As we build up to the release of Cuba Undercover July 14th ( You can pre-order on Amazon right now! ) I want to share some things I love about the Cuban culture, including the food. My mother-in-law makes the most delicious dishes. She has won awards for her cooking - especially those amazing black beans. While I haven't been able to coax her out of that secret recipe yet (the recipe in the paper leaves out one secret ingrediant), she did share this one for Chicken Fricassee. Like many old school abuelas, she cooks by touch and taste, not measurements. But, I pulled out the cups and teaspoons and got her to teach my daughters a few of her tricks. Now, I'm sharing with you! Here is Fina's chicken fricassee dish:
Chicken leg quarters with skin and bones
Chicken breast with skin and rib bones
2 tablespoons Canola oil
Golden Cooking wine – brand Edmundo if you want
Small Green pepper
Fresh garlic – 4 large gloves
Medium yellow Onion
Coloring ( yellow )
Olives and pimento
Adobo seasoning ( look in the ethnic food aisle )
Take chicken – trim the fat and cut chicken breasts in half if they are big.
2 chicken breasts halved and four leg quarters are needed for this recipe.
Put in large aluminum pot and turn the heat on low.
Adobo - 1/8 of a cup of adobo –sprinkle it on top of the chicken.
Take garlic cloves – smash with a knife – so you can peel the skin off.
When you do this – the antibiotic inside the garlic is released ( Josefina’s free tip ) Cut off the tip of the clove.
Dice the garlic.
Dice the onion ( cut in half and peel off skin –then cut into small pieces or chunks –your preference)
And cut the green pepper into chunks or long strips ( take the seeds and septum out of the pepper )
Add all of the above to the pot.
Add 1 tablespoon dried oregano – rub it between your palms as you sprinkle it over the pot to release the flavor.
Add three bay leaves to the pot.
1/2 tablespoon of cumin to the pot .
1 cup of tomato sauce over the ingredients in the pot.
1 cup of cooking wine
3 cups of water or more -you want the liquids to be even with or slightly cover the chicken
Once all the ingredients are in – turn it up to medium heat.
Put lid on and let it simmer for about an hour or an hour and a half. You have to check. Stick a fork in the chicken. If it goes in easily, you’re ready for the next step.
Next, you peel the potato.
4 potatoes cuts into quarters
I teaspoon of the coloring ( Bijol coloring and seasoning) stir it into ingredients
Add in one tablespoon of sliced green olives and pimientos
Put in a half of a snack size ( ½ an ounce ) box of raisins -
Cook until potatoes are soft ( about thirty minutes )
Make sure it’s not too watery