Foods of The World - Potluck

This is a savory dish, wonderfully complemented by sweet amarillos, the recipe for which also follows. It may seem a little strange--rice and potatoes?!--so let me just say, a Puerto Rican diet is not for the faint of heart, or for those watching their carbs! But trust me, once you get a whiff of this while it's cooking, you won't care how many calories or carbs are in it. If you feel the need to assuage any guilt, though, serve it with a salad.

Pollo Guisado con Papas
Stewed Chicken with Potatoes

6 chicken pieces (I use boneless, skinless thighs, but it's your preference)
2 or 3 large Russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 large sweet onion, cubed
6 - 12 cloves garlic, minced (depends how much you like garlic!); can substitute minced garlic you buy in a jar
12 green olives (you can always pick them out if you don't like them, but cook with them for flavor)
1 8-oz can tomato sauce
1 Cup white cooking wine
1 Cup olive oil (if you're concerned about the amount, you can reduce it, but I wouldn't go less than 1/2 a Cup)
1/4 Cup white vinegar
1/4 - 1/2 tsp salt

Combine everything in a large pot, stirring to coat the chicken and vegetables with the sauce mixture. Push the chicken down, covering it with the vegetables, to keep it tender and ensure it cooks through.

Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium high. Keep at a steady boil, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and stir, ensuring the chicken is covered again. Cook 30 more minutes. Check potatoes for tenderness; if necessary, cook an additional 15 minutes. If you don't serve it immediately, reduce heat to low and cover.

Serve over white rice with amarillos on the side.

Fried Plantains

These sweet, fried plantains (platanos) are called amarillos in Puerto Rico, and maduros in Cuba. Amarillo means yellow in Spanish, and maduro means mature or ripe, so they're both apt names for the ripe, yellow plantains used to make them!

Ripe plantains (also known as green bananas), 1 plantain per 2 people should be enough
Olive oil (or vegetable oil, if you prefer)

Allow plantains to ripen at room temperature until yellow with black spotting, to the point where they almost look spoiled. Depending on how green they are when you buy them, this could take a week or more, so plan accordingly. You can speed the ripening process by storing the plantains in a brown paper bag with a small apple. Just be sure to keep a close watch on them to prevent spoiling! This is what they should look like.

Using a very sharp knife, cut off the ends of the plantain and split the skin down the length of it. The fruit inside should be pinkish-yellow. Carefully peel. A plantain's skin is thinner than a banana's, and it adheres a bit more to the fruit when it's ripe, so it's not as easily peeled as a banana. Cut off any bruised spots.

Pour oil into a shallow frying pan, about 3/4 inch deep. Heat oil over medium heat. While the oil is heating up, slice plantains into wedges, about 1/4 inch thick.

Place plantain wedges in oil but do not overlap them.

Fry, turning once, until deep golden brown. Drain on paper towels.

Serve and eat together. The two flavors mixing and melting in your mouth...heaven!

You can reheat leftover pollo guisado in the microwave or on the stove top, but I recommend reheating amarillos on a lightly greased or foil-covered baking sheet in the oven or toaster oven at about 300 degrees for just a few minutes.

I hope you enjoy this meal as much as I do. ¡Buen provecho!


Bonnie said...

I was just sitting here at my computer and saw this come in, Michelle !! It looks delicious !! I can't wait to try it. I may put it on my menu for next week ... I'll have to look around and see if I can get plantains here ... Thank you so much for participating !!! Did you see that we are doing Espana next month !?! WOO HOO !!

Michelle Lyttle Hauser said...

Thanks Bonnie, I hope you do find them and can try it! If you can't find them, I'll send you some. Yes, I saw you're doing Espana! Yum! Can't wait to see what that brings! Thank you so much for the invitation to participate. This was so much fun! Of course, the best part was eating the food! ;-)

Sabba and Nanny said...

Looks delicious, Michelle, and I love your use of language, especially the sprinkling of foreign words and phrases throughout. ¡Buen provecho!indeed.

Michelle Lyttle Hauser said...

Mrs. Switzer, I just now saw your comment! I'm not as savvy a blogger as Bonnie is. Thank you for your kind words. I love language, and do speak Spanish, so it was only second nature to include it. :-)