Chicken fricassee in rum and wine
- chicken pieces, at will, enough to serve four of your adults
- 2 medium-sized potatoes, cut in one-inch chunks. Some people peel the potatoes; others keep the skin for its vitamin contents. I won't be the one to say which one is right for you!
- 2 medium-sized carrots, in one-inch slices
- olive oil (preferably) or your favorite cooking oil
- Puerto Rican rum (optional: you may substitute for gin, vodka, scotch or bourbon ... or omit altogether)
- cooking wine (or substitute for any pink or red drinking wine) add a spoonful of vinegar if you opt not to use any wine.
- grape juice (which you may substitute for or blend with the wine used, if any)
- ⅓ cup raisins
- * onions
- garlic, either fresh or bottled. Avoid using garlic salt.
- peppers, to your taste (hot, mild, red, green, other)
- ⅔ cup of tomato sauce (or two tablespoonfuls of tomato paste)
- a pinch of salt
- Use entire chicken pieces or remove the skin, at your discretion. If you remove the skin, leave a small remnant to add some flavor during the next step and later remove, if necessary.
- In a deep frypan, heat a small amount (about two tablespoonfuls, or barely enough to lightly coat the bottom of the frypan) of olive oil at medium high heat, until very hot.
- Carefully add the chicken pieces.
- Sauté quickly on each of the chicken piece surfaces, no more than a few seconds for each surface. The idea is to seal the meat, not to cook it.
- If you are using rum or any substitute, carefully pour it on the chicken pieces and set fire to the liquor. A match applied to any of the liquor will normally do the trick. Be quite careful not to get yourself burned, especially if you've been tasting the wine and liquor beforehand. Keep a lid nearby in case you need to cover the frypan if the fire gets out of hand. Let the liquor fire extinguish itself.
- Remove the chicken pieces and set aside.
- In the same deep frypan, sauté the onions, peppers and garlic.
- Add slightly more olive oil, if necessary.
- When the onions are turning golden, add the and the tomato sauce or paste.
- Add the chicken pieces, sprinkle the salt and add the grape juice and/or the wine (some people actually substitute water for the grape juice and the wine. We do not particularly recommend that unusual practice)
- Let the liquid come to a boil and lower the heat to medium.
- Cover and cook for ten to fifteen minutes, depending on the number of chicken pieces in the pot.
- Add the potatoes and carrots, and the raisins.
- If you are using canned carrots, wait to add them two minutes before serving.
- Allow to cook until potatoes and carrots are as soft as you normally enjoy them.
- If the sauce is too watery, use about one-third cup of the liquid and stir in a tablespoonful of cornstarch.
- Blend thoroughly and then add it to the pot.
- Let cook another minute.