If you’re a regular reader, you’re very familiar with Miriam. She was our very first teacher - remember her ham croquettes? A few months she taught us how to make her delicious lentil stew. She’s a dear friend and has basically offered to be our “go-to” teacher when we can’t schedule someone else.
This month she once again opened her home to us to teach us how to make chicken fricassee. This is really a family recipe in the sense that her sister Nora uses this recipe on Christmas Eve to make Turkey Fricassee - rather than having roast turkey again so close to Thanksgiving, we have it this way and it is fantastic! So, keep in mind this recipe works perfectly with turkey and pretty much any fowl.
When we arrived at Miriam’s house she was not only ready to teach us to make the fricassee, no…she was making home-made mariquitas! She was preparing a complete lunch for us. So, in addition to the chicken, we had white rice, freshly made mariquitas, and freshly made plantains served with a light chilled pinot grigio followed by delicious home-made Bahamian guava preserves with cream cheese and of course, cafecito. We had a great afternoon hearing old stories about vacations past and I discovered that one of my closest friends - Miriam’s daughter - whom I’ve known for over 20 years knows how to gut a fish! OMG!
1 whole chicken - skinned and cut into 8 pieces (split breasts in two)
salt to taste
pepper to taste
1/4 Tbsp Italian seasoning
6 garlic cloves - chopped
Juice of 1 medium sour orange - juiced (can be replaced by 1/4 cup of bottled bitter orange marinade)
Olive oil - enough to coat pan
1/2 medium green bell pepper - cubed
1/2 medium red bell pepper - cut in strips
1 medium onion - chopped
11/2 Tbsp sun dried tomatoes in oil - reserve the oil
16 oz tomato sauce
1 cup dry white cooking wine
4 1/2 oz sweet red pimientos – cut in large strips - reserve about 2 oz of the liquid
1 bay leaf
3 small potatoes - peeled and chunked
1 tsp capers (optional)
7 Tbsp manzanilla olives stuffed with pimientos - reserve the liquid
Process This recipe makes approximately 6 servings.
- Season the chicken with salt and pepper to taste, Italian seasoning and garlic. Marinate in the sour orange juice for at least two hours.
- Coat pan with olive oil and brown the chicken pieces.
- Remove the chicken from the pan.
- In the remaining oil with drippings, add onion, red and green peppers. Saute until soft.
- Add sun dried tomatoes with reserved oil. Stir into onions and peppers.
- Add tomato sauce, cooking wine, a pinch of salt, bay leaf and sweet red pimientos with reserved liquid.
- Add the chicken to the sauce mixture. Cover and cook on medium-low for about 20 minutes.
- Turn the chicken and add potatoes. Cover and continue cooking for 10 minutes.
- Add capers and olives if desired. Continue cooking for 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
- NOTE: Although traditionally this dish is prepared using a cut up whole chicken, you can easily substitute your favorite chicken parts. When using boneless chicken you should re-introduce the chicken into the sauce later in the process to avoid over cooking it.
We all came away agreeing that this was definitely a doable recipe - even during the work week. Remember you can substitute the chicken with turkey for a fantastic alternative to roast turkey on Noche Buena or Christmas.
Image sources: Bitter Orange Marinade, Dry White Cooking Wine, Pimientos, Olives