Santo Domingo Feature

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Sancocho Dominicano

The Dominican national dish was traditionally made with seven different meats.The following recipe, which serves eight, is courtesy of Villa Pajon, a rustic lodge in the mountains of the Valle Nuevo.

Ingredients:

1 chicken (with bones), cut into pieces

8 pork chops

2 limes, juiced

4 cloves of garlic, mashed

1 large onion, chopped

1 habanero pepper, chopped

1 bunch cilantro, chopped

1 tablespoon salt

1 tablespoon bitter orange juice (fresh or bottled)

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1 teaspoon oregano

2 tablespoons cooking oil

1 green plantain, peeled and cut into 1" pieces

1 lb. yucca, peeled and cut into 2" pieces

1 lb. calabaza (auyama), peeled and cut into 2" pieces (butternut squash works, too)

1 corn on the cob, cut in half

8 to 12 cups water

Season the chicken pieces and pork chops with lime juice, garlic, onion, salt, cilantro, pepper, and oregano. Then sauté the meat and chicken in a large pot with the cooking oil for approximately 20 minutes. Add the water and cook until meat is almost done. Adjust the cooking time, if necessary, so you do not overcook the meat. Remove the meat from the cooking liquid, and strain the liquid, returning it to the pot. On high heat, bring the liquid to a boil, and add the plantain pieces, immediately reducing the heat to medium-high. Cook for five minutes, then add the yucca and pumpkin and cook for 10 minutes more. Finally, add the corn. When the vegetables are almost done, add the chicken and pork chops, vinegar, and bitter orange juice. Adjust the seasoning, if necessary, and cook for 20 more minutes on high.

Serve with white rice, concon*, avocado slices, and hot-pepper sauce if you like.

*Concon: The concon is the golden, crispy rice at the bottom of the pot that is leftover after the bulk of the cooked rice has been removed from the pot. If you crisp the rice yourself, be sure it does not burn.

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