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Chicken Escabeche

Chicken Escabeche Appetizer Recipe
Photo by Marta Bartolomei Edmonds.
If you are planning a Three Kings Day party to mark the end of the holiday season, try this savory appetizer. Chicken escabeche (pollo en escabeche) is delicious, easy to make and can be prepared days ahead of a party.
Escabeche refers to a marinade of fragrant olive oil, vinegar (or citrus), onions, garlic, black peppercorns and bay leaves. It originates from Spain and can be found throughout Latin America. There are many different applications of the escabeche marinade. You can use escabeche to poach fish, seafood or chicken for juicy entrées. Another application is to add the prepared escabeche marinade to cooked starchy vegetables like yuca and green bananas to make a savory side dish like yuca escabeche (yuca en escabeche) or green banana escabeche (guineos verdes en escabeche – a personal favorite). Most escabeche recipes are best served after marinading for a day and served at room temperature.
The recipe I share with you today is for a chicken escabeche appetizer. You will poach chicken breasts in the escabeche marinade, then shred the chicken into bite-sized pieces to serve on crackers. It’s a perfect party appetizer as you can prepare it a day or two ahead. Serve the escabeche at room temperature with a simple cracker. My favorite cracker to serve it with is the most humble saltine cracker. It’s also great with matzos or cracked wheat crackers. Try it, your guests will love chicken escabeche.

Photo by Marta Bartolomei Edmonds.
Chicken Escabeche Appetizer (Pollo en Escabeche)
2 boneless chicken breasts
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup white vinegar
2 large onions, sliced across into thin rounds
4 garlic cloves, sliced
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon salt
1. Heat olive oil in a heavy saucepan over medium heat until it simmers. Add the chicken, bay leaves, peppercorns and salt. Top with the sliced onions, garlic and white vinegar. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
2. Remove the chicken breasts and cook the escabeche marinade in low heat until the onions are clear (don’t allow the onions to caramelize). Use two forks to shred the chicken into bite size pieces and return the shredded chicken to the escabeche marinade.
3. Transfer the chicken escabeche to a glass container and cool to room temperature. Refrigerate for 24 hours to allow the flavors to develop. Serve at room temperature with your choice of crackers.
Makes 4 cups of escabeche.

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