Cuban cuisine is normally known as being very hearty; therefore, right up my husband’s alley! It just so happened that it was his turn to cook so he got to choose his recipe of choice. He so loves perusing through food magazines…gathering ideas (we must be a match made in heaven..ha, ha!) However, one of our differences is that he prefers dishes that have unique ingredients such as the one he chose from the March 2014 edition of Saveur Magazine…Fricasse” de Pollo!
Jeff is not one who strays very far from the recipe but he was a little concerned about this one. He brings the magazine and says to me, “What is wrong with this recipe?”. I honestly couldn’t see what he was talking about but he pointed out that it was a Cuban dish and other than salt, pepper, and garlic, it had no spice. That did seem strange but it had some strong ingredients like citrus juices, capers, and olives so we decided he should try it as it and we would see what happens.
The only major change he made to the recipe was to use all chicken thighs since he is a huge fan of dark meat or maybe it was because he didn’t want to quarter that chicken..:-) Who knows? But it turned out to be a very tasty decision! He did add a whole roasted red pepper for color (he is visual…what can I say).
¼ cup fresh lime juice
¼ cup fresh orange juice
3 cloves garlic, lightly smashed
1 (3½-4-lb.) chicken, quartered (backbone discarded or saved for stock)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
⅓ cup olive oil
1 large green bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and thinly sliced
1 large white onion, thinly sliced
1 cup dry white wine
1 lb. russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1″ pieces
½ cup jarred alcaparrado or ⅓ cup pimento-stuffed olives and 2 tbsp. capers (we used the latter)
¼ cup raisins
1 (8-oz.) can tomato sauce
1 cup frozen peas, defrosted
**Optional: One roasted red bell pepper
Toss lime and orange juices, garlic, chicken, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap; chill 1 hour.
Heat oil in an 8-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat. Remove chicken from marinade; pat dry using paper towels and reserve marinade. Working in batches, cook chicken, flipping once, until browned, 8–10 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate.
Add bell pepper and onion to pan; cook until soft, 6–8 minutes. Add wine; cook, scraping up browned bits from bottom of pan, until reduced by half, 5–7 minutes. Return chicken to pan and add reserved marinade, potatoes, alcaparrado, raisins, tomato sauce, salt, pepper, and ½ cup water; boil.
Reduce heat to medium-low; cook, covered, until chicken and potatoes are tender, about 45 minutes. Stir in peas before serving.
Bottom Line: This was fantastic! The chicken shredded with your fork and the vegetables and the broth were savory yet not too heavy for my tastes. I didn’t care as much for the olives (and I do love olives) but I think had you omitted them, some of the flavor would have been missing. It was easy enough to pick around them since they were whole. Remember, we were concerned about the spice? No need…the flavors of the citrus and the saltiness of the olives and capers evolved into a rich, saucy burst of taste. I think we will make this again on our next camping trip! Try this recipe and Keep On Cooking!