Normally, I give you a recipe on Tuesdays. Today, though I am going to share something even better. A recipe, sure, but also I am going to tell you about a great cookbook. I was fortunate enough to be given a copy of Famous Dishes, a cookbook that offers recipes from all over the world. These recipes are included in both English and Spanish, and range from Chinese Kung Pao to Mexican Fajitas to Russian Borscht. We’ve tried a number of dishes from the book, and found the directions to be clear, thorough and easy to follow. Even better, the book includes suggestions for possible substitutions and hints for healthier recipes and cooking practices in the kitchen. The book has a number of meatless recipes as well as a plethora of those for chicken and some for beef.
I was given permission to share with you our favorite, Columbian Sancocho, which happens to be on the cover of the book. Not having the pleasure of having visited Columbia already, I don’t know what this ‘national dish of Columbia’ might taste like in its home country, but I can certainly vouch for how amazing it tasted coming from our kitchen! This one-pot meal is a delicious combination of chicken, plantains, peppers, and corn and is super easy to put together, colorful, and enjoyed by all members of the family. I highly recommend you try it! And, this book! This is a great addition to your kitchen collection! You can literally travel the globe with flavors and recipes from Morocco to Mexico to China and India.
So, our favorite, the Sancocho. Full of veggies, and I imagine you can use what you can on hand if you don’t have the exact items listed. Really full of flavor. You can serve this with rice, but we served it on its own with some salad for extra fresh crunch. Yum!
Serves 8 - 12
¼ cup olive oil
1 cup yellow onions, chopped
8 cloves garlic, finely sliced
10 – 12 pieces of chicken (2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts cut into 3 slices and 6 thighs)
3-4 T cumin, ground
1 red bell pepper, cored and seeded, cut into 1” pieces
1 green bell pepper, cored and seeded, cut into 1” pieces
3 large carrots, peeled, cut into 1” pieces.
8 cups chicken broth, homemade or canned low-sodium
4-6 frozen yuccas, cut into 1” pieces
1 green plantain, peeled and cut into 1” pieces
3 medium red or white potatoes, peeled and cut into 4 pieces each
1 ripe plantains, peeled and cut into 2-in. long pieces (or 1 11-ounce package frozen ripe plantains)
3 medium ears corn, husked and cut into 3 pieces each
2 cups fresh cilantro, chopped
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste
Coat a large, deep frying pan with olive oil. Add onions and garlic, and cook for 1-2 minutes over medium-high heat.
Season the chicken with salt, pepper and 2 T of the cumin. Add the chicken to the pan, and saute until golden brown on the outside. Transfer the ingredients to a large pot and set aside.
Add more oil to the pan, and saute the carrots and peppers over medium-low heat for 3-5 minutes. Add 4 cups of chicken broth and sprinkle the vegetables with cumin and salt to taste. Cook the peppers and carrots for 15-20 minutes, until the broth is somewhat reduced. Add the yucca, green plantains, and potato to the pan, and simmer the ingredients together for 10 more minutes. Add the ripe plantain, and corn to the pan. Sprinkle in the last of the cumin and simmer for another 15 minutes.
Transfer all of the vegetables and any broth to the large pot with the chicken. Add thew rest of the broith, cilantro and red pepper flakes, bring everything to a boil over medium heat. Lower the heat to medium-low, cover the pot, and simmer for 30 minutes. Uncover the pot and simmer the ingredients for 20-30 minutes, until the broth is reduced further. The chicken should be tender, and the veggies soft but firm. Add salt and pepper, if desired, to taste.