Filipino-style Fried Chicken

Filipino-style Fried Chicken marinated in citrus and spices and fried to golden perfection. Tasty and crunchy, it’s sure to be a family favorite!

This Filipino-style Fried Chicken recipe was first posted in 2013 but I am republishing it today with an improved method and a few helpful tips.

I am so glad to finally have new photos for these crispy chicken! Every time I made them, they never last long enough for a quick photo shoot. G and I would literally hover over the hot stove and fight over each piece hot and fresh from the skillet. Golden and crunchy on the outside and juicy and tasty on the inside, they’re absolutely mouthwatering!

I often use buttermilk to marinate the chicken, but when I am in the mood for Pinoy flavors, I switch to a mixture of calamansi juice, soy sauce, and minced fresh garlic instead.

While the marinated chicken pieces are amazing fried as is, a light yet crisp breading makes them doubly scrumptious! The original recipe didn’t call for baking powder but I learned this trick from a friend who makes the best popcorn chicken ever and I have applied it on a lot of our favorite breaded foods. Works like a charm. 🙂

Tips on How to Make Filipino-style Fried Chicken:

  • Do NOT marinade the chicken for more than 4 hours as the high acidity in the calamansi will break down the muscle fibers and will turn the meat from tender to mushy.
  • Calamansi has a slightly sweeter taste than lemon so if you’re swapping the latter for the former, add a pinch or two of sugar.

  • For extra crispy texture, add 1 part of cornstarch for 3 parts of flour. I like to season the flour mixture with just salt and pepper but feel free to experiment with other dried herbs and spices such as garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne, paprika, dried parsley flakes, Italian seasoning, or curry powder.
  • Use oil with high-smoke points such as peanut, grapeseed, canola or safflower oil.

  • Correct temperature allows the breading to adhere well and keeps the food from absorbing too much grease. Fry at the optimal range of 350 F to 375 F and do not overcrowd the pan to prevent the temperature from plummeting.
  • Fry in batches as needed so the chicken pieces have enough room to cook freely. Make sure to heat the oil back to 350 F before adding the next batch.
  • Do not drain fried foods on paper towels as this will make them soggy. Drain instead on a wire rack set over a baking sheet or in a metal colander set over a bowl.

Give this Filipino-style fried chicken a try for dinner tonight. Serve with your favorite vegetable side dish (may I recommend chop suey?) and steamed rice for a guaranteed family hit!

If you’d like to serve it with gravy, check out this easy recipe below.

How to Make Delicious Gravy a la Jollibee

  • In a saucepan over medium heat, heat 1/4 cup butter until melted. Sprinkle in 1/4 cup flour and whisk until smooth and blended.
  • Continue to cook, stirring regularly, for about 2 to 3 minutes or until roux turns lightly golden.
  • Slowly add 2 cups beef stock, whisking vigorously to prevent lumps. Continue to cook until sauce begins to thicken.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste.


Filipino-style Fried Chicken

Filipino-style Fried Chicken marinated in citrus and spices and fried to golden perfection. Tasty and crunchy, it’s sure to be a family favorite!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Marinating4 hrs
Total Time40 mins
 Course: Main Entree
 Cuisine: Filipino
 Keyword: crispy fried chicken, filipino-style fried chicken
 Servings:  Servings
 Calories: 658
 Author: Lalaine Manalo


  • 1/4 cup calamansi or lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1 head garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 pounds chicken legs or thighs
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup corn starch
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • canola oil


  • In a bowl, combine chicken, calamansi juice, soy sauce, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper. Marinate in the refrigerator for about 2 hours to a maximum 4 hours.
  • Drain chicken from marinade and pat dry.
  • In a shallow dish, combine flour, corn starch, baking powder, and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Whisk well.
  • Dredge chicken in flour mixture to fully coat.
  • In a wide, thick-bottomed pan over medium heat, heat about 2 inches deep of oil to 350 F.
  • Add chicken in batches and cook, turning on sides, until golden brown, crisp, and cooked through.
  • Remove from pan and drain on a wire rack. Serve hot.


Calories: 658kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 37g | Fat: 41g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 180mg | Sodium: 2369mg | Potassium: 826mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 180IU | Vitamin C: 8.5mg | Calcium: 169mg | Iron: 3.5mg

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