Monday, January 18, 2010

Spend an Evening in Chile ~ Pollo Arvejado

Sharing and caring. Personal sacrifice. Kindness. Whether a tragedy on the magnitude of the Haitian earthquake or those smaller ones that take place in our own communities it is these attributes of the human spirit that bring people together.
I expect to pass through this world but once. Any good, therefore, that I can do or any kindness I can show to any fellow creature, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it for I shall not pass this way again.
-- Stephen Grellet
Spend an Evening in Chile and enjoy Chilean Pollo Arvejado

January is universally a cold and blustery month and a good time to share recipes for warm and delicious meals that bring comfort to a winter night.

Years ago when Steve and I traveled through Chile we met a young woman who was working as a hospital resident in the port city of Antofagasta located in the remote Atacama Desert. It is an extremely poor city which exists mainly to support mining and industrial work. Those few consumer goods available have their prices displayed in "layaway" terms (i.e. the price broken into monthly payments) even for common items such as shoes and clothing. The purchases we made came without boxes. At least those were the conditions when we were there in the mid 1990s.

Steve, who was a practicing physician at the time, saw this as an opportunity to share how medicine is practiced in the United States with someone just beginning her medical career in a disadvantaged area. So we invited this young woman, Annie, to stay with us so that she could get experience in the US and qualify to take US medical exams, which she did.

This was a busy time in our lives and we all were going in different directions but I did manage to corner Annie and get a few recipes and learn a little about her life during the time she stayed with us!

Annie loved drinking merlot wine and as you might know Chilean wines are excellent. From her stay, to this day, I have a preference for merlot and enjoy it best the way she taught me. Cooking for Chileans is a social time in the kitchen and wine is sipped and enjoyed during the cooking process. The wine bottle is placed on the stove top so that it warms and releases its fragrance to mingle with the food being cooked. I'm not sure what a wine connoisseur would say about this, but for a merlot I find it works really well.

And this is one of Annie's recipes, Pollo Arvejado. In the past 15 years I've made this dish countless times and always enjoy it. I hope you will too.

Chilean Pollo Arvejado

1 whole chicken cut into pieces (organic or kosher chickens have the best flavor)
1 yellow onion - diced
1 medium potato - diced (I like yukon gold potato in this dish)
small amount of grated carrot


1. Remove skin from chicken pieces and dry thoroughly. Rub kosher or sea salt over the chicken pieces and then coat in flour just before cooking.

2 Brown chicken pieces over a high heat in olive oil (Edit: use just a small amount of oil - approx. 2 tablespoons). When nicely browned, lower heat to simmer and add the diced onion, diced potato and grated carrot. Sprinkle with salt to taste. Cover and cook for approximately 1 hour, depending on size of chicken pieces.

3. Place on serving dish and add a few peas and garnish with parsley. Serving remaining peas as a side dish.


Mr Puffy Update

We are just so tickled, Mr Puffy made the news! You can see Mr Puffy in the Orange County Register here.

Until next time, be well, love well, and share this warm and delicious meal with your loved ones!


Rainey Day Knitter said...

This is a wonderful story Claudia. Travel is the great uniting factor for our troubled world. Meeting new people and having them touch our lives is one of my favorite things. I also will be making this delicious looking recipe!!

Kate (KnitsInClass) said...

Thanks for the recipe - looks delicious and simple (perfect for me!).

Is the article really correct? Is Mr. Puffy really 17?!? He looks very young for his age.

Mr Puffy's Knitting Blog: said...

Yes, Kate, Mr Puffy is indeed 17. The picture they chose for the article was taken back in May 2008, but even so he doesn't look his age.

He has had "some work" over the years ~ little nips of various growths over the years when other procedures were done - no reason we shouldn't all look our best - LOL

knittingdragonflies said...

Bravo Mr. Puffy. What a great article!

subliminalrabbit said...

aww! i love the mr puffy photo - congrats!

as always - wonderful, thoughtful story.

kim said...

Mr. Puffy is famous! How cool is that? I'm quite sure that if Joey got out more, he, too, could enjoy fame. As it is, he just snarls at passers-by. Congrats, Mr. Puffy. You rock (and roll)!

Willow said...

Congratulations to Mr. Puffy! We all know he's a celebrity!

raining sheep said...

As usual Puff look regal! I love seeing pictures of him at the beach - something so happy about that. The chicken dish looks wonderful and I love anything with peas :) I hope you are doing well. I know you have been busy so I hope you have some chances to take a time out. We have had a great bout of warm weather (well....warm for us, above zero) so things are good here. Hugs to you and Puff.

larissa said...

Great article - so good that you rescued him. both our dogs are rescues too. I will definitely make the yummy looking recipe - but i may add some more potatoes. we love our yukon gold around here.

Allie said...

That recipe sounds so good, I wish I could cook! Maybe I'll give it to dh.
Congratulations to Mr. Puffy on getting into the news - he REALLY doesn't look his age! And I'm so glad to hear he's doing so well.

t does wool said...

first...congrats to YOU and Mr Puffy,Claudia for the great article!!!
and thanks for sharing the recipe and story..wonderful...both.

Michelle (Northernstar28) said...

Hooray for Mr. Puffy! Man about town. Ever so newsworthy and ready to put a bright spot in everyone's day. Thanks for sharing the story and recipe. Worldwide humanity rules~

Anonymous said...

Great post, Claudia! Thanks for the recipe. I love the idea of friends and wine mingling while cooking. I'd enjoy cooking a lot more done like that!

Love the article about Mr. Puffy. Who knew he had such a past? He's looking fabulous at 17!

Channon said...

What a beautiful story. Thank you for the recipe, and Mr Puffy's big moment!

Hilary said...

YUM. Thank you for sharing the recipe - it went straight to my cooking queue - and the lovely story! That's so interesting about putting the wine on the stove. I will definitely try that!

Knitting Out Loud said...

Lovely story and recipe! Craig Claiborne has a very good Arroz con Pollo in An Herb and Spice Cook Book.

Tracy said...

Such a wonderful story, Claudia... and a great recipe from it too. I don't eat meat, but hubby does... he would love this chicken dish! Thank you for sharing... And about Mr. Puffy's moment of fame--hooray!! Happy Day to you all there ((HUGS))

Anita said...

The chicken looks & sounds wonderful! And tell Mr. Puffy congrats on his article! He looks so cute lounging at the beach. :)

dogwithbooks said...

We always knew you were a star Puffy!!

Anonymous said...

Don't stop posting such stories. I love to read blogs like this. BTW add more pics :)

Katherine said...

Thanks for the great recipe. I will definitely be trying it. I feel vindicated by your post. I drink merlot almost exclusively and my friends joke about my "junk" wine while they drink their fancy-schmanzy wines. Mr. Puffy is a hero in our house! We are praying that our JRT Macy will get along as well for as long as he has! Go Puff!!

SE'LAH... said...

thanks for sharing the recipe. looks scrumptious.

one love.

Teddy Rose said...

Congratulations on making the Register Mr. Puffy. That is such a nice picture of you! Your mommy must be so proud of you. I didn't realize that you are 17 years old. You don't look a day over 10.

At Home Mommy Knits said...

Thanks for the recipe and sharing! I think tonight I might have to put a bottle of wine on the stove tonight while I cooke. I'm sure it will help me be mellow when the kids start bickering :)

Lisa said...

What a sweet post, and how kind of you to open your home to Annie.

I'll have to try that chicken, looks so good and I really do need an excuse to drink more wine. ;-)

Please hug Mr. Puffy for us.