44. Colombia: Arepa with Chili Chicken and Guacamole

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Drugs, violence and kidnapping not very long this was a pretty accurate picture the papers painted for us of Colombia, but the sights, sounds and people tell a different kind of story these days. Colombians are taking back their country and are celebrating their culture, their traditions and food. In only 10 years the large drug cartels have quietly fade into the background. To say Colombia is multicultural is an understatement Caribbean, hispanic and native influences are to be found throughout the country.

The Beautifull City of Cartagena
The Beautifull City of Cartagena

Here are some things you didn’t know about Colombia

  • Colombia is one of seven countries that the United Nations indentified as major food exporters. Just about anything will grow there from kale to mangoes to potatoes.
  • Colombians get 70% of their electric power from hydro. Their country’s rivers and winds are able to supply double the amount of energy they need.
  •  Colombia has more freshwater than the US and Canada put together.
  • Medellin, home of the legendary late cocaine trafficker Pablo Escobar is today one of the safest cities in South America.
  • Corinto in the department of Cauca, is the only place in the world where chickens learned how to swim, which the do in order to mate with the ducks that live on an island in the local river.

So this recipe was epic! Wow I was sooo impressed! And so was my family, my brother was so dissapointed when het came back from school and there were no leftovers the next day, even though I made extra. The chicken tasted sooo rich.

Yummy Chili Chicken Areppa
Yummy Chili Chicken Areppa

Ingredients chicken: 700g (1.5lb) chicken thighs (skin off, bone in), salt & pepper, 1 + 1 Tablespoons oil, 1 medium onion, chopped, 1 garlic clove, crushed, 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin, 1/2 teaspoon paprika, 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander, 1 tablespoon adobo paste, 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, 1 tablespoon tomato paste, 1/2 teaspoon sugar, 1/2 cup passata (sieved Italian tomatoes), 1/2 chicken stock, 1/2 cup grated cheddar

Ingredients Arepas: 1 cup arepa flour (precooked white maize meal), 1 cup warm water, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 tablespoon oil + oil spray
Ingredients Jalapeno Guacamole: 1 medium ripe avocado peeled & chopped, 1 tablespoon lime juice, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin , 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon crushed garlic, 1/4 cup deseeded chopped tomato, 1 tablespoon chopped pickled jalapeños, 1 – 2 tablespoon chopped red onion
CHICKEN
  1. Season chicken. Heat up 1 tablespoon oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Fry chicken thighs until browned all over (they do not need to be cooked all the way through as they will simmer in the sauce later on) put chicken in a casserole pan in one layer if possible. Set aside
  2. Add another tablespoon of oil to the frying pan, cook onion and garlic for 3 – 4 minutes (add a couple of tablespoons of the stock, scraping the bottom a little)
  3. Add cumin, paprika and coriander and cook stirring for 1 minute. Stir in chipotle paste, oregano, tomato paste and sugar, cook 1 more minute
  4. Add passata and stock, bring to a boil and pour on top chicken. Simmer chicken in the casserole uncovered over low heat for 25 minutes or until chicken is cooked all the way through, turning chicken thighs half way through. Shake pan occasionally to make sure chicken doesn’t catch at the bottom. Take chicken out, shred meat & discard bones

GUACAMOLE

  1. Place avocado, lemon juice, salt, cumin, olive oil and garlic in a food processor; blend until smooth. Transfer to a bowl, mix in chopped tomatoes, jalapenos and red onion. Cover and keep in the fridge until until needed.

AREPA

  1. Combine arepa flour and salt in medium bowl. make a well in the center, add oil and warm water little by little stirring with a wooden spoon until all the ingredients are incorporated.knead a few times, divide dough in four pieces, roll each piece into a ball, then flatten it to about 1.5cm (1/2in) thick. Heat a large non stick frying pan over medium heat. Spray with oil, add the arepas and cook until golden brown (about 6 – 7 minutes) flip and cook on the other side for about 5 minutes.
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