Honduran Pollo Ceibeño Redefines the Hearty Plate of Chicken

Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Miami and help keep the future of New Times free.

Forget amber-colored quarters propped alongside mashed potatoes and watery, over-mayonnaised coleslaw. Honduran restaurants offer their own, far superior version called pollo ceibeño, or ceibeño de pollo depending upon where you order it. Named for and popularized in La Ceiba, a port town on Honduras' north coast, it's a foundation of fried plantains topped with roasted or fried chicken thighs and a heap of cabbage dressed with an array of toppings.

At the base of it all rest the tajadas. Green plantains are sliced into elongated ovals that are bathed in hot oil until their outermost layer hardens to a crunch. At some places, such as Orgullo Catracho on Calle Ocho, they're sliced paper-thin ($10.95). At El Gallito Coffee Shop off Flagler Street, they're far thicker ($9), as though moments from being smashed and refried into tostones.

El Gallito fries its bird with a craggy KFC-style coating that's salty and spicy. Orgullo's crisp-skinned, breadless version is prepared on a rotisserie. Though both spots top their chicken with a mountain of shredded cabbage, Orgullo crowns it all with a chunky tomato salsa and then leaves you free to pile on as much or as little of the lavender curtido -- a spicy pickled mix of onions and carrots -- as you like. El Gallito deploys crema, pink sauce, and a pineapple sauce often found on Colombian hot dogs.

A waitress at Orgullo says almost anything can be prepared a la ceiba, and most final versions depend upon how the cooks learned to make the dish. In Honduras, it's also a common preparation for fish, pulled from the water, cross-hatched, and then slapped into hot oil before being sandwiched between the cabbage and tajadas. Such variations open up a world of possibilities. Dinner could be prepared a la ceiba every night.

Follow Short Order on Facebook, on Twitter @Short_Order, and Instagram @ShortOrder.

For more follow Zach on Twitter or Instagram.

Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Miami.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Miami.