Crackpot Cuban Chicken Fricassee

2-3 lbs. chicken (legs, quarters, etc.)
6 garlic cloves, cut up
1 large onion sliced
1 large bell pepper sliced
1 Cup of Chicken Broth
1 Cup of tomato sauce
1 tsp. of Salt
¼ Pepper
¼ cup Olive oil
¼ cup sliced pimiento filled olives
1 tsp capers
1 cup dry Cooking wine
1 lb. potatoes, peeled and quartered
1 pkg. Sazon Goya with Cilantro and Achiote

This is the simple part chop everything up and throw in the crockpot. Give it a good mix.
Cook for 5-8 hours on low and serve over a bed of rice.
This recipe is so simple and you can leave it cooking in the morning or do like I do cook on high for 3-4 hours (until chicken is cooked).

Cuban Paella (Paella Cubana)

8 chicken pieces (unskinned)
1/2 cup cooked Spanish sausage (chorizo), sliced into 1/4-inch pieces
1 lb. medium shrimp (peeled and deveined)
1 dozen clams (washed)
1 dozen mussels (cleaned)
1 lobster tail (meat removed and cut into small pieces)
4 cups chicken broth
1 lb. medium-sized scallops
2 tbsp. olive oil
8 garlic gloves (minced)
1 large onion (chopped)
1 green bell pepper (chopped)
1 red bell pepper (chopped)
3/4 cup red wine
3 cups Valencia rice (parboiled)
5 cups water
2 tsp. salt
2 packs Goya Sazon con Azafran (Saffron)
1/2 pkg. frozen green peas

You will need a paellera or large covered pot. Heat the olive oil over medium-high in the paellera. Lightly brown the chicken pieces on both sides, then place the sausage (chorizo) while the chicken is frying. Once the chicken is browned on both sides, remove the chicken and sausage and place them in a large bowl. Next place the onions, green bell peppers and garlic in the paellera and sauté until the onion is translucent.
Add the salt, chicken broth, and wine to the paellera. Cover and cook for 5 minutes. Then add the chicken, sausage, rice, water, peas and saffron to the paellera. Stir in all the ingredients well. Cover, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for half an hour. The rice should be tender at this point.

While the rice is cooking, prepare the seafood. Steam the clams and mussels until they open, and set aside. Heat extra olive oil in a large pan, and sauté a few extra sausage pieces in the olive oil. Remove the sausage, then sauté the shrimp, pieces of lobster, and scallops for a couple of minutes. Remove the seafood, and mix into the paellera, stirring all of the seafood into the rice.

Remove paellera from stove, and place in the oven (preheat to 350 degrees). Bake for 15 minutes to allow the flavors to blend. Allow to cool for 5 minutes and serve warm. You may also garnish with sliced red bell peppers. Enjoy!

Potaje de Garbanzos/Chickpea Stew

1 pound dried chickpeas
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 large yellow onion, diced
1 large green bell pepper, diced
3 garlic cloves, peeled
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 Spanish-style chorizos (about 1/2 pound) with the skin removed and cut into 1/4-inch rounds
1/4 pound smoked ham, cubed
3/4 cup tomato sauce
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika (labeled pimentón)
1 bay leaf
1 pound of russet potatoes, peeled and quartered

Optional add-ins to be added with potatoes: malanga, carrots, shredded cabbage

Soak chickpeas in water with a pinch of baking soda overnight, about 10-12 hours. Drain and rinse well.

In a large heavy pot, pour 6 cups of hot water over chickpeas. Bring to a boil then lower heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until just tender, about 30 minutes. Drain and reserve 2-3 cups of the cooking water.

Using a mortar and pestle or garlic press, mash the garlic cloves with salt and pepper to form a smooth paste. Set aside. To make the sofrito, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and peppers and sauté about 5 minutes until soft. Add the mashed garlic and sauté an additional 2 minutes. Add the chorizo and cubed ham and sauté until lightly browned, 2-3 minutes. Add the tomato sauce, wine and bay leaf to the sofrito and simmer an additional 5 minutes.

Return chickpeas to the large pot with 2 cups of the reserved cooking water, add more if needed. Add the potatoes and sofrito mixture to the chickpeas. Bring to a simmer and cook, covered, until the potatoes are tender, about 20-25 minutes. Once the vegetables are cooked through, the desired consistency is a matter of taste. It can be served immediately as soup or allowed to cook a little longer, uncovered, for a thicker stew, about 15 minutes. Serve on its own with bread or over rice.

Makes 6-8 servings

Notes: This stew freezes extremely well for up to a couple of months. Once cooled, portions can be well sealed in freezer bags, defrosted and reheated with a little added water or broth as needed.

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