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My mother in law is probably the most beautiful Dominican woman ever, and she cooks pretty well too. She shares favorite recipes with me that she made for my husband while growing up, which I appreciate, because before I met him I didn’t really want to cook much at all. I had a lot to learn.
After I married him and had children, I understand the value and importance of sitting around our dinner table together to enjoy healthy, home cooked meals. As a result, I dabbled in cooking, and a new love was born. I love to cook, and my mother in law and the rest of my family is so wonderful to me, happy to spend time showing me what my husband’s childhood favorites are, like a delicious Chicken and Rice recipe (Locrio de Pollo).
Locrio de Pollo is usually made with seasoned rice and chicken, but I was invited by Barilla to try a twist on a traditional dish and use one of their products instead. Considering my love for Barilla products (our pantry is filled with their pastas) I was happy to try it, and adapted a family recipe to create Stelline de Pollo.
Stelline de Pollo Recipe
Stelline are small star-shaped pastas that I knew my sons would get a kick out of, and I liked this as an alternative to rice for this dish because I could stir it in well to absorb the flavor of the chicken and other ingredients much like I normally would with rice.
Ingredients (to serve a family of four)
2 lbs chicken breast, sliced
2 cups Barilla Stelline
1 tsp sugar
3 cups water
1/4 cup mojo criollo
1/2 cup peppers, sliced
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1/2 cup sliced olives
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup fresh cilantro
1/2 cup tomato sauce
salt and pepper to taste
My mother in law makes this dish with the whole chicken, but since cholesteral runs in our families I use skinless chicken breast (another personal adaptation) and cook this dish in a regular french oven.
1. Marinate chicken in bowl with mojo criollo, pepper, onion, garlic, and seasonings for at least 30 minutes, covered in refrigerator (overnight is even better). Let stand at room temperature about 15 minutes after removing from refrigerator before cooking.
1. Heat olive oil in cast iron oven (about 2-3 tbs) over medium heat and add in one tsp sugar to warm oil.
2. When sugar has caramelized (turns brown) add in marinated chicken, keeping remaining marinade ingredients in bowl. Brown chicken on one side, then turn over and brown other side.
3. Add a few tablespoons of water to browned chicken, cover and let simmer over medium to high heat for about 10 minutes. Keep adding water as necessary when it evaporates, a couple tablespoons at a time, and stir chicken.
4. After ten minutes, add 2 cups water, vegetables from marinade, tomato sauce and olives and stir together.
5. Bring oven to a boil, and add in Stelline. Cook and stir until Stelline has full absorbed water and remaining water has evaporated.
6. Add in two more tablespoons olive oil and stir. Reduce heat to very low, cover, and let simmer for about 15 minutes (check to make sure it’s not overcooked).
7. Remove from heat and serve.
In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, I will be sharing some traditional Dominican recipes, and I’ll be using a variety of superior quality Barilla pastas to enhance them. Barilla is Italy’s #1 pasta brand, and it never clumps or sticks. There are many shapes and cuts to choose from, so you can also adapt them into your family’s favorite Hispanic dishes for some delicious variety as well.