Yes, it is possible to make menudo with chicken fillets. The trick is to choose a sausage that is highly seasoned (and spicy!) so that the chicken meat and sauce benefit from them. Chicken meat, by itself, is tasteless. But it has the ability to soak up flavors of ingredients it is cooked with. And that is why this chicken menudo is so tasty.
My favorite sausage for making menudo? Chorizo de Bilbao. Nothing compares to it in terms of flavor and color.
No other sausage will do? Any sausage will do (I don’t count Vienna sausage as real sausage) but your choice will affect the overall flavor of chicken menudo.
- 800 grams chicken thigh fillets
- 400 grams potatoes
- 1 carrot
- 3 bell peppers OR 3/4 c. of frozen sweet peas
- 1 chorizo de bilbao
- 1/4 cup raisins
- 500 grams plump tomatoes or 1 can of stewed tomatoes
- 1 large white onion
- 1/2 head garlic
- 1/4 teaspoon oregano
- 1 bay leaf
- 6 tablespoons olive oil (you can get away with vegetable cooking oil)
- 1 generous pinch sugar
Pat each chicken thigh fillet dry with kitchen towels. Cut each into small pieces, about 1-inch cubes. Season with salt and pepper.
Peel the potatoes and the carrot and cut into 3/4-inch cubes (when the chicken pieces shrink during cooking, they will end up the same size as the carrot and potato cubes).
Peel the onion and roughly chop.
Peel, crush and chop the garlic.
Core the bell peppers, cut off the veins and remove the seeds. Dice.
If using fresh tomatoes, cut them up. If using canned, transfer the contents to a bowl and crush the tomatoes with your hands, leaving some chunks for a better looking chicken menudo.
Slice the chorizo then cut each slice into three or four parts.
Heat the oil in a large pan (non-stick pan is really useful). When hot, add the chicken pieces and cook until lightly browned along the edges. Next, add the chopped onion, garlic, oregano, potatoes and carrot cubes and cook for about 5 minutes over high heat. Add the rest of the ingredients. Season with salt, pepper and a little sugar (to cut down the acidity of the tomatoes). Simmer for 20 to 30 minutes.
As with most stews, this chicken menudo is best the day after when all the flavors have blended together. Chill overnight in the fridge and reheat or, if there is no time, serve hot with rice or crusty bread.