Taino Pollo Picante (Puerto Rico)
1 4−pound chicken
8 garlic cloves, peeled
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
4 small hot chili peppers
1 teaspoon minced fresh gingerroot
1/4 teaspoon saffron threads
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin seeds
1/2 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons paprika
3 chopped green onions
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
1/3 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup burgundy
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
Garnish: lemon wedges
Wash the chicken parts, pat dry and remove the skin. Place in a deep square pan and set aside. In the belly of a mortar, combine garlic, salt, oregano, and black peppercorns. Press down with the pestle until garlic is crushed and peppercorns are cracked, then add the chili peppers, minced ginger, and saffron threads. Slowly pound the mixture until achieving a paste and incorporate the oil slowly. At the same time, stir with a spoon to break down the paste.
Spread the mixture evenly over the chicken parts, lifting the chicken pieces to ensure distribution of the marinade to the bottom of the chicken parts. Sprinkle all parts with paprika. Cover and refrigerate overnight. If no mortar and pestle is available, execute the steps in a blender set on low speed until all the ingredients are coarsely chopped, then remove the canister, add the oil and shake or stir to break down the paste and blend the ingredients.
In a preheated deep skillet, over low−to−medium heat, arrange marinated chicken pieces side by side and brown the chicken on all sides. Spread the chopped onions, chopped tomatoes, and drizzle the burgundy over the chicken parts. Cover and finish cooking on low heat for approximately 35 minutes. Remove from heat and sprinkle chopped cilantro on the chicken prior to serving.