Sunday, December 14, 2014

#306 Chicken Picadillo, By: V




What started as a sore throat quickly became a full blown upper respiratory infection this week.  So, I sat myself at home and became close friends with orange juice, soup, and all the other sick day usuals.  When I was finally feeling a bit better toward the end of the week, I decided to make myself avocado toast.  This quick and healthy treat has made its way around the food blog world and right onto restaurant menus.  I even saw it on a brunch menu for a new D.C. restaurant the other week, the avocado toast was served along with a variety of other toasts (gravalax is a common topper, but now we see avocado, goat cheese and hummus served on top of a crunchy toast base).  I simply took a half avocado and smushed it on top of a crunchy piece of sourdough toast.  Sprinkled with a bit of red chili flakes (or salt/pepper, olive oil, lemon), and bam!  A great side to soup or salad and a nice snack.  



Toward the end of the week I took a visit with my roommate to my favorite burrito spot in Arlington:  Pedro & Vinny's.  They grill the meat fresh to order and have a delicious array of sauces/salsas.  I've never heard of cucumber as a burrito filling, but it's delicious!  I ordered the steak burrito and my roommate ordered the chicken and of course we cut both down the middle to give one half of each to the other person.  What a treat! 

This week's recipe is Ground Chicken Picadillo.  Picadillo is a traditional dish in Spain, Latin America and the Philippines.  It is commonly made with ground beef and tomatoes, and a variety of other ingredients based on region.  This chicken version incorporates green olives, which is commonly seen in the picadillo recipes of the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and Cuba.  Picadillo can be seen with potatoes, eggs, capers, bell peppers and other ingredients and variations.  This dish is my simpler version.  

Often recipes call for a tablespoon of tomato paste, but all that's available is a full can.  My picadillo recipe includes tomato paste, and I found a great way to use a portion of the tomato paste from a can and saving the rest for other recipes.  A great idea is to empty the can into a ziplock bag, take your finger and separate it out into smaller sections, freeze, and you can then cut off a piece of tomato paste whenever you like and keep the rest back in the freezer.  Hope this proves helpful for some of you!


Ground Chicken Picadillo

INGREDIENTS:

1 lb. ground chicken 
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped yellow onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsps chopped curly leaf parsley
1/2 small tomato, diced
4 oz. tomato paste
1/4 cup green olives
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 bay leaf
1 tsp cumin
1 cup water
salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS:
  1. Heat the olive oil in a deep pan.  Once the oil is heated add the garlic and onion.  Cook the onion until translucent.  Then add the ground chicken.  Cook the chicken through until it is no longer pink.  
  2. Turn the slow cooker to high heat.  Add the chicken, onion and garlic mixture to the slow cooker.
  3. Add the tomato, tomato paste, green olives, garlic powder, cumin, bay leaf and water to the pot.  
  4. Cover with a lid and cook on high heat for 1 hour.
  5. Turn the slow cooker off, take the lid off and add salt, pepper and curly leaf parsley to the mixture.  Stir thoroughly and serve on top of rice.


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