Arepas with Chicken Filling
Adapted from The South American Table
Yield: 10 to 12 stuffed arepas
1 cup arepa flour (masarepa)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups hot water
1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour and salt. Add the water and mix with your hands to make a soft dough. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand 5 minutes. Then knead for about 3 minutes until smooth. If the dough is too dry, wet your hands and continue kneading and wetting your hands until the dough is soft.
2. Shape the dough into disks measuring 3 inches in diameter and 3/4 inch thick. Oil or wet your hands lightly and shape into balls the size of golf balls. Flatten each ball into a circle and shape the edges to form a smooth disk.
3. To cook the arepas, heat a griddle or cast iron skillet over medium heat. Grease it lightly with oil and cook the arepas on both sides, turning a couple of times until a crust forms. If the arepas are browning too fast, reduce the heat to low. Total cooking time is about 10-15 minutes. Transfer to an ungreased baking sheet and bake in a preheated 350?F oven for 15 minutes. To tell if the arepas are ready, tap them lightly. If they sound hollow, they are ready.
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 small onion, diced
1 small green bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 14.5 ounce can fire roasted diced tomatoes with chiles
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 chicken sausages (I used andouille but I imagine chorizo would also be delicious), chopped
8 ounces ground chicken breast
Cojita cheese, crumbled
1 avocado, peeled, pitted and cut into chunks
1. Heat a large, heavy skillet over medium heat and spray with cooking spray. Add the paprika, onion, bell pepper, garlic, tomatoes, cumin, thyme, salt, and black pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes have formed a thick sauce, about 20 minutes. Add the chicken sausage and ground chicken and cook, stirring occasionally and breaking up any ground chicken clumps, for about 10 minutes, until the mixture is dry.
2. To serve, split the arepas in half, scoop out the doughy insides, and fill with filling. Top with chopped avocado and crumbled cojita cheese if desired and serve.