Courtesy of The New York Times, Vietnamese cuisine finds a place to thrive in New Jersey. Click here to see where. And, if you go to any of the restaurants mentioned, please come back and tell us about your experience.
8-10 Chicken Thighs*
1 medium sized tomato, diced
1 medium sized onion, diced
4-5 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
About 3 bay leaves
1 package of frozen peas, thawed and separated
2 large bell peppers (1 red, 1 green), cut into into 1 inch pieces (seeds and stems discarded)
3-4 medium sized potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 large tin of tomato sauce (approx. 30 oz tin)
1 cup of water
1 teaspoon of peppercorns
Salt, to taste
1 cup of green beans, cut into 5 or 6 cm pieces
* In some variations of Afritada, pieces of pork and liver are added.
1. Dice the tomato and onion and chop the garlic into very small pieces. Sauté all three ingredients in a pot with some oil over medium to high heat. At the same time, you can add the bay leaves.
2. When the onion starts to brown, add the chicken thighs and water (about 1 cup).
3. Season with salt and add the peppercorns.
4. When the chicken begins to lose its pinkness and starts looking beige, add the bell peppers and potato. Cook until the potatoes begin to develop a translucence on its edges. Turn the chicken, as well, to even the cooking.
5. Add the tomato sauce and stir. Cover and cook for about 45-60 minutes, checking periodically to turn the chicken and to add water, if needed.
6. With about a quarter of an hour left to cook, add the green beans and peas.
7. When the chicken is cooked (180 degrees F inside and/or, if pierced and no blood/red liquid oozes out), serve with steamed white rice.