I asked grandma for the recipe to my favorite meal and snack. Added to the recipes are substitutions you can use to make these recipes gluten-free (GF). Many thanks to my dear friend Andy Harrison for helping me with this. I want these recipes to be as accessible as possible. At the end of this post, I will attach the YouCaring fundraiser I have going to help my grandma after Hurricane Maria.
Chicarrones de Pollo con Salsita de Ajo (fried chicken chunks with garlic sauce)
3 chicken leg quarters, cut in small pieces which can be de-boned
Grandma seasons the chicken using every granny’s secret weapon Adobo.
She then breads the chicken with either wheat flour or bread crumbs. Andy’s GF suggestion is brown rice flour. If you’d like to mimic the texture of bread crumbs, Andy sometimes uses crushed up rice crispies. They also make their own bread crumbs using GF toast.
Heat vegetable (or corn) oil and add a few chunks at a time.
Fry them the same way you would regular chicken
Now for the Salsita de Ajo
My dear old grandma doesn’t believe in measurements. She eyeballs everything, which takes serious skill. If I tried that I would probably poison my family.
She uses a small bottle of white vinegar for the base. I checked online and that should be the 16oz bottle of Goya-brand vinegar. (Goya of course being the other secret weapon in granny’s arsenal of deliciousness)
She says she uses less than half of the bottle. So let’s say about 6oz of vinegar (and make sure it’s white!)
You’ll need about two small heads of garlic.
Grandma stresses you must not let them get wet or they will become green.
You’ll need to combine the cloves and vinegar in a blender. She again stresses that the blender must be completely dry.
Add a pinch of salt
A teaspoon of any oil if you’d like
You can transfer the sauce to a bottle. Grandma uses an empty bottle of mustard. Many times we’d go grab the mustard and end up with garlic all over our hot dogs. It’s like the cookie tin phenomenon!
Always remember to shake the bottle before each use.
Below is what your chicken should look like with the sauce over it.
Barriguitas de Vieja (pumpkin fritters)
Ok, so the literal name would be old lady bellies, but who wants to eat that?
- 2 cups cooked pumpkin
- ½ cup of wheat flour
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Once the pumpkin is cooked, wait for it to cool to and add the flour, egg and vanilla. Once the dough is mixed, place small spoonfuls of the it in vegetable oil. Keep an eye on each spoonful in order to turn them over. They’ll be ready once they’re golden brown. Drain them on paper towels.
They can be eaten warm or at room temperature. My grandma never did this, but some people sprinkle confectioner’s sugar and cinnamon over the fritters.
Andy says this recipe is harder to adapt to be GF. They suggest substituting the wheat flour for gluten free flour blend and adding an extra egg to make the GF flour blend work. Some vanilla extracts are not gluten-free so be sure to check the bottle!
And there you have it! Two of my favorite things to eat when I visit grandma. I told her about this post and how I would probably name it, “Judy’s Recipes”. She said that they are my recipes now.
Help me help my grandma continue to make these yummy foods! Piss off an orange president and help a Puerto Rican granny continue to survive!
Grandma loves to listen to her radio and songs like this. I’ll never forget waking up to these songs and thinking they were so boring. It’s only now that I can appreciate how beautiful they are.