Here it is guys. My first batch of arepas. Totes delish guys, totes delish. Like, corn flour and cheese deep fried delish! MMMMMM! Went a little outside of the traditional Colombian style with these, and ended up making sort of an open face sandwich type of thang! They ended up amazing though, so here you go, chicken arepas with avocado and aji from Global Feasts: Colombia!
The ‘bones’ of this recipe are borrowed from The Latin Kitchen‘s arepas con pollo adobado recipe by Melissa Guerra. I altered it just a bit by adding garnishes and toppings. They were awesome enough to let me use their recipe for Global Feasts Colombia. Thanks The Latin Kitchen!
So, the actual title of this recipe should be ricotta arepas topped with spiced chicken, avocado, aji, pickled onion, cotija, and Colombian fruit. Oh boy…… I know it seems pretty involved, but bear with me folks. It’s actually pretty simple to make. Lots of ingredients, but well worth it in the end. The aji recipe was used on ALL THE DISHES from the feast! It’s delicious.
Start by pickling your onion and making your aji. These take a few hours to ‘flavor meld’ so give yourself some time. Then move on to getting your chicken cooked and all your toppings prepped. Make your arepa dough and fry those up last, so they are fresh out of the oil when you serve!
- FOR THE PICKLED ONION
- 1 cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 cups white vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 red onion thinly sliced
- FOR THE AJI
- 1 bunch fresh cilantro
- 2 habaneros stems removed
- The juice of 2 limes
- cup ½ sliced green onion
- cup ½ water
- salt and pepper
- FOR THE CHICKEN
- 1 Tablespoon avocado or olive oil
- 1/2 yellow onion diced
- 1 lb chicken thighs cut into bite sized pieces
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- salt and pepper
- FOR THE AREPAS
- 2 cups Harina PAN or masarepa
- 2 cups warm water
- 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
- vegetable oil for frying
- THE TOPPINGS
- 2 slices avocados cut into
- cotija cheese or queso fresco crumbled
- Mango and star fruit sliced, optional
FOR THE PICKLED ONION Stir together vinegars, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. Add onion and give a good stir. Let sit for 2 hours, stirring every 30 minutes
FOR THE AJI Meanwhile, combine cilantro (with stems), habaneros (with seeds), lime juice, green onion, and water in a blender. Blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Let rest for at least 2 hours, stirring once.
FOR THE CHICKEN When onions and aji are almost ready, heat the oil in a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add chicken and garlic and stir to combine. Add paprika, turmeric, and oregano and cook until chicken is cooked through. Season with salt and pepper.
FOR THE AREPAS Mix together Harina PAN, water, and ricotta cheese in a large bowl with your hands until well combined. Knead a bit to form a cohesive dough. Divide dough into 8 equal portions and pat into 3/4" thick round cakes.
Fill a skillet 1/8" high with vegetable oil. Heat oil until very hot. 4 at a time, fry arepas in oil and cook about 5 minutes on each side, or until golden brown and crisp on both sides. Set aside and keep warm in a clean towel.
PUT IT ALL TOGETHER Place 2 arepas on each of 4 plates. Top with chicken, pickled onion, avocado, cotija, fruit, and drizzle with aji.