A New Christmas Tradition - Chicken Afritada

There are some things I did differently for our Christmas Day afritada lunch. I used baby potatoes instead of the big ones simply because my sister used the big ones without telling me and all that was left were the tiny potatoes so I used that. I poured more wine instead of using just 1 cup. I used about half a bottle. I fried the chicken until it was mostly brown with the skin a bit crispy. I added more garlic and onions. I used 4 small laurel leaves instead of two. I used canned whole tomatoes and canned crushed tomatoes instead of fresh ones. I used chorizo de bilbao and boy what a difference it made in the flavor of the sauce! But I still don't like chorizos so I gave them to the babies. I just thanked it for the flavor it gave to the sauce. Hehe..

I also let this simmer for 40 minutes. My only mistake was I left it for too long without checking if it still had enough sauce and left it in the care of my sister who was also busy cooking. The bottom of the afritada got burned and the sauce dried up. I asked MB to get the afritada but didn't check. Only when I opened the serving dish that I saw black specks and dried up tomatoes. So, I put it back on the stove and added about 2 cups of water and salt then let it simmer for a while. The result? It was delicious! Better than the first one, really. Just ignore the black specks and the burnt aftertaste of some parts of the chicken and vegetables. I just chucked them out of my plate. To get the original recipe, read this. This recipe is easier. The one below requires patience.

For a more special afritada, I suggest you follow this recipe instead:

Fry the chicken pieces until brown, almost like fried chicken. I used one whole chicken chopped into small pieces. I like them small so that they will cook through. Discard most of the oil after frying. Put the chicken back into the pot and add garlic and onions. Wait until the onions become transparent. Add half a bottle of wine. Allow to boil on high heat then lower the heat when half of the liquid has evaporated. Add 2 cans of  whole/crushed tomatoes. Be sure to crush the whole ones. Then stir. Add the potatoes, carrots and chorizo. Season with salt, pepper and 2T sugar. Add 4 small laurel leaves. Stir and simmer on low heat for 30-40 minutes, covered. Check every 5 minutes if there's still enough liquid. Also, stir the dish to avoiding burning the bottom. If the liquid runs out, add water then season with salt and pepper again. Allow the dish to sit for about 5-10 minutes on the stove before serving. The color is not like the original afritada dish but a beautiful deep red. Also, the chicken didn't turn purple as it was fried longer. The meat was so soft that it was literally falling off the bones and that made the sauce more flavorful. I'm definitely making this a Christmas staple.

Sorry, I wasn't able to take pictures. I didn't want you to see the black specks in the dish. = )


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