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!