A Comforting One-Pot Chicken Pasta, by Way of Peru


If I want to get my husband John excited about dinner, all I have to do is mention the word carapulcra. This rich, homey stew is made from pieces of sun-dried potatoes that are rehydrated and simmered with chunks of pork in a spicy broth. The sauce is perfumed with cloves, white wine, and Port. Thickened with ground peanuts, it gets an added touch of lusciousness from a very unusual (at least in Peruvian cuisine) secret ingredient: a bar of chocolate.

Carapulcra rarely makes an appearance at Peruvian restaurants in the United States, so it’s a real treat whenever I announce to John that I’m preparing it. I blame its absence on restaurant menus to the fact that it looks like dog food. It’s a member of that special society of dishes that objectively don’t photograph well, but taste heavenly.

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