Pollo al Oregano

Oregano Fried Chicken


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves

    4 to 6

Appears in

Oaxaca: Home Cooking from the Heart of Mexico


By Bricia Lopez and Javier Cabral

Published 2019

  • About

This is our version of fried chicken—except we don’t use any extra oil or fat. It gets crispy in its own luscious chicken fat that is rendered as it cooks. It sings with the beautiful floral aroma and flavor of oregano, which adds an herbaceousness to chicken that keeps it from being too heavy. I like my chicken super crispy, almost even burnt, so I let the chicken go until it gets really, really golden brown.


  • 1 whole chicken (about 2 pounds/1 kg), butchered into eight pieces, trimmed of excess fat and skin
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 head of garlic (36 g), cloves separated and peeled
  • teaspoon peppercorns (about 10 peppercorns)
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes, cubed and cooked


Season the chicken with the salt and lime juice. Let sit for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a mortar and pestle, grind the garlic, peppercorns, oregano, and cumin.

In a large skillet, bring 2 cups (480 ml) of water to a boil and add the chicken. Cook for about 45 minutes, removing any impurities that rise to the top. When the water evaporates, add the ground spices.

Lower the heat and stir constantly, allowing the chicken to brown, scraping up every bit of brown on the pan. Toss in the cooked potatoes and allow them to get crispy. Taste for seasoning and serve.