Monday, April 26, 2010

Chicken Afritada in Fresh Tomatoes

I have been craving for the “pork afritada in fresh tomatoes” which I posted here sometime ago. However, since some of our members have been avoiding too much pork in their diets lately, due to medical conditions, I decided to use chicken wings instead of pork. Although this does not necessarily mean it will have a lesser bad cholesterol content knowing a lot of chicken skin will be present, at least I can be assured that all members will be eating the dish and would probably enjoy it for our dinner knowing chicken wing meat is so tasty and succulent which can be cooked in half the time needed to cook pork.

As most of us know, chicken wings are a section of the wings of the chicken composed of drummettes and flats used to make the popular dish called “buffalo wings” which is a deep fried chicken wings covered in sauce. The same part of chicken is also good to prepare fried, grilled, baked and stewed. In fact, chicken afritada in fresh tomatoes is actually a stew dish prepared using fresh tomatoes instead of tomato sauce and added with bell pepper, green peas, carrots and potatoes.

As I said before, while “afritada” is among the special dishes serve in every home in the Southern Luzon (Philippines) areas during town fiestas (festivals), special family occasions (weddings, baptisms, birthdays, etc.) and important gatherings (reunions, Christmas, Holy Week Celebrations, etc.), this preparation using fresh tomatoes and simpler ingredients can be your easy alternative to enjoy the dish in your everyday meal. Though the sauce is not as rich and creamy as in the special “afritada” dish, it is still as tasty and satisfying that will bring delight to everyone during meals.

To prepare the dish, we need about a kilo of chicken wings, cleaned, washed and cut up to serving sizes as shown above.

The first step is to lightly fry the meat to remove any unwanted smell. In a wok or thick pan, heat up about 1 tbsp of oil. Add about 2 gloves garlic, minced. Add in the chicken pieces and fry for several minutes until the meat lightly seared. Transfer in a bowl and set aside.

Meanwhile prepare the other ingredients: about 4 pieces large very fresh ripe tomatoes, washed and roughly chopped, 4 gloves garlic, peeled and minced, 1 onion, peeled and chopped, 1 pc green bell pepper (red should have been better), julienned, 2 pcs potato, peeled, halve and cut into ¼ inch thick, 1 carrot, peeled and cut into ¼ inch thick as well and about a cup of cooked green peas.

In addition, we shall also need 2 tbsp vegetable oil, 1 tbsp soy sauce, 1 tsp ground pepper, 1 tsp salt, or to taste and about 2 cups of good broth or hot water.

In the same wok or thick pan, heat the oil. Sauté the garlic followed by onion. When onion is translucent, add in chopped tomatoes and continue cooking until the tomatoes has caramelized and mushy.

Add the green peas and bell pepper followed by the chicken wings. Continue sautéing then add the soy sauce. Season with salt and pepper and finally add the broth and continue stewing.

Taste the sauce and adjust the seasonings. Add in the potatoes and carrots and continue simmer on low heat until the meat and veggies are fork tender.

When the sauce is reduced and slightly creamy it’s done. Transfer in a large bowl and serve immediately.

The dish goes well with steamed rice. Enjoy! c“,)

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