Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Slow Cooked BBQ Pulled Chicken and my dislike for chipotle

A lot of people think that because I’m of Puerto Rican heritage that I eat tacos, burritos and everything spicy. Well folks, this is a very bad stereotype. Puerto Ricans cook very differently than what people would think. Here’s a quick history lesson for you.

Puerto Rico’s cuisine is based on its Spanish, African, and Taino Indian roots. 

Wheat, garbanzos, olives, olive oil, black pepper, onions, garlic, cilantro, oregano, basil, sugarcane, eggplant, ham, lard, chicken, beef, pork, and cheese came to Puerto Rico from Spain. The tradition of cooking complex stews and rice dishes in pots such as rice and beans are also thought to be originally European (much like Italians, Spaniards, and the British).

Lard. Yum. Thanks for this.

Coconuts, coffee, okra, yams, sesame seeds, gandules (green pigeon peas,) sweet bananas, plantains, and other root vegetables such as yucca and yautia came from Africa. African slaves also introduced deep frying foods to Puerto Rican cooking.

Yautia—it’s a starchy root vegetable used almost like a potato

Eventually, the US played another prominent role in the way PR food is cooked. Bacon, canned Vienna sausages (salchichas,) pasta, and canned corned beef have been and are still a major part of the traditional Puerto Rican cuisine.

vienna sausage
Growing up, my mom used to make Arroz con Salchichas, or rice with vienna sausage. Thanks for this one too…haha

And let’s not forget rice and beans. We love ourselves some rice and beans.

puerto rican rice and beans

The moral of the story? Nowhere in there does it mention tacos, burritos, chiles or chipotle.

  BBQ pulled chicken

BBQ Pulled Chicken  (I also made cornbread on the side)
(This recipe was from Eating Well magazine)

  • 1 8-ounce can reduced-sodium tomato sauce
  • 1 4-ounce can chopped green chiles, drained
  • 3 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon sweet or smoked paprika (I used smoked)
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon ground chipotle chile
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed of fat
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced

Cooking Directions:

  1. Stir tomato sauce, chiles, vinegar, honey, paprika, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, ground chipotle and salt in a 6-quart slow cooker until smooth. Add chicken, onion and garlic; stir to combine.
  2. Put the lid on and cook on low until the chicken can be pulled apart, about 5 hours.
  3. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and shred with a fork. Return the chicken to the sauce, stir well and serve.

Serves 8.

Nutritional Info:
184 calories; 8 g fat (2 g sat, 3 g mono); 68 mg cholesterol; 8 g carbohydrates; 20 g protein; 1 g fiber; 257 mg sodium; 303 mg potassium.

It was very easy to make, which I liked. And if it hadn’t been for the chiles and chipotle chile, I probably would have liked it a lot more. If you like these ingredients, you won’t need to change a thing. Next time I try this, I will be sure to omit them and add more garlic and use sweet paprika instead of the smoked.

If you try it, let me know!

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