We’re in a recession, right? Even the Swai fish price in Harlem is up a few dollars. For last week’s bento lunch, I used pork because buying for ten people was still under budget compared to buying enough fish that would feed the entire group. This week, I used chicken–and you know something’s off when I start buying chicken. I rarely order chicken from a restaurant menu (except for a good fried chicken, of course), but I do like cooking with it. I’m a sucker for the Dr.’s roast chicken anytime.
So with six chicken breasts and almost two pounds of peppers from my last few farmer’s shares, I turned to the Filipino cookbook I bought in Manila last August called Fiesta! Fiesta! Festival Foods of the Philippines for a tomato and bell pepper-based stew. The recipe’s most important step called for a store-bought Afritada mix (wenk, wenk) which I obviously altered in my version. Why go for a short cut when the real way is already easy?
6 boneless chicken breasts
4 large red bell peppers, seeded, chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 tbsp tomato paste
2 bay leaves
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
oil, salt, pepper
1. In a large Dutch oven, heat some oil and brown chicken on both sides. Remove from pot and set aside.
2. Using the same pot and oil, sauté garlic until brown and onions until soft. Add the bay leaves and stir in tomato paste. Add tomatoes and bell peppers and cook until peppers are tender.
3. Add the chicken pieces back and add 4 cups of water. Lower the heat and simmer for 1 hour or until chicken is cooked and water is reduced to a thicker consistency.