This chicken dish is based on a recipe that’s popular in Yucatán, Mexico and uses ingredients familiar to both Mexican and Puerto Rican cuisines. This particular version, however, is based upon a sofrito of onions, spices and tomato paste, making it distinctly Puerto Rican. Fricasé is a common South American cooking technique whereby the meat is browned first before being simmered over low heat.
- 2 kg chicken pieces (such as thigh and drumstick)
- 80 ml (⅓ cup) olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp oregano leaves, chopped
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 tsp capers, drained, chopped
- 4 pimento-stuffed olives, sliced
- 1 tsp ground achiote (annatto) (see Note) or 1 tbsp annatto oil
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- 280 g (1 cup) tomato purée
- 95 g (⅓ cup) tomato paste diluted with 2 tbsp water
- 375 ml (1½ cups) chicken stock
- 6 russet or kipfler potatoes, cut into 4 cm pieces
- 1 small red capsicum, sliced into rings
- 2 coriander stalks, finely chopped, plus coriander sprigs, to serve
- steamed rice, to serve
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Drink match 2010 Lethbridge Pinot Noir, Geelong, VIC ($40)
Place chicken in a large bowl with 2 tbsp olive oil, garlic, oregano, lemon juice and 1 tsp salt.
Heat remaining 2 tbsp oil in a large heavy-based pan over high heat. Add onion and cook for 3 minutes or until light golden. Working in 2 batches, add chicken to pan and cook, turning occasionally, for 8 minutes or until golden all over. Reduce heat to medium, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes or until chicken is almost cooked through. Transfer chicken to a bowl. Drain fat from pan, reserving 1 tbsp.
Return pan over medium heat and add capers, olives, achiote, cumin, tomato purée and paste, chicken stock, potatoes and 1 tsp salt, stirring to combine. Arrange chicken pieces on top, then scatter over capsicum and coriander stalks. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally and skimming off fat from surface, for 45 minutes or until chicken is tender and cooked through. Scatter with coriander sprigs and serve with rice.
• Ground achiote (annatto), available from Asian and Latin food shops, and annatto oil, from Asian food shops give a mild flavour and a yellow-orange colouring to dishes.
Photography Alan Benson