Monday, February 6, 2012

I Believe in Miracles (USD$1.15) - Los Yungas, Bolivia

In the Bolivian tropical zone there are many delights, one of which is the Fried Chicken Dinner available as the sun goes down and the day begins to cool off. In the small pueblo of Coroico, there is a long string of small green kiosks just off the plaza in which women feverishly labor to feed strolling families and ravenous workers recently liberated after a long sultry day of toll. My friend, Marta, is all smiles and cheerfully calls out to neighbours, long time customers and colorful travelers arriving from far flung corners of the world. Oh, does she have the spark! She admits readily she'd like to speak el ingles as even "los chinos" speak English, pues. Conjoling and sweet, she's a natural cook and a bit of a "Master of Ceremonies" all rolled into one.

She explains matter of factly that she uses only corn starch (no salt or pepper) to crisp the chicken which is cut in a way to increase surface area. This results in a quicker cooking time and more crunch in every bite. In addition she's instinctively hit upon a recipe for Pommes Frites (Twice Fried - Belgian Style Fries). She fries peeled, cut & towel dried potatoes 'til barely golden and sets them aside to drain. As the orders come in she drops the cooked potatoes into oil at an even higher temperature to achieve a perfectly crispy chip.

Try this classic Pommes Frites recipe at home; it's dead easy if you attend to detail - Heat a copious amount of oil to 160° C (325° F). Deep fry the potatoes in batches 'til the fries are slightly golden. Drain and allow to cool. For the second round heat oil to 190° C (375° F). Fry the potatoes once again until crispyyyy and golden. Drain, salt and serve immediately. Get ready for the CRUNCH!

To the above add Fried Plantain and Llajua (Bolivia's Fiery Sauce). And now you have a Jungle Chicken Dinner which I consider a small miracle for 8 Bolivianos (USD$1.15)!

Copyright © Mick Huerta 2012. All Rights Reserved.
All Accordin' - Travel, Culture, Food & Wine!

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