Have you ever been excited about a dish and after it was cooked it was SO not what you thought it was going to be, but in a bad way?
That was this dish for me.
Chicken in Sandals. Gallina en Huarache.
I have no history or anything on this dish for you. I could barely find a recipe, but I got the idea from MEXICO: The Cookbook by Margarita Arronte as I was putzing through Barnes & Noble a few months ago and based solely on the name, I wanted to make it (even though the thought of chicken in sandals is appalling to me given the fact that animals dressed in any sort of clothing is one of my biggest pet peeves in life). I made a note in my phone to look it up and when I went to search, only one version, in Spanish, popped up. Using my roughly translated recipe (what do you think “one onion girl” was supposed to say?), I threw together what seemed like a dish that would be easy (which it was) and well-balanced in flavors (sweet and savory, spicy and rich). The result was something that tasted sort of muddy to me, with an overly thick, goopy sauce.
In fact, I disliked this dish so much that after plating and tasting and re-tasting the sauce, I ended up rinsing off the chicken and re-used it to make some Cock-a-leekie Soup. I really did.
I don’t think I did anything wrong. I didn’t use a particular cheap and gross bottle of wine, and all the other flavors in theory should have worked well together. I don’t know. Just not my cup of tea. The dish’s saving grace that I served it atop the creamiest polenta made in the slow cooker. THAT, I devoured shamelessly.
If you want to give this recipe a try and tell me that I’m wrong, go for it. If you have a good, tried and true recipe for Chicken in Sandals, I’d love to hear it.
- 1 whole chicken, about 4 pounds washed
- 4 ounces smoked ham
- 1 large link smoked chorizo
- 3 slices pineapple
- 1/2 apple, sliced
- 1/2 pear, sliced
- 1/2 sweet potato, sliced
- pinch saffron
- 1 tsp capers, minced
- 1 clove
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- salt and pepper, as needed
- 1 bottle red wine
- 1 tomato, large
- 1 onion, sliced
- 4 cloves garlic
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- In a large dutch oven, layer all the ingredients, including the spices, but excluding the chicken and wine.
- Wash and clean the chicken well. Cut as necessary to fit in the dutch oven so that it can be covered.
- Pour enough wine to cover everything (I used the whole bottle) and cover the dutch oven.
- Bake until the chicken falls apart, about an hour.
- Serve atop polenta. If you desire a thicker sauce, strain it and reduce to desired thickness.