Chicken

aguadito de pollo – peruvian chicken stew

I’m back baby! Okay, well I’m back with a recipe that Dave made, but that still counts, right? If you took a gander at my previous post you know I’ve been on the struggle bus with my cooking mojo lately – but I think it’s making a comeback. Tonight I’m making an alfredo chicken lasagna with spinach, prosciutto and my homemade ricotta cheese. If you see that dish posted soon, you know I’ve succeeded. If it all goes terribly wrong and you never hear from me again, then I’ve left it all behind and run into the woods to live amongst the forest creatures to forage for my food where I belong. 😀

But let’s not dwell on all that. Let’s talk about this deliciousness. Dave was inspired to make this stew because our lovely sister-in-law is Peruvian and she made this dish one year after Thanksgiving (she used the leftover turkey) and Dave has been dreaming of it ever since. It had been years since I’d had it, so I wasn’t pining after it like he was, but I’ll be damned if after the first bite of my first bowl I was already planning on how I could net out more leftover servings than Dave. I was obsessed.

This might look like a fairly straightforward recipe, but I loved, loved, LOVED the freshness and brightness that the heaps of cilantro brought as well as the spice from the serrano pepper. Homemade stock is key here and it’s SO easy, so don’t skip it! And the fact that the stew has both white and dark meat made this stew SING.

I really can’t push this recipe enough (which is okay because it’s not my own) 🙂 Perfect for cozy nights in during the winter when you are craving something a smidge less hefty than a good old pot roast.

Serving: 6-8
Cook Time: 3 Hours

Ingredients
1 whole roasting chicken
1 head of garlic, sliced through the equator
6 sprigs of thyme
1 tsp kosher salt
8 black peppercorns
1/2 cup olive oil
1 medium chopped onion
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 serrano chili pepper, seeded and minced
1 cup chopped cilantro
1 cup frozen green peas
1 cup corn
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
10 cups chicken broth
1 large yukon gold potato, chopped into bite-sized pieces
1 1/2 cup uncooked white rice

First, to make the stock, break down the chicken. Place the pieces in a large dutch oven and fill the pot with 12 cups of water. Throw in the thyme, peppercorns, salt, and garlic head (cut through the equator). Bring this to a boil, then turn down to a simmer for at least an hour and a half, but no more than 2 hours. During the simmering skim any fat off the top and discard. The great thing about this is that your chicken will be super tender and you get amazing stock. Win-win.

Next, remove the chicken into a large bowl and let cool before shredding. Drain the stock through a sieve into a large bowl, set aside. Toss the garlic and herbs.

Before starting the rest of the soup, shred the chicken. I find it’s easiest to do with your hands, but whatever you prefer. Place in a bowl and set aside.

Get another large pot (or the one you just used for the stock) going on medium-high heat. This pot will hold the whole stew, so make sure it’s a big size. Add the olive oil, onion, red pepper, garlic and serrano chili and cook until the onion has softened, about 5 minutes. Next add the 10 cups of stock that you have set to the side. Then add the peas, corn, potatoes and rice and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about an hour. Add the cilantro at the very end and mix well. Serve with a big old piece of crusty bread (which we didn’t have, sad face).

I really hope you give this one a go and let us know what you think!

Cheers!

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