Friday, August 19, 2005

puchero story

(kuwentong puchero)
a chicken and pork version of what we always used to have as beef and pork. interestingly, i adapted this recipe from "Asian Cooking", edited by Sallie Morris and Deh Ta Hsiung, where our cuisine is puzzlingly lumped together with Vietnamese.

put 3 chicken leg quarters and 4 country style spareribs (bone in) in a large pot. cover with enough cold water to cover by an inch. bring up to a slow boil, take out meats onto a colander, rinse lightly; discard the broth and clean the pot. yes it seems like a lot of work, but this i find produces a clearer broth.

return meats to pot, cover with water again, and bring to a boil. season with sea salt and peppercorns and a bay leaf and let simmer until tender, about 45 minutes.
remove spareribs and chicken from broth. separate chicken thigh from drum stick. reserve the broth.

in a large saute pan or wok, heat oil and saute 2 garlic cloves, smashed and sliced, 1 sliced medium onion, and 2 tomatoes, minced.

stir fry until onions are translucent and tomatoes are meltingly soft. add the chicken and pork and mix gently. pour about a quarter cup of broth and 1 14-oz can of chick peas, drained and rinsed. add 2 pieces of chorizo, sliced on the diagonal, 2 plantains, sliced into 3 inch pieces. (you may also add sweet potato, preferably the purple skinned white fleshed kind, typically labeled Japanese yam).
simmer gently until plantains and sweet potatoes are soft, about 12 minutes.
season with salt and pepper.

to the broth you may add your choice of green leafy vegetables. i prefer to use sliced Napa cabbage and baby bok choy (bok choy muoy) but others you can use are green beans, cabbage, broccoli or sweet pea pods. i also didn't have sweet potatoes on hand so i boiled baby white potatoes in the broth.

serve the sauted chicken and chicken pea mixture in a serving platter with bowls of soup, topped with the vegetables, alongside.
my kids loved the combination of chicken and sweet plantains and chorizos...they made what i call "rice floats" in their bowls of soup.