Chicken in Marcela's Sauce
A braised chicken that is first lightly season with salt and pepper, then fry until crisp on the outside. To later be simmer with Peruvian Hot Red Pepper Sauce, Smoked Paprika, and of course sofrito, and finish with an Almond Butter that will thick the sauce to a be the perfect coating for the Chicken and the rest of the accompaniments.
It was around the year 2010, when I made this dish for the first time. I had started to follow a different diet; an we had just came back from visiting Peru. During the time spent in Peru, my mom had made me one of my favorite dishes "Pollo en Salsa de Mani" ( Chicken in Peanut Sauce); when we came back and we started this "diet" where I could not eat peanuts, so I change the peanuts for organic almond butter; a bit after we change the name of the dish to "Pollo en Salsa de Marcela" because my girl, Marcela, loved it and it even help her eat other foods, as long as she had the sauce she ate many other foods.
A Little Note
If you want and like the peanuts as well as the original recipe, just use 1/2 Cup Grounded Toasted Peanuts instead of the Almond Butter.
In both ways this recipe will be a winner !!!
1 Whole Chicken, cut up in 8 to 10 pieces
Fine Grounded Salt and Pepper
About 2 Tbsp of Olive Oil
4 Cups of homemade Stock, unsalted or lightly salted. ( No Stock ? Use Water instead )
1 small Yellow Onion, small diced
1 Tbsp Minced Garlic
2 Tbsp of Peruvian Hot Pepper Sauce, (Aji Colorado)
1 Tbsp Smoked Paprika
Salt, as need it
3 oz Organic or Natural Almond Butter
Rice, or, Quinoa for serving
Sliced Boiled Potatoes or Golden Potatoes if you don't mind deep frying.
The first step is to pat dry your chicken and lightly season it with salt and pepper. ( I always put the chicken in a bowl and toss it around with the salt, the pepper and a little of oil to coat the chicken and prevent the chicken from sticking to the pot)
My next step is to get ready my cooking pot !!! Heat a heavy bottom pot; and with an oiled paper towel proceed to coat the pot. ( This won't add up to your amount of oil, this step is to coat the invisible cracks that all pots have, at the end doing this will prevent the food from sticking to the pot )
We are ready, add the cooking oil to the pot and fry the chicken, I usually cover the pot to create steaming in it; which will help the chicken to get crispy and tastier, I of course turn the chicken to get the flesh crispy all around. ( Remember that you will do this in small batches, never overwhelmed a pot, specially for frying and sauteing) Remove Chicken, cover and reserve.
Have 4 Cups of Stock ready to be used close to you, you will add it little by little. With a little of this stock, deglaze the pot and add the onions at the same time. Make the Sofrito. When sofrito is ready quickly incorporate the Aji Colorado and the Paprika; stir for 1 minute or less and immediately incorporate about 3 Cups of the liquid and the reserved chicken. Lightly season with a bit of salt ( At the end you will readjust the salt, but if you over salt your dish at the beginning there is no turn around ). Cover and cook for about 10 minutes.
At this point Chicken will more likely be cook. (Remember that bigger and chunky pieces of chicken will take a bit more of time, but our regular chickens are young and cook fast) Proceed to remove the Chicken from pot; cover and reserve.
Bring the stove fire to minimum and incorporate the Almond Butter by whisking it in little by little.
( Adding and quickly whisking in the Almond Butter will make your cooking liquid get thicker, but if you want to get rid of the little pieces of onions and also want a smooth sauce; you can decide to place the cooking liquid and the almond butter into a blender; I like both ways it all depends of what I want ! more elegant or rustic )
|In this picture I have add my chicken back into the sauce, I do this when I am planning to eat it right away, as well this is a more traditional way to cook, more homey !!!|
To serve, place the rice, the potatoes and the chicken and drizzle the sauce over the chicken. A little more lighter version will be to serve with vegetables and Quinoa instead of rice.