Pollo Guisado – Puerto Rican Braised Stewed Chicken
One of my favorite dishes since childhood was my mothers pollo guisado. If I told you that my sisters and I use to fight like animals for the wings would you believe me? You better, because the claws came out as soon as the stewed chicken hit the tables. Wow, thinking about it now brings back crazy memories! And yes, even now as adults we still fight for the wings!
I remember every Saturday morning was a like this religious ritual my mom and step dad had… We all had our chores. With 5 girls in the house my mom had all the time in the world to herself while we did all her dirty work! (Thanks mom! Can you train Vicky for me PLEASE!)
One sister had the bathroom, another did the dusting, the other did the laundry, so on and so on. (Wow mommy now that I think of it you ran the house like a drill sergeant!) My chore was accompanying my stepfather to the viveros (live poultry) and to all the food markets. Sounds simple eh? WRONG!!!! Has anyone ever been to a live slaughter house? The smell is something that stays with you FOREVER! YUK! My stepfather would put me in charge of picking the chickens (one 5lb chicken and an 8 lb hen. Still remember that!) and have them ‘cleaned‘ <~ This process would instantly turn anyone into a vegetarian, so I’ll say no more on that!
Fast forward… When I got home with my stepfather (yeah, my mom made sure I didn’t let him escape to the numbers spot!) my job was to put away all the food we bought, clean the chickens with lemon and salt, turn that 1 pc chicken into 8 cuts. Then prep the carrots and potatoes for my mom. Since I was the oldest, I held rank! I cooked with MOMMA!!! I might not have loved it then but I thank her and I love cooking now!