Seco de pollo is a very typical Peruvian entrée; it can be found in nearly every region of the country. “Dry chicken stew” is so named because the chicken is first fried (the “dry” part), then returned to the stew (the “wet” part). It is also because the liquid is reduced to a thick sauce – not dry, per se; but more so than a soup or many other stews.
It can be made with any meat (seco de res – beef; seco de cordero – lamb; seco de cerdo – pork; etc.). In the northern region, it is frequently made with goat or lamb; and is traditionally served with the corn tamales that are typical of that area. Wherever it is found, it is also accompanied by arroz a la peruana.
Estofado is similar to the seco dishes, except that it has tomato, paprika and only a little cilantro. I’ll include that recipe at a later date.
- 3 1/2 pounds chicken thighs and legs(about 8 pieces)
- 2tsp. Kosher salt
- 1tsp. black pepper, ground
- 1/4cup vegetable oil
- 2Tbsp. olive oilextra virgin
- 1large yellow onionsmall dice
- 5cloves garlicminced
- 1/2medium red bell pepperseeded, sliced thinly
- 1/2medium green bell pepperseeded, sliced thinly
- 1/2small ají amarillo, freshseeded, minced
- 1/4cup ají amarillo paste
- 1quart chicken stock(enough to cover)
- 4medium yellow potatoespeeled and quartered
- 1cup green peasfresh or frozen (defrosted)
- 1cup cilantro, chopped(plus sprigs for garnish)
- Kosher salt(to taste)
- black pepper, ground(to taste)
The liquid reduces to a thin sauce consistency as it cooks. If you would like it to be thicker, remove the chicken and potatoes when done, then reduce sauce to desired consistency.
Take care when handling hot peppers! Always use gloves, and wash hands and cutting surfaces thoroughly afterwards.
This recipe traditionally adds diced carrots; I leave them out. If you would like to include them, add ½ cup diced raw carrots with the onions. (If using frozen pre-cooked carrots, add them with the peas.)
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Recipe by Jennifer Ramos Lorson.