Sandra Gutierrez was born in the United States, but she moved with her family to her parents’ homeland, Guatemala, when she was young. Growing up, her life was influenced by both countries. At an American school in Guatemala City, she learned to speak English. At home, she spoke Spanish.

Read more about how Gutierrez combines life in two cultures to create delicious meals.

Latin Fried Chicken with Smoky Ketchup

Yield: 4-6 servings.

For the Chicken:

1 chicken (5-5 ½ pounds), cut into 10 serving pieces
1 ½ cups buttermilk
¼ cup minced cilantro (leaves and tender stems)
2 tablespoons minced chipotle chiles in adobo
1 teaspoon adobo
½ teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
pinch freshly ground black pepper
3 cups self-rising flour
2 teaspoons paprika
1 ½ teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon ancho chile powder
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Vegetable oil for deep-frying (about 4-5 cups)

For the Ketchup:

1 ½ cups ketchup
2 tablespoons minced chipotle chiles in adobo
1 teaspoon adobo
2 teaspoons ancho chile powder

In a large glass bowl, combine the buttermilk, cilantro, chipotle, adobo, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Add the chicken and toss to coat; cover and chill for at least 6 hours (or up to 24).

Preheat the oven to 325˚. Fit two baking pans with metal cooling racks.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, paprika, salt, coriander, garlic powder, cayenne, chile powder, and pepper. Dredge the chicken in the flour mixture and set on one of the prepared racks. Let the chicken air-dry for 5 minutes.

In a large Dutch oven, heat 3½ inches of oil to 360˚. Working in batches, dredge the chicken in the flour mixture a second time; fry the white meat for 8 minutes and the dark meat for 10 minutes, or until the crust is crispy and reddish-brown.

Transfer the fried chicken to the other prepared rack. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thigh of the chicken registers between 180˚ and 185˚ (the juices will run clear when the chicken is pierced with a fork). To keep the chicken warm (up to 1 hour), reduce the oven to 250˚.

In a small bowl, combine the ketchup, chipotle, adobo, and chile powder; chill until ready to use. The ketchup will keep, covered tightly, for up to one week in the refrigerator.

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For several years, Our State featured recipes from the pages of community and church cookbooks from around North Carolina. These dishes continue to be among some of our most popular and enjoyed.