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Mil Colones Stew was born from a delicious Pollo Guisado that I had at a soda near the beach in Costa Rica. The little old Tica lady who owned the home near Playa Avellana served up the delicious, much needed guiso that I needed. In the summer heat, dehydration got the better of me, so the warm broth was the perfect remedy.
Ten days, and three different hotel stays (in three different beach towns) later, and we were craving that tasty chicken stew. So, when we found ourselves equipped with a small kitchenette at the little casita near Playa Negra – and a little store across the street, we were guessing on the recipe before we had unpacked our surfboards.
This was when our chicken stew, which we named Mil Colones Stew, inspired by the total cost of the meal, taught us more about the people of Costa Rica than about the wonder of a discerning palate.
The lovely people of Costa Rica are the most kind, friendly people in the world. The woman who owned the ‘store’ (grocery shelves set up in her living room, and a counter replacing her front window) was so thrilled that I, a tourist, spoke Spanish, that she pulled me into her home to offer me the freshest chicken, the best tomatoes, and even let me in on the known recipe secret of Costa Rican cooks: Salsa Lizano. The meal was spot-on!
Mil Colones Stew
Yields 6 servings
1 whole chicken, cut up, skin removed (or 4 bone-in, chicken breasts, skin removed)
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1 rib celery chopped
¼ red bell pepper, chopped
1 lime, cut in half
2 plum tomatoes, chopped
¼ tsp or 3 shakes Salsa Lizano
4 cups chicken broth, or to cover chicken
1/3 cup white rice
1 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper
1. Heat oil in a pan and add onion. Saute for a few minutes, then add garlic, carrot, celery and pepper. Saute for a few minutes more. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
2. With skin removed from chicken, rub pieces with the lime halves. Place chicken in the pan and pour broth over the top. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer.
3. Add chopped tomatoes and rice. Cover and cook for 20 minutes. Shred chicken and remove bones. Add chicken to the broth and cook about 5 minutes longer to heat through and allow chicken to absorb some of the broth.
4. Plate and enjoy!
Other recipes by Carolyn:
Camarones a la Criolla (Shrimp Creole Style)
Pollo en Fricasé
Bistec Encebollado (Steak and Onions)
Coctel de Camarones (Shrimp Cocktail)
Tacos de Carnitas
Sopa de Lentejas (Lentil Soup)
Pan de Bono
Huachinango a la Veracruzana (Snapper Veracruz)
Mofongo Relleno de Camarones
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