Chiapas style chicken and fruit stew: Estofado de pollo en frutas
Somewhat akin to the manchamanteles of Oaxaca and Puebla, this Chiapan main dish typically uses very little chile. Instead it is characterized by the sweet and tart contrast of the vinegar marinade and the fruit.
- 1 chicken, cut into serving pieces
- ¼ cup grated onion
- 2 large cloves garlic, peeled and mashed in a garlic press
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 4 tablespoons fruit vinegar, such as apple or pineapple vinegar
- 2 tablespoons corn oil
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tomatoes, peeled and chopped
- 1 ancho chile, seeded and deveined, soaked in hot water until soft, pureed
- ¼ kilo potatoes, peeled, cubed and parboiled
- ¼ kilo carrots, peeled, cubed and parboiled
- 1 chayote, pitted, peeled, cubed and parboiled
- 8 pitted prunes, sliced
- 2 tablespoons raisins
- 2 slices of fresh, ripe pineapple, cut into small cubes
- 2 bay leaves
- ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 ½ cups chicken broth
- salt to taste
Marinate the chicken pieces for ½ hour in a paste made by combining the grated onion, mashed garlic, cinnamon, salt and 2 tablespoons of the vinegar. Heat oil and butter in a large, heavy bottomed pot and cook until golden brown on both sides. Remove and set aside.
In the same pan, sauté the tomatoes until they render their juices and begin to caramelize. Add all remaining ingredients, including the 2 remaining tablespoons of vinegar. Return the chicken to the pot, cover and cook over low heat until chicken is cooked through. White meat will require less cooking time than dark and should be removed first and kept warm. Stew may be thickened with a bit of cornstarch dissolved in cold water or thinned with extra broth, according to preference.