That’s chicken with stewed beans to you & me. Today was my first adventure into authentic Dominican Republic cooking.
First we went shopping. I’ve been to the market many times already to buy fruit – but seeing a freshly dead chicken being hacked into pieces was a new experience. Total cost of the food was around DOP $450 (about £8)
- 2 1/2 lb white rice ($65)
- 4 lb fresh chicken (killed within the hour) ($200)
- 1 lb habuchuela guacomelo (dried guacomelo beans) – a bit like dried runner beans, only white with red/brown markings ($50)
- 2 limon (sour limes) ($10)
- 1 bulb ajo (garlic) ($10)
- 1 cebolla grande (large onion) ($10)
- ricaito y apio (parsley & celery – 1 bunch) ($20)
- celantro (coriander – 1 bunch) ($10)
- dried oregano (1 tbsp)
- 2 ajices dulces (sweet peppers)
- 2 caldo de gallina / sopita (chicken stock cubes!) ($10 for 2)
- Sabrecito salsa / Pasta de tomate (tomato concentrate) ($20)
- Sazón completo (all-in-one seasoning!)
- Saldo (salt – to taste)
- Una pisca pimienta (hot ground pepper – one pinch)
- 1 pisca azucara (pinch of sugar)
- Repollo picado (chopped white cabbage) ($15)
- Vinegre (vinegar – white or brown)
Then we (or mostly, Ana Luz – see below) did the cooking. Took about 3 hours in total.
Preparar el pollo
- 4lb of chicken, roughly chopped (pollo picado) – including neck & feet!
- Clean the chicken & remove skin & fat
- Squeeze half a lime into 1 gallon water & marinade chicken in lime water for at least 30 minutes
- Drain & dry. Sprinkle over the oregano & (pinch of) ground hot pepper
- In a pestle & mortar, grind the garlic (leave a few bulbs aside) & seasoning. Mix into the chicken with other herbs
- Put 3 tbsp oil & in a large cooking dish with a pinch of sugar on a high heat until sugar caramelises (caramelado)
- Add in the chicken mix & cook for 30 minutes, adding a little water to keep from drying out, and seasoning to taste
- Add half a large sliced onion and one sliced green pepper and cover. Simmer on low heat.
Preparar el habichuela guisada (stewed beans)
- 1lb of habichuela guacumelo fresca (dried guacumelo beans)
- Carefully remove any grit and/or bad beans
- Clean the beans in lots of cold water & soak overnight. Discard any floaters!
- Simmer for 1 hour in large pan of water with a tbsp of oil and 1 clove garlic.
- Add a little (5ml) pasta de tomate (tomato concentrate) to the pot
- Mix up the remaining garlic with a pinch of salt. Add some oil to a frying pan & add the other half of the sliced onion & the garlic/salt paste. Fry for 5 minutes on high heat.
- Add two stock cubes & a splash of vinegar and some more green pepper. Put into blender with 2 big spoons of beans and the rest of the tomato concentrate. Blitz then strain back into the beans to thicken the sauce.
Preparar el arroz (rice)
- Rinse the rice & boil (in separate pan) in plenty of water. When water has been absorbed add 2-3 tbsp oil & mix thoroughly.
- Turn down the heat & cover (with a plastic bag under the lid of the pan!) – leave for 30 minutes more
Preparar la ensalada
- 2 tomate rojo (red tomatoes – large) – peeled, partly pipped & diced
- 1 pepino (cucumber). Partly peeled & diced
- Repollo picado (shredded white cabbage – 2 big handfuls)
- 2 ajices dulces picado (chopped sweet peppers)
- Stand in water seasoned with juice of 1 lime & a splash of vinegar. Drain before serving
Then we did eating. And it was really delicious. And no one has food poisoning.
A big thanks to Ana Luz, who I have to admit did pretty much all of the cooking. Ana Luz (who Katie and Zach have christened ‘The Happy Lady’) is a teacher at the Colegio, and also the sister of Wailly (the Headmaster)