I remember looking at the clock in my last period class thinking that these last 10 minutes feel like an eternity. I couldn’t wait for the day to end because I was going to see my Tia. It’s been 30 years since then but sometimes I can still feel like I’m still in her kitchen. I can smell the seasonings she used garlic, salt, fresh lime juice; which I used to pick from her lime tree in the back yard. I would sit in awe watching her mix ingredients together as she prepared meals for the day. Each day she would take the time to plan and prepare each and every meal with fresh ingredients and passion.
I would ask my Tia, “ Como tu lo haces? Te puedo ayudar?.” I would watch her prepare dinner time and time again. She was unaware of how engaged and interested I was while watching her create her masterpieces. Those days are gone now my Tia is in her late 80’s and can barely walk much less cook. Although we are more than 1,500 miles apart, I call each and every day. We talk about one another, my children and grandchildren. She always finishes each conversation by saying, “Que vas a cocinar esta noche?” Meaning, “what are you cooking tonight.”
I find it humbling to exchange ideas on recipes with her. I tell her, Tia I’m going to change or add an ingredient, “que to parece?” She’s not afraid to tell me what she thinks and encourages me to try new cooking techniques. I welcome each and every advice. Even though she never went to culinary school the flavors that she one created were incredible and remembered to this day.
This is to Tia, Giving her recipe the justice it deserves.
Fricase De Pollo
• 1 Whole chicken (Cut into small pieces)
• 4 cloves of garlic
• ½ large red bell pepper
• 1 shallot
• 2 scallions
• 1 sweet potato
• ½ of cup of cherry tomatoes
• 2 cups of red potatoes
• 1 small yellow pepper
• 2 spoonfuls of Sofrito
• 1 small can of tomato paste
• ½ of cup white wine
Season chicken with olive oil, sea salt, black pepper, and lemon juice.
Bake for 25 minutes at 425 degrees.
In a pressure cooker drizzle olive oil and dice up vegetables. Add two spoonful of sofrito, one can of tomato paste and ½ of cup of white wine in the pressure cooker.
Add baked chicken and stock into pressure cooker.
Mix ingredients together. Cook for 15 minutes
Lay over white rice with a side of sliced avocado.
Food is about bring family and friends; great conversation and making wonderful moments together.
Follow Jennifer on Twitter @cubanwithatwist