Seco de pollo or chicken stew
Yield: For 8-10 people
Seco de pollo or seco de gallina is a South American chicken stew cooked slowly in a sauce of beer, onions, garlic, peppers, tomatoes, herbs and spices. Seven out of seven Downings recomend this dish.
- 6 lbs of assorted chicken pieces
- 4 tbs oil
- 2 red onions, quartered
- ½ red onion, minced for refrito
- 10 whole garlic gloves plus 4 minced garlic cloves
- 2 tsp ground achiote or annatto
- 4 cups of beer or apple cider
- 8 tomatoes, quartered
- 3 bell peppers, quartered
- 1 hot pepper (jalapeno or serrano)
- 1 bunch cilantro, reserve some to add at the end
- 1 bunch parsley, reserve some to add at the end
- 1 tsp oregano
- 2 tsp cumin
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Blend the beer, quartered onions, whole garlic cloves, tomatoes, bell peppers, hot pepper, cilantro, parsley, oregano and cumin to obtain a smooth puree.
- In a large saucepan or soup pot heat the oil over medium heat to prepare a refrito or sofrito, add the minced red onion, minced garlic and achiote, cook for 2 minutes.
- Add the chicken and brown lightly on each side, add the blended puree mix
- Cook on low heat until the chicken is very tender and the sauce has thickened. Unless it’s a hen, the chicken should be tender in less than 1 hour. However it takes longer for the sauce to thicken, so if the chicken is very tender – meat falling of the bones – and the sauce isn’t thick yet, then remove the tender chicken pieces, turn up the heat and cook the sauce until it’s nice and thick, about 20-30 minutes.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Add the remaining cilantro and parsley.
Love, The Downing Family
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