Pollo@PambicheBy JCM on June 13, 2012 — 2 Comments
Chicken is a favorite Cuban staple as it is here in the US and it is a fan favorite at Pambiche as well.
So for all you chicken nerds out there I would like to tell you about the chicken and the chicken dishes we prepare here at Pambiche. First, we are proud to feature Draper Valley Brand Chicken on all menu items. Draper Valley is a local NW farm that raises chickens naturally and humanely and whose business practices are both economically and environmentally sustainable. The chicken has an old fashioned flavor because it is fresh from farm to table (never frozen), plus they don’t use antibiotics, preservatives or hormones and the chickens are fed a 100% vegetarian diet of corn and soybean flakes, that means no animal by product in the feed. Eating this chicken is much better for your body’s health and it tastes better! We did the Pepsi Challenge with Draper Valley against 3 other Chicken brands. Our team of chefs could tell the difference, so to us, it’s legit! Check out their site here.
Pambiche offers the following Cuban chicken preparations:
Chicken Creole: Chicken hindquarters braised in a tangy gravy, fragrant with fresh herbs and sour orange. Served with your choice Cuban beans and rice. During dinner service the dish is served with tostones – fried green plantains.
Lunch $8.00 Dinner $13.00
Arroz con Pollo
Chicken and Yellow Rice: Valencia saffron rice cooked with creole chicken stock, Spanish saffron, smoked paprika, Manzanilla olives, fresh herbs and olive oil sofrito. Served Cuban style with green peas and Ensalada Caribeña – organic cabbage salad. During dinner service the plate is served with maduros – fried ripe plantains. Lunch $8.50 Dinner $14.00 – Traditionally with Cuban Arroz con Pollo the chicken and the rice are cooked together. The chicken is first seared and the sofrito is built, the meat is allowed to braise for a bit as the stock is developed with herbs and spices and then the rice is added.
This process takes about an hour. Obviously we cannot turn out this process in 10-20 minutes (ideal time for you to wait for your meal to be prepared). So we cook the items separately ahead of time and then reheat them together when you order your Arroz con Pollo. This is done purely for logistics, we actually contemplated preparing the dish the traditional way to order and printing on the menu “Please allow 1 hour cooking time for this dish.” Or “Must order 24 hours in advance.” I’ve seen it done this way in Havana, Miami and in Spain for Paella (a seafood and yellow rice dish that is prepared similarly). Neither option seemed like a good one for us and we opted for our embellished version.
Everything else about how we prepare the dish is straight outta mom’s recipe, the adobo for the chicken the spices for the rice, etc. Honestly, I like our restaurant version better than mom’s or anybody else’s for that matter, here’s why. We rekindle the chicken and rice in the oven so the chicken gets a little roasted action going which gives it a slightly smoky flavor and a crispier texture. As a kid the one thing I never liked about mom’s arroz con pollo was the soggy chicken skin, but that’s really how the dish is supposed to be.
I’ve had Arroz con Pollo prepared by many Cuban ladies in my family from Havana to Portland. I’ve had decent versions in Miami Cuban restaurants as well. It is delicious either way really, but honestly I like my restaurant variation best, I’m obviously biased, duh?! So there it is my 10 minutes on Arroz con Pollo a la Cubana via Maribona and Pambiche. Back to the rest of our chicken menu…….
During our “La Hora del Amigo” Cuban Happy Hour, we offer one of my personal favorites, Pollo Frito a la Cubana – Cuban Fried Chicken: Adobo chicken deep fried to a lustrous crisp and drenched in garlic mojo sauce.
Served a la carte. $3.50
Empanada de Pollo
We also make excellent Chicken + Corn Empanadas – Empanadas de Maíz con Pollo: Roasted corn and adobo chicken stewed together in a tomato, garlic, pepper sauce then wrapped in our homemade pastry dough and deep fried until tender and crisp.
We offer all of our empanadas a la carte as an appetizer for $4.00 or as a light plate served with your choice of Cuban salad and tostones – fried green plantains. Lunch $7.00 Dinner $8.00 Empanadas a la carte are $3.00 during our La Hora del Amigo – Cuban Happy Hour.
Croquetas de Pollo
Chicken Croquettes: Our chicken croquettes are subtly seasoned Cuban herbs and spices and a bit of chorizo sausage for character. They are great on their own, with or without lime, and if you like, ask for a side of salsa criolla. Croquetas are a kid favorite at Pambiche as they resemble a number of breaded fried meats (nuggets, chicken strips, fish sticks, etc.) that are easy for picky kids to eat out of hand.
Served as an appetizer during lunch and dinner for $5.00 and $4.00 during our La Hora del Amigo – Cuban Happy Hour.