Monday, September 29, 2008

Colombian Chicken, Corn, and Potato Stew (Page 370)


  • Date: Saturday, September 27, 2008 -- 8pm
  • Location: Bloomington, IN
  • Kitchen: My Apartment
  • Dining Companion: Matty
  • Recipe Rating: A-

This recipe was part of the Poultry plan, whereby Matty and I are trying to eat a lot of birds to make up for the deficit in that section of The Book. This recipe is a version of ajiaco, a famous dish in Colombia. I have never been to Colombia, but if this dish is representative of the cuisine, perhaps it is about time I make a trip there. I started by browning a whole chicken, cut into 8 pieces. I then removed the chicken and cooked onion and oregano in the pot, adding shredded potatoes, stock, the chicken, and water once the onions were tender. Once the chicken was cooked through I removed it and shredded the meat. Meanwhile I cooked cubes of potatoes in the broth, then added chunks of corn on the cob, and finally the shredded chicken meat. Once everything was cooked through, I served the stew with small dishes of avocado, capers, cream, and cilantro. In summary: yum! The broth had an excellent flavor, and the shredded potatoes more or less dissolved, giving it a nice body. The shredded meat and cubes of potato gave it a good heartiness. The corn was delicious, but it was a bit unwieldy to eat. I definitely liked the look of having the big chunks of corn on the cob, but for practical reasons I would have preferred to just cut the kernels off the cob before adding them. The avocado, cilantro, and cream were excellent atop the stew. I didn't think the capers went so well (my special gentleman agreed) but it's not as though they were bad... This stew was hearty and delicious. We have been eating it reheated for lunches, and it is even better after a day in the fridge. If you are looking for simple, delicious, comfort food, this recipe is a good bet!

Here is the recipe.

There is some common wisdom that if you can run 20 miles, you can run a marathon. I am hoping that this logically extends to the wisdom that if you can run 10 miles you can run a half-marathon because on Sunday I ran 10 miles for the first time! It was actually a great run. I ran 10 miles and felt great! I think there were a few keys to my success:

1. I ate a LOT earlier in the day. Matty and I went apple picking in the morning with Mike and Teresa, so I ate lots of apples, followed by some apple cider, apple strudel, elephant ear, hot dog, baked beans, etc... at the apple orchard. When I got home I ate again so I was super-fueled for my run.

2. For the first time, I ate during my run. I had a Balance bar during mile 8. It probably wasn't the best choice because it made my stomach turn around mile 9.5, but it did give me the fuel I needed to keep going.

3. I have started running with my cell phone during my long runs, in case of emergency. I forgot to turn the ringer off on Sunday and Rachel called me around mile 2. I talked to her for a couple miles, which left me out of breath but it was an excellent distraction. The first 4 miles are always the hardest for me, so it was nice to be thinking about something else for a few of them.

4. I put some new music on my iPod. There's nothing like some Wham! to get your feet moving.

All those factors combined led to a great run yesterday, and a new-found confidence that this half-marathon is really possible. Believe it or not I am even considering training for a marathon in the spring...


Liz C said...

Congrats on the long run! Do you take water along on your long runs? I'm not sure how long I need to run before I start worrying about stuff like that.

Teena said...

I do take water. I get dehydrated really easily and then I feel terrible, so water is essential for me. I have one of those belts that has 4 little water belts attached to it. It's a little annoying, of course, to run with a belt of water, but it's worth it!

Karen said...

This is my kind of meal. Sounds absolutely delish!

Angie said...

I just saw your post about the ajiaco and I thought I should comment. Ajiaco is my favorite Colombian dish. My mom knows that the day I get to Bogota there should be some ajiaco waiting for me at home. I don't like adding capers to it (thoigh the rest of my family does). The corn is the cob is kind of messy, I agree, so in my house we just add the kernels. Most families own little forks especially made for the cob so that you can get it out of the soup (ajiaco, sancocho, mondongo... we like corn in our soup).

It's good that you used 2 kinds of potato, we usually use 3. And the missing ingredient (I guess replaced by the oregano) was guascas. It's I kind of aromatic herb that we use a lot for cooking.

Colombian cuisine is really good. It's a shame that most Colombian restaurants in the states are from a very specific region and they don't show the great variety of food we have down there.

You are more than welcome to come, I would be excited to host you if you. As an introducion, you can check Anthony Bourdain's episode about Colombia in No reservations ( - this is part 1 of 5).

Teena said...

Yeah, I was really impressed by this ajiaco. I can definitely see why it would be a great dish to come home to! Especially if I had some of those little forks!

I do hope I make it to Columbia sometime soon!