Sunday, July 12, 2009
La Bandera or "The flag"
La Bandera or the Flag consist of 3 separate dishes Arroz blanco, Habichuelas y pollo guisado or Rice, beans and stewed chicken.
Ingredients for Arroz Blanco or white rice:
*2 1/2 cups raw rice rinsed and drained
*3 TBSP . cooking oil
*1 1/2 tsp. salt
*4 cups water
A heavy skillet is best. Add oil salt water and rice to the pan. Mix. Cook over high heat until boiling. Lower the heat, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the rice is tender and the water absorbed. Remove the lid and allow the rice to rest a few minutes. For concon let the rice cook on low heat on the stove for a little time more until the crust appears on the bottom of the pan. It takes a little skill and some luck to easily remove the con-con from the bottom of the pan. Serve the rice hot and the con-con on the side
Ingredients for Pollo guisado
* 6-10 chicken legs and thighs
* 3 tbsp saffron (azafron)
* 3-4 tbsp Adobo seasoning
* 1-2 tsp white vinegar
* 1-2 cloves finely chopped garlic
* 1/3 cup finely chopped cilantro
* 1 yellow bell pepper
* 1 green bell pepper
* 1/2 chopped yellow onion
* 1-2 tbsp tomato paste
* some vegetable or canola oil
* 1/2 cup water
Preparation: - Finely chop 1/3 of both peppers and 1/4 cup cilantro. - Put together in a bowl with 2 tbsp of saffron and 2 tbsp of Adobo seasoning. - Add the vinegar and mix - Add the chicken, stir until thoroughly coated and let marinate for at least 1-1&1/2 hours. The longest the better. * This works even exceptionally better if you can blend the vegetable ingredients in a food processor.
After chicken has marinated, place it skin side down in a large heated skillet or pot that is deep. On medium heat, brown the chicken for about 5 minutes on each side or until both sides are golden brown.
Add a quick pour of oil around the pan until the bottom is barely coated. Let the chicken continue to cook for an additional 10-15 minutes.
Add the remaining vegetables: - Sliced or chopped peppers - Remaining onion and cilantro Add the tomato paste Add more Adobo seasoning (this really adds the "Dominican" flavor so be generous and as needed).
Stir this all together and add enough water to cover almost half of the chicken. The sauce should be an orangy-red from the saffron and the tomato paste. If it looks too clear or watery add a little more tomato paste.
Reduce the heat to a low boil or simmer, place a lid on it, and let it slowly stew for another 30 or so minutes or until the meat is so tender it is practically falling off the bone. This is why dark meat works especially well in this dish.
Stir occasionally and add Adobo if needed.
Habichuelas guisadas or stewed beans:
The Habichuelas Guisadas/ Stewed Beans can be made with any type of bean, red, white, fava, lentils, whatever you have on hand. Recipe: Cook the beans until soft or buy them in a can. Add some chopped celery, some squash if you have it, a little onion, parsley, thyme, oregano, coriander or cilantro, some mashed garlic, a cube of chicken stock, a little oil, some tomato paste, and salt. Cook the veggies and spices in the oil until they are soft. Add the stock and tomato paste. Add the beans. Mash the beans a little to make them juicy. Cook until they have thickened up a little, adding water if needed. Adjust the ingredients to your taste.