Pure Lust. This Coca Cola Chicken is seasoned with fresh garlic, curry, and cumin, sauteed until golden and then smothered in a perfectly thick, glossy, savory sweet Coca Cola Sauce. Incredibly tender. Perfect over some fluffy rice. You’ll end up licking your finger, with an addiction to Coca Cola Chicken… as weird as it may sound.
The Best Coca Cola Chicken Recipe
Hey guys! Welcome to my all-time favorite chicken recipe: Coca Cola Chicken. The Latin American version. Pollo a la Coca Cola.
YES, really. You’ll need to take my word on this one and give it a try because you’ll actually get addicted.
This chicken turns out incredibly *INCREDIBLY* tender because it’s simmered in a deliciously sticky savory sweet Coca Cola sauce. I love serving this over some fluffy rice for obvious reasons. I mean, all that glossy sticky sauce paired with some rice? OMG YES.
Now. The best part is obviously the freakin sauce *but* let me tell you about the seasoning. This chicken is seasoned with a homemade aliño made with fresh garlic, curry powder, cumin, salt, pepper, and a few teaspoons of water.
Well, in case you’re wandering: “aliño” is kind of an umbrella term for what you use to season your food. It can be a dry spice blend or a wet one, like the one we’re making today. It’s very easy to make (you just add all the ingredients to a small bowl and mix) but very convenient to use because you just rub it on the bird and the bird turns out absolutely packed with flavor!
Shall we begin?
Ingredients for Coca Cola Chicken
- Chicken. I love using drumsticks because they turn out wonderfully tender and you can snag one and eat it with your hands which I love because this recipe just calls for finger licking and all that lustful stuff. *But* you can also use thighs, breasts, or even cutlets. You may need to adjust the cooking times though.
- Garlic. Use fresh garlic because you want *all* the flavor!
- Cumin. Use ground cumin.
- Curry. You can use curry powder or even garam masala, it’s up to you and what you’ve got on hand.
- Black pepper for extra flavor.
- Water. You’ll need this to wet the spice blend so you can create a wet paste that you’ll rub on the chicken before sauteing it. You’ll also need some extra water later on, for the sauce.
- Oil. You can use sunflower, vegetable, canola, or even olive oil.
- Coca Cola. You can also use Pepsi. Or off brand, to be honest.
- Ketchup for the sauce.
- Cornstarch. Now, this is optional. In Latinoamerica, you won’t catch them adding cornstarch to the Coca Cola sauce so feel free to skip it if you want it to be authentic but you’ll get a runnier sauce (thin, just like Coca Cola). I ⏤ on the other hand ⏤ am a big fan of thick, glossy, and sticky so I like to add some cornstarch to thicken up the sauce. It’s up to you!
- Prepare the aliño. Add the garlic, cumin, curry, salt, pepper, and water to a small bowl. Mix until combined. The mixture should have a paste-like consistency, but slightly thinner. This is your homemade aliño.
- Season the chicken. Rub your prepared aliño onto the chicken.
- Cook the chicken. Add the oil to a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, add the chicken and saute until golden and fragrant (do not move it around). Flip and saute until golden again.
- Add the Coca Cola to the chicken, lower the heat, cover the skillet and simmer until the Coca Cola has cooked down a bit. Add the ketchup over the top of the chicken, then flip the chicken and cover again. Cook covered.
- Thicken up the sauce. This step is optional. If you want a thin, runny sauce, skip it. Add some water and cornstarch to a small bowl. Mix until the cornstarch has dissolved completely, then add it to the skillet, mix well, and cook uncovered until the sauce has thickened to your liking. Keep in mind that the sauce will continue thickening when cooling down so don’t thicken it up too much.
- Serve over rice.
What to eat with Coca Cola Chicken
Since this is the Latin American version of Coca Cola Chicken, I highly recommend you pair this dish with:
- A zesty Curtido Salad (diced tomatoes, finely sliced red onions, salt, and tons of lime juice)
- Cucumber salad (thinly sliced cucumbers, salt, and tons of lime juice)
- Fried eggs
- Onion salad (thinly sliced onions and lime juice)
- Maduros (fried ripe plantains)
- Chifles (fried green plantains)
- Latin-style beans
- Latin-style lentils
For an over-the-top marry-me dinner I typically do: Coca Cola Chicken + rice + Curtido Salad or just Onion Salad + Beans + Maduros. Your man is gonna *love* you. Trust me on this combo and steal this idea, you’re welcome! 💘
Can I make this ahead of time?
Because of the sauce, this dish is best eaten as it’s made so no I wouldn’t recommend making it ahead of time.
How do you store Coca Cola Chicken?
Store any leftovers in an air-tight container or in the original skillet covered in the refrigerator for up to 1-2 days. Reheat on the stovetop with a splash of Coca Cola to loosen up the sauce.
HAPPY COOKING!! I hope you’ll love this Coke Chicken recipe as much as I do!
PS: Please leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating ⭐️ if you make it! Your comments make my day!! You can also tag me on Instagram @itsdamnspicy 🌈💘
More Latin American Recipes you’ll love:
- Turkey Meatballs in Guava Sauce
- Arroz De Fiesta (Yellow “Party Rice” with Chicken)
- Cheesy Pan De Yuca (Cheese Bread)
- Empanadas De Viento (Perfect Cheese Empanadas)
The Best Coca Cola Chicken
- 1 lb (453 g) chicken (I like drumsticks but thighs, breasts or cutlets will work too, just make sure you adjust the cooking times)
- 3 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp curry powder (or garam masala)
- Salt and pepper (to taste)
- 2 tsp water
- 1 and 1/2 cups (375 ml) Coca Cola (or Pepsi or any brand)
- 2 and 1/2 tbsp ketchup
- 2 tsp water (for the cornstarch)
- 1 and 1/2 tsp cornstarch (optional, to thicken up the sauce)
- Prepare the aliño. Add the garlic, cumin, curry, salt, pepper, and 2 tsp of water to a small bowl. Mix until combined. The mixture should have a paste-like consistency, but slightly thinner. This is your homemade aliño.
- Season the chicken. Rub your prepared aliño onto the chicken.
- Cook the chicken. Add the oil to a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, add the chicken and saute until golden and fragrant, about 7 minutes (do not move it around). Flip and saute until golden again, another 5-6 minutes.
- Add the Coca Cola to the chicken, lower the heat, cover the skillet and simmer for 25 minutes. Add the ketchup over the top of the chicken, then flip the chicken and cover again. Cook covered for another 10-15 minutes.
- Thicken up the sauce. This step is optional. If you want a thin, runny sauce, skip it. Add 2 tsp of water and cornstarch to a small bowl. Mix until the cornstarch has dissolved completely, then add the mixture to the skillet, mix well, and cook uncovered until the sauce has thickened to your liking. Keep in mind that the sauce will continue thickening when cooling down so don't thicken it up too much.
📷 DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?!