Pollo Campero–Seasoned Fried Plantain Chips

[Above photograph: Karla Vasquez. Recipe step photographs: Tim Chin]

These crispy and peppery fried plantain chips sport a spiced seasoning that will be familiar to anyone who knows the Pollo Campero restaurant chain, since it’s modeled on their fried chicken seasoning. I’d already gone down the rabbit hole of making a copycat Pollo Campero fried chicken recipe, and I’d also recently published a recipe for basic fried plantain chips, so it seemed obvious to combine the two.

The fried chicken at Pollo Campero, a chain with roots in Guatemala that’s now popular all over Central America and beyond, is one of their signature dishes. While their recipe is a trade secret, I worked out a spice mix that meets my taste memories: complex pepperiness from both white and black pepper, with added heat and aroma from a combination of cumin, curry powder, cayenne, and paprika. MSG adds an essential savory note (yes, you can leave it out, but it won’t be quite the same).

Note that this recipe calls for a mandoline slicer, which produces uniformly thick plantain slices. If you don’t have one, you can also use a vegetable peeler, though the thickness of the slices will vary, depending on the type of peeler you use, and the frying time will consequently be a little different.