Time for our first foray into the delights of Peruvian cooking with this traditional dish called Carapulcra (or Crappy-poo-cra, as Pierre hilariously mispronounced it !), thanks to the first box from my new Kitchen Trotter subscription. You may remember, I showed you the contents of the Peru box here.
This dish called for a few ingredients that I'd never even heard of before - always fun ! First of all, the El Plebeyo Papa Seca which is chunks of dehydrated potato.
Next, the Peruvian salt, Sel de Maras.
And finally the jar of La Latina Aji Amarillo which is a paste made from yellow chillis. I had a tentative taste and it removed half of my taste buds ! - it has a slightly strange bitter taste too so definitely one to use in moderation.
Time to get preparing - I crushed some peanuts with a rolling pin and put the potato in a bowl of water to soak for a couple of hours, after rinsing it.
It's actually quite a simple recipe once you know what you're doing. You gently fry onions and garlic with two cloves, a cinammon stick, some salt and chilli powder, then add the crushed peanuts and chilli paste.
Add the chopped chicken and stir-fry for about ten minutes.
Drain the rehydrated potato and throw it in the pot.
Add water to cover.
Leave to cook on a low heat for at least an hour. When it got to this consistency, I turned off the heat and put on a lid for it to finish cooking.
The recipe card said to aim for a texture that was "neither too liquid nor too firm" which wasn't very helpful but it came out perfect, soft but still tooth-tender to give it a bit of bite. The chicken and potatoes soaked up all the different flavours and it had just the right amount of chilli heat to give it a little lift.
Other blogposts you may be interested in :