Nitza Villapol, the legendary Cuban cook and author, taught generations of islanders and exiles to make this hearty chicken stew. It draws flavor from alcaparrado, a mix of pimento-stuffed olives and capers, and sweetness from raisins. This recipe first appeared in our March 2014 issue with the story My Search for Nitza.
Find this recipe in our cookbook, SAVEUR: Soups and Stews
- 1⁄4 cup fresh lime juice
- 1⁄4 cup fresh orange juice
- 3 cloves garlic, lightly smashed
- 1 (3 1/2–4-lb.) chicken, quartered (backbone discarded or saved for stock)
- 1⁄3 cup olive oil
- 1 large green bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and thinly sliced
- 1 large white onion, thinly sliced
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1 lb. russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1″ pieces
- 1⁄2 cup cup jarred alcaparrado or 1/3 cup pimento-stuffed olives and 2 tbsp. capers
- 1⁄4 cup raisins
- 1 cup frozen peas, defrosted
- 1 (8-oz.) can tomato sauce
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Toss lime and orange juices, garlic, chicken, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap; chill 1 hour.
- Heat oil in an 8-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat. Remove chicken from marinade; pat dry using paper towels and reserve marinade. Working in batches, cook chicken, flipping once, until browned, 8–10 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate. Add bell pepper and onion to pan; cook until soft, 6–8 minutes. Add wine; cook, scraping up browned bits from bottom of pan, until reduced by half, 5–7 minutes. Return chicken to pan and add reserved marinade, potatoes, alcaparrado, raisins, tomato sauce, salt, pepper, and 1⁄2 cup water; boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook, covered, until chicken and potatoes are tender, about 45 minutes. Stir in peas before serving.