Chicken Arepas - Colombian Flatbread Sandwiches
Arepas and their Salvadorean cousins pupusas are a type of round, flatbread made from corn meal or maize flour and it’s featured prominently in the cuisines of Colombia and Venezuela, to the point where some Colombian regions it accompanies all meals of the day.
It can be used in multiple ways, but one common approach is to slice it in half and use the two slices instead of sandwich bread.
The recipe I made comes from Cooking Light Global Kitchen: The World’s Most Delicious Food Made Easy and uses stuffed arepas.
Hands-on time: 30 minutes, total 54. (yeah of course it took me longer than that)
I suggest this Serious Eats recipe for arepas instead of the one included here; I didn’t like the way my arepas turned out - I think the recipe adds too much water.
The filling was pretty delicious, though.
- 15 ounces (1 1/2 cups) yellow arepa flour (masarepa, such as P.A.N.)
- 1 teaspoon salt, divided
- 2 cups hot water
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 cup finely chopped onion
- 1 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
- 2 teaspoons minced seeded jalapeño pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 cups chopped leftover cooked turkey breast (I used chicken)
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/3 cup (3 ounces) shredded reduced-fat sharp white cheddar cheese
- Preheat oven to 400F.
- Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups;
level with a knife.
Combine flour and 1/2 teaspoon salt; stir well.
Add 2 cups hot water (too much I think); stir until well combined and smooth.
Let stand 10 minutes.
Divide dough into 12 equal portions, shaping each into a ball. (Dough should be moist.)
Working with 1 portion at a time, roll each portion into a 3-inch circle (about 1/2 inch thick).
- Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons canola oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
Add 6 arepas to pan; cook 2 minutes on each side (took me more like 5) or until browned and crisp.
Place on a baking sheet.
Repeat procedure with 1 1/2 teaspoons oil and remaining arepas.
Bake at 400F for 20 minutes or until arepas sound hollow when lightly tapped.
- While arepas bake, heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat.
Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to pan; swirl to coat.
Add onion and bell pepper; cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add jalapeño, cumin seeds, and garlic; cook 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Stir in remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, turkey, cilantro, and black pepper; cook 1 minute.
Remove from heat; stir in cheese.
- Remove arepas from oven; let stand 2 minutes.
Cut a 3-inch pocket in the side of each arepa; spoon turkey mixture into arepas.
Serves 6 - serving size: 2 filled arepas. (I ate 3 by myself)
- calories 282;
- fat 10.4g (sat 3g, mono 3.3g, poly 2.3g);
- protein 20.8g;
- Carbs 26.5g;
- Fiber 4.8g;
- Cholesterol 42mg;
- Iron 3mg; Sodium 547mg; Calcium 162mg