It’s unfortunate to say, but the sum total of my knowledge on Colombia comes from Gloria Pritchett on Modern Family. It appears that Colombians are very passionate and hardcore people, with massive families. She alludes to the fact that they’re exposed to crime often (although they’re all the better for it in the end). My other exposure to Colombia has been Shakira, a friend I met on the Camino de Santiago whose wife is Colombian, and of course poor Miss Colombia who held the shortest Miss World reign in the history of the world.
I toyed between making empanadas and pasteles (basically pies) which look incredible (and I plan to make again soon), but decided in the end to make a Colombian Chicken Stew (Sudado de Pollo). I coincided the meal with a visit from Darryn and Mark so they could enjoy it too.
I’m quite averse to cooking with chicken on the bone. My main reason is that it makes it difficult to eat, but also I just have never been a fan of it. But I decided to go with it this time. The recipe asks for the skin to be removed (I don’t know if one can purchase skinless thighs and drumsticks anywhere, but if this is possible please let me know). This was quite possibly the worst stage of the recipe for me, and possibly even of my whole cooking experience (although the chicken livers were pretty bad too). I’m just a bit squeemish and it’s just not the best thing to be working with. Anyway, I managed, although I might consider using chicken breasts in future.
Sazon Goya (called for by the recipe – which is here by the way) is not readily available anywhere it seems. Peeps overseas seem to order it on Amazon. I decided that was way too extreme and also I was on a time limit, so I made my own – or something close, using a recipe I found here. I didn’t have Oregano so used Basil instead, and I didn’t have garlic powder so I left that out completely. I used about 2 tsp of the mixture.
The stew was absolutely delicious. There was such a divine flavour, and I’m starting to believe again that one can have flavour in their food without it being hot and spicy. I can’t really explain it because I haven’t really made or tasted something equivalent before. But it was really good and I would absolutely make it again. The coriander makes such an impact too, and we even served it with some extra on top (one can never have too much coriander, unless you’re allergic or it tastes like soap to you).
Darryn and Mark (particularly Mark) loved it and I’ve got some left for me in the freezer. As I say, I will likely make it with chicken breasts next time, which might reduce the cooking time a bit (wouldn’t want it to be tough). The Sazon Goya is also really delish and I’ve bottled some for myself to use for future recipes.