I honestly have never heard of Nicaragua until I was in Central America. I had no idea about its culture, history, and its food. Travelling overland in Central America gave us a chance to explore areas that some people may overlook.
We travelled in Nicaragua for over a month and discovered its natural wonders, colonial cities and charming islands and tasted some of its delicious cuisine. While most of Central American food beyond Mexico has been disappointing (more rice and beans, anyone?), Nicaraguan food was an exception. The mixed influences of Creole (Caribbean), Spanish and indigenous flavours made Nicaraguan food unique.
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One of the best dishes we’ve tried in Nicaragua was chicken with jalapeño cream sauce. It is traditionally served with fried plantains, steamed rice, salad and avocado.
I couldn’t find any recipe online so I thought I’d let my tastebuds decice and tried recreate the dish on my own. It’s hard to find fresh jalapeños in New Zealand so I used pickled jalapeño instead. The first time I cooked the dish I made it way too hot (too many peppers!) so adjust the amount of jalapeño peppers based on your preference. I also used Greek yogurt to make the dish lighter. You can of course, use fresh cream which will result in a thicker and creamier version.
I’ve made the dish twice and I finally have the perfect recipe that closely represents the Nicaraguan dish. Even if you haven’t tried Nicaraguan food, don’t be afraid to give this dish a try. It certainly won’t disappoint. Here’s my recipe for Nicaraguan Jalapeño Cream Chicken:
300 g chicken breast cut into strips
5 tbsp olive oil
5 tbsp butter
1 large white onion cut into thin rings
2 tbsp pickled jalapeño peppers diced
1/2 cup of Greek yoghurt (or fresh cream)
salt and pepper to taste
• Season the chicken with salt and pepper.
• Heat a deep skillet. Saute onions with a bit of olive oil and butter.
• Place the chicken pieces in the pan once onions start to become translucent. Cover and cook the chicken over medium heat, gently stirring and turning the chicken every 15 minutes or so, until the chicken is tender enough.
• Keep the heat adjusted so that the chicken doesn’t scorch.
• Add the jalapeño peppers and simmer gently for 5 to 10 minutes.
• Reduce the heat to low, stir in Greek yogurt or cream.
• Remove the pan from heat just before it starts to simmer. Season with salt and pepper.
• Serve over steamed rice.
Have you tried to make this Nicaraguan Chicken with Jalapeño Cream Sauce recipe? Have you tried Nicaraguan / Creole food? Let us know.