Hello friends and fellow foodies!
Today I bring you another jewel of traditional Dominican cuisine.
The meat of “gallina criolla” (naturally grown hen generally grown in small family farms and all of the Dominican countryside) has always been one of the most appreciated. It used to be rare, as it was always almost impossible to get in the city, but we would get to have some every now and then, as most Dominicans still have their family farms, or family in the countryside. (Most Dominicans have a rural background, me included)
Remember I had shared the recipe for chicken rice which is similar but not the same as the recipe for rice with chicken or “arroz con pollo. Well, hen rice is similar but there are some very clear differences in flavor and cooking.
The main differences are in the flavor. Because the hen is totally organic and grown naturally as they grow in their natural habitats, the meat has a much deeper flavor. It’s also a much tougher and darker meat, as the animal has much stronger muscles with immensely improved circulation. In short, it’s a much happier, healthier bird. The flavor resembles that of “guinea” in both flavor and color, for the reasons we mentioned before.
Dominicans love to have it in a good broth, usually in a Sancocho (For the Sancocho recipe please visit my Spanish site), or a “asopao” (Although Puerto Ricans and Dominicans have many versions of asopao it is generally something from a loose rice soup to a almost risotto recipe)
Fortunately for us Dominicans today it’s much easier to get hen and guinea in the supermarkets as some farms have specialized in their production, without loss in quality and living conditions.
For 6 people.
- 4 cups of rice.
- 4 cups of water.
- 1 tbsp. garlic paste (natural)
- 1 3 lbs hen.
- 1 tbsp. tomato paste.
- 1 big red onion.
- 1 cubanela pepper.
- 1 bouillon cube
The way we color it is by heating oil and adding some sugar. When the sugar starts to burn we add the meat (previously cut in pieces) and color them. Separate.
As it is organic hen, it is necessary to soften that meat in a pressure cooker for about 20-25 minutes. When ready separate but do not through away the broth, as you can use it instead of water.
Make a sofrito (stir fry) with all of your other ingredients (except the rice) then add the liquid, (water of broth) add the meat and when it starts to boil the rice. Move frequently until it dries off.
Cover and allow to cook on low fire for half an hour. Enjoy!
Serve it with a very creamy avocado and some nice stewed read beans!
Don’t go far this is getting hot!
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