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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Mayan Chicken Fricassee

Pollo en Pepian Dulce

3-1/2 to 4-pound chicken, cut into serving pieces
2 cups chicken stock,
about 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
1/2 cup pepitas (Mexican pumpkin seeds)
3 red bell peppers, seeded and coarsely chopped, or 5 canned pimientos, chopped
3 medium tomatoes, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons lard or vegetable oil
1/4 cup Seville (bitter) orange juice, or use two-thirds orange juice and one-third lime juice
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice salt,
freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup seedless raisins
1/4 cup chopped almonds

Put the chicken pieces into a heavy casserole, pour in the stock, adding a little more to cover, if necessary. Cover and simmer until almost tender, about 30 minutes. In a blender or food processor grind the sesame and pumpkin seeds as fine as possible and shake through a sieve. Set aside. Put the peppers, tomatoes, onion, and garlic into a blender or food processor and reduce to a coarse puree. Mix the puree with the ground sesame and pumpkin seeds. Heat the lard or vegetable oil in a skillet, add the puree, and cook, over moderate heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, for 5 minutes. Drain the chicken, reserve the stock, and return the chicken to the casserole. Add to the puree 1 cup of the stock, the Seville (bitter) orange juice, allspice, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir to mix, and pour over the chicken. Cover and simmer gently until the chicken is tender, about 15 minutes. Add a little more stock if necessary. The sauce should be thick. Soak the raisins in cold water to cover for 15 minutes. Drain thoroughly. Heat a little butter in a skillet and saute the almonds until they are golden. Drain. Transfer the chicken and sauce to a warmed serving dish and sprinkle with the raisins and almonds. Serve with rice.

Originally posted 3/09/08

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