When friends move away, it's great to celebrate your time together by making all the special meals that they enjoyed most over the years...favorite dishes that'll make your friends always remember you and never forget that you aren't too far away. The flavors of Puerto Rico are a huge part of my friend Zoraida’s heritage and even though I learned this dish from her, my version is now one of her favorites. Maybe it'll become a favorite in your house, too. The sofrito is a combination of vegetables and spices that serves as a base in a lot of latin dishes. Once you make a batch, it’s an easy addition to any dish.
courtesy of Zoraida Sambolin
1 lg Green Pepper, roughly chopped
1 lg Red Pepper, roughly chopped
1 lg Yellow Onion, roughly chopped
1 Head of Garlic, peeled
¼ teaspoon of cumin or to taste
¼ teaspoon oregano or to taste
1 bunch of cilantro, chopped
Pinch of salt
6 TB Olive oil
Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into a sealable container. You’ll only need a portion of this for the pollo guisado. Keep the remainder refrigerated and use in other dishes.
2 lbs Skinless Chicken, legs and thighs are juicier
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbl Olive Oil
1 cu Sofrito (recipe above)
3-4 Bay Leaves
1/2 cu Green Olives, pitted
8 oz can Tomato Sauce
2 cu Chicken Broth (or water)
2 Sweet Potatoes (or russet if you prefer), quartered
6-8 servings Brown Rice (prepared according to package directions)
Split chicken lengthwise into large bite sized pieces. Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Sear chicken pieces on both sides. Add garlic and sauté for about 2-3 minutes. Add about 1 cup of sofrito and sauté for 2-3 minutes longer. Add 2 cups of chicken broth, 3-4 bay leaves, tomato sauce, and olives. Cover and cook over a medium heat for 40 minutes. Add potatoes and be sure to coat them with the liquid ingredients. Cover and cook for another 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
Serve over brown rice.