Estofado de Pollo

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Admittedly I was hoping to get this post up around 3 weeks ago and actually made this dish back when I shouldn’t have been standing, which led to me being unable to walk after lunch for a couple of hours. I still think it was worth it, it was pretty yummy and I was happy with it. So what was so delicious that it was worth dragging myself from the dining room to my bedroom to rest? A little something my family likes to call “Estofado de Pollo” or in English, Chicken Stew.

Maybe it’s because I love potato, or because I especially love rice when there is some sort of savory sauce covering it, or because the chicken is just so tender but it’s pretty hard for me to mess this dish up. Unless you don’t have the right potatoes, or for some strange reason they’re sweet when they shouldn’t be, or you don’t let it cook long enough. You see, I cook this long enough for the onions (which have been chopped up finely, in this case, by my father as he took pity on my condition) to fully disintegrate and make the sauce just nice and thick and voluptuous…. sorry, I’m drooling at the memory here…

Estofado de Pollo aka Chicken Stew

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So how do you make this? It’s pretty easy, really. Get yourself some chicken thighs (drumsticks work here, too, as does chopped up chicken breast), finely chop some onion and garlic, fry, add tomato sauce, add cubed waxy potatoes (I’m a fan of red skin potatoes), add veggies, add stock/broth/water to cover, add oregano and bay leaf, cook at medium to low heat until delicious (about 45 minutes).

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbs canola oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 4 chicken thighs
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce (or 2 tbs of tomato paste)
  • 5-6 waxy potatoes, peeled and cubed (I use the red skin variety, Russets/Idahos will disintegrate here)
  • 1 cup frozen veggies (use your favorite, I’m a fan of peas and carrots)
  • 1/2 cup raisins (optional)
  • 1-2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • ~1 cup of chicken stock/broth/water
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Chop up your aromatics (onion + garlic)
  2. Heat up some oil in a pan that has a lid until hot then start frying up the aromatics with a small amount of salt so they start to sweat
  3. Season your chicken with salt and pepper while aromatics are sweating (about 5 minutes) then add chicken to hot pan
  4. Par cook your chicken (about 4 minutes per side, depending on what cut/how thick) then remove
  5. Add tomato sauce/paste and stir
  6. Add potatoes, veggies (including the optional raisins), and seasonings (salt, pepper, oregano, and bay leaves)
  7. Return chicken to pan on top of potatoes and veggies
  8. Add liquid (your choice of broth/stock/water) until potatoes are fully covered and chicken is half submerged
  9. Simmer at medium-low heat for 30-45 minutes
  10. Serve with a side of white rice (optional)

Note: The raisins here are completely optional. In fact I rarely add them unless I’m cooking for my mom. She’s the one who has always had them in there and she likes them, personally I don’t like their sweetness in the dish. Up to you!

Pro tips: One time I left the heat a little too high which almost caused the bottom to almost burn. Normally this is bad, but I said ALMOST which means instead of burning the bottom of the potatoes they were deliciously caramelized with the tomato sauce and it was just so very, very good. This, however, is for the daring because you really could burn the dish leaving it mostly inedible. Seriously, I was terrified when I was serving this dish up and I could feel the potatoes sticking.  Fair warning!

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