Pollo en Crema or Chicken in Cream is a popular Guatemalan recipe made with chicken, onions, bell peppers, covered in a creamy coconut sauce. With just the right blend of sweet and savory, you are sure to find it utterly irresistible. Serve with rice and warm tortillas.
This Pollo en Crema also shows best the syncretism in Guatemalan gastronomy. Chicken in Cream can also be made with loroco (edible green flowers), chayote or zucchini, yellow potatoes, green chile peppers, mushrooms, and güisquil wedges.
Chicken in cream is juicy and tender and it’s one of those dishes that’s actually simple to make but so beautiful and complex in taste that you’ll look like a genius when you bring it to the table.
Pollo en Crema ~ Chicken in Cream
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- 2 tbsp vegitable oil divided
- 3 lbs chicken bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces
- adobo seasoning to taste
- ½ cup onion finely chopped
- ½ cup green bell pepper finely chopped
- ½ cup red bell pepper finely chopped
- 1 packet sazón seasoning
- 1 can coconut milk
- ¼ cup cilantro finely chopped
- Heat 1 tbsp. oil in large, deep skillet over medium-high heat. Using paper towels, pat chicken dry; season all over with Adobo. Add chicken pieces to skillet skin-side down. Cook, flipping once, until golden brown on both sides, about 10 minutes. Transfer chicken to plate.
- Pour remaining oil into skillet. Stir in onions and bell peppers. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are soft, about 7 minutes. Sprinkle Sazón over vegetables; cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds more. Pour coconut milk into skillet with vegetables. Transfer chicken to skillet skin-side up, arranging in single layer; bring coconut milk to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer, covered, basting chicken occasionally with sauce, until chicken is cooked through (internal temperature will register 165˚F on quick read thermometer when inserted into thickest part of thigh without touching the bone), about 25 minutes
- Transfer chicken to platter; loosely cover with foil. Increase heat to medium-high. Simmer coconut milk sauce, stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens slightly. Stir in cilantro; season with Adobo, if desired
- To serve, pour sauce over chicken. Serve with rice and tortillas.
Hunger in Guatemala
Chronic hunger and malnutrition are major concerns for children in Guatemala. According to USAID, chronic malnutrition causes children to drop out of school, lowers their productivity, makes them susceptible to illness, and even a loss of intellectual quotient.
Almost half the population cannot afford the cost of the basic food basket. As a result, the prevalence of stunting in children under 5 is one of the highest in the world – and the highest in Latin America and the Caribbean. At 46.5 percent nationally, the stunting rate climbs up to 70 percent in some departments, with peaks as high as 90 percent in the hardest-hit municipalities.
A multi-ethnic country with a rich cultural heritage, Guatemala is one of the most unequal countries in Latin America. While two-thirds of the overall population live on less than US$ 2 per day, poverty affects indigenous people disproportionately: 80 percent of them experience deprivation in multiple aspects of their lives, including food security, nutrition, health, and education.
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