Monday, July 28, 2014

Pollo Saltado II

I've been toying with my recipe for pollo saltado, a Peruvian chicken and potato dish, for over a year now. While I'm happy with my quickie version, I craved something a little more complex in flavor.

What we have here is my latest attempt, and I think it is quite good.  I substitute homemade spaetzle for the traditional potato component, and the traditional soy sauce flavor is brought in through the way the chicken is roasted rather than through adding it to the sauce.  The whole thing took about two hours to make, although half of that was chicken roasting time.

Pollo Saltada: Peru with a German Twist

2 pastured chicken breasts
2 T. organic butter
1/2 c. soy sauce (no HFCS)
sprig of rosemary, chopped

In a 350 degree oven, roast two chicken breasts for an hour in a roasting pan with the butter, soy sauce, and rosemary.  Baste regularly until the meat is almost falling apart.  (Note:  I did 4 chicken breasts with this same amount of basting sauce, so now I have two left over for wraps later this week.)

Meanwhile, make the spaetzle:

2 c. organic flour
2 pastured eggs
1 t. salt
water to make a slightly loose paste

Mix together ingredients and force through a strainer or a spaetzle-making tool (more on this later in the week) into boiling water.  Remove the little dumplings when they start to float and reserve them in a dish with butter to keep them from sticking to one another.

When you have everything prepped, assemble with:
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 jar organic marinara sauce
3/4 cup garden peas (or more if you have them)
1 c. garden cilantro, chopped

Cook onion in saute pan with a bit of butter until translucent.  Add chicken, spaetzle, and marinara sauce.  Add peas and cilantro last, and cook just until peas are tender and cilantro is wilted.

The Analysis
Fast:  As I said, this one is a little fussy.  I took about two hours to make this, but half of that was roasting the chicken while I was actually outside planting fall peas.  If I did everything together, I could probably get it done in 90 minutes.  So, this is a good weekend dish for when you have time to mess around in the kitchen.

Cheap:  I paid up for the best flour, chicken, and eggs, so I spent some money.  But this is really an exercise in featuring the plentiful garden cilantro, the precious peas, and the wonderful, fresh-butchered chicken.

Good:  This one's worth the effort and the cost.
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