People who live or who have lived in Colombia know very well that any type of stew is welcome at any time of day and place. Stews are the type of food that we eat the most in Colombia, especially at lunch time and we always serve them with a side of white rice and avocado. Every now and then we also serve it with a side salad but that's only to not feel bad for the amount of potatoes and cassava that it has.
Again, I have to be honest with you guys and confess that stews have never been my favorite food, particularly if they have chicken or hen. I don't know if it's because we ate them almost every day for lunch when I was a kid of if it's because I have never liked the tasted of boiled chicken, I really don't know what my deal is. Regardless, the point is my husband loves them because they remind him of Colombia and therefore, I had to learn how to make a really good chicken stew so we can enjoy it at home.
The best way to get me to eat a nice plate of chicken stew is to make it with a good sauce that has lots of flavor and seasoning. To give it that delicious flavor I always make it with onions and tomatoes as the base and then I add a couple of aliños (seasoning) cubes to the pot before covering it. The result is a great dish that makes you want to go for seconds and it still leaves you wanting more. This, coming from me who is not a big fan of this type of food. =)
COLOMBIAN CHICKEN STEW
2 medium tomatoes, coarsely chopped
¼ white onion, coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 chicken bouillon
1 envelope Sazón Goya with Achiote or Azafran
½ cup (120 ml) water
8 pieces of chicken (4 legs and 4 thighs)
1 tbsp olive oil
4 medium russet potatoes, cut into quarters
4 medium pieces of cassava
2 cups (480 ml) water (or more if needed)
2 cubes (4 tbsp) of Colombian aliños
Salt and pepper to taste
Chopped cilantro to taste for garnishing
1. Put all of the ingredients for the sauce in a blender and blend until smooth, then set aside.
2. Season chicken with salt and pepper, skin side first.
3. Heat oil in a large pot or dutch oven at medium high heat. Add chicken skin side down and season again on the opposite side. Brown for about 4-5 minutes on each side.
4. Add potatoes, cassava, tomato sauce, water and aliños and stir well. Bring to a boil, cover, lower heat to medium low and cook for 30-35 minutes or until potatoes and cassava are cooked through.
5. Once cooked, taste for seasoning and add more salt if needed. Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve with white rice and avocado.
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