Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Seco de Pollo - Ecuadorian Chicken Dish

One of my favorite meals from Ecuador is Seco de Pollo. Seco means "dry", but this dish is anything but dry. My friend, Maria Isabel, taught me how to make the recipe in the Pastaza province of Ecuador. Here in Florida, it is the perfect dish to make March - May because just about all of the ingredients can be grown in the garden and picked right before eating. 

We were able to make dinner for six for about $1 (15 cents per person!) Most of the ingredients are grown on our farm, including the pastured chicken. 

Seco de Pollo

2 tomatoes
1 purple onion
2 carrots
2 green peppers
2 T Aliño
Fresh cilantro
1 T mustard
1 tsp. cumin
1 T. achiote paste ( or 2 tsp. annatto powder)
2-3 T. oil

Vine ripened tomatoes are a must! 

Preparing all of the food before cooking is very important, as this will make the dish very easy to prepare. It is made in one pot, making for easy cleanup. Dice the onion,  carrots,  tomatoes and bell peppers. 

You will also need to chop a handful of cilantro (or more :) and have some aliño on hand along with minced garlic.

I put about 2 Tablespoons of sunflower seed oil in a large pan. 

Cook the onions, peppers, carrots, garlic, and then add the tomatoes. 

Next, add 2 tsp or more of cumin, 1 tsp of annatto, 3 T of alino seasoning, and salt to taste. 

Next, add chicken pieces (I prefer to use dark meat for this dish). The chicken is from our own pastured chickens. 

add the cilantro and cover for 45 minutes. 

We serve this with white rice. You can also omit the chicken and add black beans or another protein. The vegetable mix is excellent alone on rice as well. 

Ecuadorian Rice

2 cups rice (rinsed well)
3 cups water
1 T. oil
1 T. chopped purple onion (optional)
salt to taste
Add all ingredients to a pot on the stove top set to medium/high. Place lid so that it is offset a bit. Bring to a boil. Boil until water is just above rice. At that point, place lid on securely and set to low. Cook for 20 minutes. 

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