Tuesday, December 05, 2006
Asopao de Pollo - hearty chicken stew w/ olives & capers
I love to make this rich and comforting dish in the winter time - it has its origins in Puerto Rico and I'm told that every cook in Puerto Rico has his or her own recipe for it. This one was passed on to me from an old friend, and it really hits the spot!
Take one whole chicken, cut it up and rinse it all over.
Liberally coat a large heavy bottomed soup pan with olive oil and add a clove of crushed garlic. Brown the chicken over medium-high heat on both sides - you may need to do this in batches, so be patient! Drink some of that mulled wine while you're waiting...
Once the chicken pieces are all brown, turn the heat down a bit and add a big can of tomato sauce or tomato puree, about 6 - 8 cloves of crushed garlic, one thinly sliced onion, 4 - 6 coursely chopped carrots, one bunch of coarsely chopped cilantro (stems and all!), one small jar of rinsed capers (WITHOUT brine) and one small to medium jar of green olives - brine and all. Add enough water so the chicken is completely covered.
Simmer over medium-low heat for about an hour or until chicken is succulent and tender, and serve with rice. In this case I made baked rice w/ roasted jalapeno-tomato salsa, a Mexican recipe from Rick Bayless. When you can't travel all over the world, I guess the next best thing is enjoying the foods of other cultures...