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By: | Posted: 05/15/2006
Nothing beats braised chicken in the spring. As barbecue season heats up I say goodbye to the one-pot chicken meals by serving this killer version of the Caribbean asopao, a dish that is served all over the region from island to island. Serve it with a great chopped vegetable salad and a plate of sliced avocado, some lime wedges, and some corn tortillas for good measure.
Asopao de Pollo (Chicken and Rice Stew)3 lbs. boneless skinless chicken thighs, cubed in 1-inch pieces2 T. fresh thyme leaves2 t. sea salt2 T. fresh oregano8 sliced garlic cloves5 T. olive oil4 slices fruit wood–smoked thick-cut bacon, cut in 1-inch pieces2 medium-size onions, minced2 bell peppers, one each green and red, diced1 scotch bonnet or habanero pepper2 c. chopped tomatoes (canned is fine)2 c. long-grain white rice5 c. chicken stockfreshly ground black pepper3 T. capers, rinsed1 c. frozen peasjuice of 1 lime
Mix chicken, thyme, salt, oregano, and garlic. Set aside. In a large, nonreactive heavy skillet on medium heat, heat oil and sauté chicken a few pieces at a time to brown on all sides. Reserve chicken to a work bowl. Add bacon to the pan and sauté until browned. Add onions, peppers, and hot chili, and stir a few minutes to cook through. Add tomatoes. Add rice and stir to coat with vegetables. Add the chicken stock and freshly ground pepper to taste. Cover and cook over medium-low heat for 20 minutes. Remove cover and stir in capers, peas, and lime juice. Season to taste. Serves 6.
Andrew Zimmern is a columnist for Mpls.St.Paul Magazine and the host of Travel Channel's Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern.See bio
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