Chicken Menudo

I call this my great extended recipe. See, one 800-gram pack of chicken thigh fillets can feed as many as eight persons if you know how to extend it. By adding vegetables, you double the bulk. But that doesn’t mean you have to dilute the flavors too. Add a piece of chorizo de Bilbao and your chicken menudo won’t look like a budget noche buena dish at all.

The same principle applies to pork but pork cooks twice as long. Besides, when the pork fat melts, the pork pieces shrink tremendously and you’ll end up with much less meat. That’s why I prefer chicken thighs. Pat each chicken thigh fillet dry with kitchen towels. Cut each into small pieces, about 1-inch cubes. Season with salt and pepper. Peel the potatoes and the carrot and cut them into 3/4-inch cubes (when the chicken pieces shrink during cooking, they will end up the same size as the carrot and potato cubes).

Peel the onion and roughly chop. Peel, crush, and chop the garlic. Core the bell peppers, cut off the veins, and remove the seeds. Dice. If using fresh tomatoes, cut them up. If using canned, transfer the contents to a bowl and crush the tomatoes with your hands, leaving some chunks for a better-looking chicken menudo. Slice the chorizo then cut each slice into three or four parts.

Heat the oil in a large pan (a non-stick pan is really useful). When hot, add the chicken pieces and cook until they change color. Next, add the chopped onion, garlic, potatoes, and carrot cubes and cook for about 5 minutes over high heat. Add the rest of the ingredients. Season with salt, pepper, and a little sugar (to cut down the acidity of the tomatoes). Simmer for 30 to 40 minutes. As with most stews, this chicken menudo dish is best after reheating. Serve with pan de sal instead of rice for a change.