My grandfather was a Cuban chef who continued his culinary career in the U.S. with Little Havana’s inaguration of Casa Juancho in the early 1980’s. He went on to directing kitchens on Washington Avenue in Miami Beach in the later part of his life. My grandmother learned what she could and perfected a few dishes, but I have to give my mom the credit for truly capturing the essence of his pallete.
This recipe comes as a response to a special request from a neighbor here in Atlanta, with a longing for the authentic taste of this Cuban adaptation to what seems to be originally a French dish “fricassée”. A common Cuban household dish, I could not just jot down what I know we usually put together. This required a call to Miami, to my mom, who of course claims that she had learned to make this better than both my grandparents, and well friends…you’ll just have to taste for yourself.
Now I’ve claimed this to be an Atlanta recipe, because the only way you’re getting this in Miami is at my moms house, and I’ve added a secret ingredient, replacing the usual cooking wine with Martini&Rossi’s extra dry Vermouth. So when you make this and love it, remember the recipe came from the ATL! Lol. And that’s Cuban food in and from Atlanta.
Here’s what you’ll need:
5-6 chicken drumsticks
1 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/3 green bell pepper chopped
1/3 yellow bell pepper chopped
1/4 yellow sweet onion chopped
1 teaspoon minced garlic
3 tablespoons tomato sauce
1 cup extra dry vermouth
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 red potato
Rinse/wash the chicken well and place in a large bowl. Chop the veggies (peppers, onion, and garlic) and throw over the chicken along with the salt, pepper, and olive oil. Peel the potato and toss in with the chicken. Add the tomato sauce. You should now have all the ingredients except the vermouth in the bowl.
The foods should be about halfway covered by the sauce. Cover the pan and allow to cook for 15 minutes, occasionally turning the chicken to cook on all sides. After 10 minutes, add the remaining vermouth and make sure the heat is medium ( high enough to slowly boil, but not dry out, and low enough that it should not sizzle). The chicken is done and cooked thoroughly once the back end of the drumstick breaks away from the bone. The potatoes will also be very soft at this point so avoid them when turning the chicken. Once done, bring the heat to high for 2 minutes to give the sauce and chicken a good serving temperature. “¡ A chuparse los dedos!” (Finger lickin’ good!)