Chicken Fricassee, Puerto Rican or Cuban style, is one of my favorite chicken stews. I like it with rice, red or black beans, and salad. If I have unripe plantains, I also love tostones to complete the meal.
You don’t have to allow the extra time to marinate, but I prefer the flavor of the chicken when I have time for that step. When I am making a stew such as this one, I sometimes marinate right in the pot I am going to use and put it all on the stove once it comes to room temperature.
This reheats very well and tastes even better the next day.
Fricase De Pollo – Chicken Fricassee
4 lb chicken, cut up, or the equivalent # of bone-in pieces of your choice
1 tablespoon cooking oil
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 bell pepper, or 2 mini sweet peppers
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 – 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 teaspoon Penzey’s adobo (or omit, and double the cumin)
1 teaspoon cumin
1-2 bay leaves
4 – 8 ounces canned tomato puree, or 2-4 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1/2 cup orange juice or bitter orange
3-4 potatoes, cut into large chunks
Season chicken with oil, onion, garlic, pepper, and spices. Allow to marinate at least one hour, up to over night.
Bring chicken to room temperature. Heat heavy bottomed pot over high heat. Add chicken, including all seasoning ingredients, and bay leaves. Stir over high heat to brown the chicken for about 5 minutes , then cover the pot and reduce heat to low and allow to cook till chicken and onions to release their juices, about 10 minutes.
Add potatoes, cilantro, juice, and tomato sauce. Stir over med-high heat a couple of minutes.
Add water just to cover the chicken. Allow to come to a boil on high heat. Cover and reduce heat to low, simmering for 45 minutes, until chicken is tender and potatoes are cooked.
Variation: If you do not want to marinate or don’t have time for that step, you can puree all the ingredients except for the chicken and potatoes. Brown the chicken in oil, then add the puree and allow to sweat out the flavors with the chicken. Continue by adding the potatoes and water as in the above recipe.
Optional ingredient: 1/2 cup pimento-stuffed olives, left whole. If using, add with potatoes.
Slow-cooker variation : This recipe works in the slow cooker as well, but you should reduce the amount of water to half the level of the chicken. Also, see above variation to puree the seasonings, cilantro, juice, and tomato sauce.
Note about the tomato puree: You can adjust the amount of tomato puree used if you like it less tomato-ey. I used the entire 8 ounces here, because I was in the mood for a really pronounced tomato flavor this time, but I usually use less and it tastes just as good to me either way.
Part of the Recipe Of the Week round up