Asopao de pollo con Bollitas de Platano
(chicken gumbo with plantain balls)
(Serves 6 or more)
One or two chickens cut in small pieces
Adobo (a blend of salt, oregano, garlic, black pepper and turmeric)
Red pepper slices
1 or more small potatoes, cut in one-inch cubes
2 to 3 cups uncooked white rice, medium grain
One green plantain, if available
Use canned Adobo powder, available at most grocers and generously cover all exposed surfaces of the chicken cut in small pieces (the idea is to give each Parrandero a small bite of chicken). When preparing the Asopao for your family, adjust the chicken pieces accordingly. For best results, allow to marinate for two hours.
Place three cups of water and the chicken pieces in a deep pot and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to medium and cook for ten to fifteen minutes, depending on the number of pieces. Optionally, remove some of the broth (delicious for sipping or subsequent dishes). Optionally, too, remove some of the skins from the cooked chicken pieces.
Remove everything from the pot, place two tablespoonfuls of olive oil and heat for about one minute. Saute onion and diced dilantro for under a minute, add garlic, tomato and bay leaf, saute another minute. Add the chicken pieces with their broth. Bring to a boil. Add the rice. Cook over medium heat, covered, for around twenty minutes. If the pot is not deep enough, it is likely to boil over, so uncover it often, stir, and let some steam out to prevent it.
Add the diced potatoes and red peppers. Cook for another ten minutes.
You may substitute the potatoes for:
Bollitas de Platano
One green plantain
One tablespoonful of wheat flour
Grate a green plantain into thin shreds. Place a small amount into the palm of your hand and form into a ball, adding a pinch of flour as necessary to give it consistency. Add the Bollitas to the pot when cooking time is down to fifteen minutes.
Serve steaming hot!
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