Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Venezuela: Aliño Criollo Seasoned Grilled Chicken with Salsa Guasacaca (Grilled Chicken with Avocado Salsa)

4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 tbsp Aliño Criollo (see below)
2 tsp oil, optional
Salsa Guasacaca, for serving (see below)

Pound chicken thighs to about 5-6 mm thick, using a kitchen mallet. Rub with seasoning and wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 2-3 hours. (Alternatively, you can mix the seasoning with the oil and brush the chicken with the marinade; then chill, covered.) On a sandwich grill (or a bbq grill), grill the chicken until crusty and browned on the outside but still juicy on the inside (about 2 minutes with my sandwich grill). Season to taste with salt. Serve with the salsa, a side salad some crunchy bread.

Aliño Criollo (Creole Style Seasoning Powder)
1 tbsp garlic salt
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tbsp ground annatto/achiote seeds
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 tbsp oregano
3 tbsp sweet paprika

Mix all ingredients together and store in an airtight container.

(from: "The Book of Latin American Cooking" by Elisabeth Lambert Ortiz)

Salsa Guasacaca
1-2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp minced fresh red chili pepper
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper

1 medium plum tomato, seeded and cut into 3-4 mm dice
1 ripe avocado, cut into 3-4 mm dice

2 tbsp finely diced green bell pepper
1 hard boiled egg, finely chopped
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley
1 tsp finey chopped fresh cilantro

Whisk together oil, vinegar, chili, salt, and pepper. Add remaining ingredients and toss well. Adjust seasoning and serve salsa with grilled meat, poultry, and fish.

(adapted from: "Recipes: Latin American Cooking" from Time Life's "Foods of the World" series)

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