and you have a piece of bird with less fat than you started out with. The plantains, on the other hand, are all starch and are going to absorb some of what ever fat you cook them in. That in mind, if you cook the plantain latkes after you've cooked the uncoated chicken, you should have some marvelous chicken flavored Aranitas. Yours, Marya
Thank you so much! My DIL is a native of Puerto Rico, and misses home-cooking. However, she doesn't know how to cook. I will try this on her the next family meal. Most cordially, Nehmah
_mystical_k4 years ago
Hace tiempo que no tengo arañitas! Increíble que vivo aquí y no se hacerlas. Para eso es la vida, para aprender. Guess who's going to make these later on.
jaysbob4 years ago
awesome! their like little plantain latkes! I'll have to try this.
seamster4 years ago
Nice! This makes me want some tostones too!
scoochmaroo4 years ago
Yes, I will be making this. This uses green plantains?
I may secretly do a baked version of the chicken to try and lower my fried intake for the day :)
andrewa (author)  scoochmaroo4 years ago
Yes, it used green plantains. You can find them at Wal*Mart or your local grocery store. And the chicken is admittedly not the healthiest, but it's very good!
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