Peruvian Skillet Chicken is a recipe inspired by the beauty and rich diversity of Peru’s culture; and yet, it contains the unique sensibilities and qualities—the unique touches—of the one preparing it, which makes it an original. And that is the very beauty of this concept of originality—it's a composite of all that inspires it.
Isn't it extraordinary that there isn't another human being just like you on this amazing planet of over seven billion people?
You are an original, through and through, and when our Creator, the Great Artist, dreamed you up and knit you together wonderfully, beautifully, perfectly, He broke the mold and was well pleased with the shear potential that He had created.
See, you and I, and all of mankind, are manifest potential.
We begin already containing all of the brilliant parts and attributes we need in order to carry out our purpose during our specifically allotted span of time here.
And in life we either follow the quiet voice that echoes within our soul and guides us along, encouraging us this way or that way, here or there; or we make a choice to live in the lie that we do not have, already within us, all that we need for our journey, or that we simply are not enough, not worthy.
But because our Creator breathed a deep breath into our lungs and sent that current of life into our system in order that we may experience this amazing all-ness, then that, in and of itself, makes us worthy. We are here!
The beauty of you and I is that though we are originals, completely one of a kind and unique, we are indeed shaped and informed by each other and the sparkly world around us; and this offers us a richness and a connectedness that serves only to elevate us and make our existence that much more abundant and colorful.
We are meant to allow life to penetrate and affect us, and inform our brilliant, foundational originality.
And in an interesting way, the process of cooking can demonstrate this very thing.
Though this succulent, aromatic and rich recipe for Peruvian Skillet Chicken is an original concoction, prepared in my own unique way, with my own sensibilities, it was certainly inspired by the ingredients, flavors, and textures I found while partaking in vibrant and delicious Peruvian cuisine.
What I was inspired by was there to guide and inform my choices.
Which makes me realize: originality is quite an inspired thing, then, isn't it?
The strength of our originality depends so very much on our interconnectedness.
Our unique “blueprint” provides the potential; and ultimately, inspiration connects us to parts previously unknown, to bring out the best of us, and to make us whole. And in that sense, I suppose we are then “co-creators” with God, deciding what seasonings to sprinkle into the recipe that is our life, and in what quantities.
We’ve already been given all the ingredients for a divinely delicious life.
It's up to us to build upon things, and to use inspiration from the good that we find around us to guide ourselves into our most unique form.
Because we are inspired originals.
Taste whats good and pass it on.
Peruvian Skillet Chicken
by Ingrid Beer
Yield: Serves about 4
• 2 large skinless, boneless chicken breasts, sliced lengthwise to create 4 thinner cutlets, then again in half (vertically) to create 8 smaller pieces of chicken
• Olive or canola oil
• Black pepper
• 1 teaspoon paprika
• 6 cloves garlic, divided use, pressed through garlic press (2 cloves for marinade, 4 for recipe)
• Zest and juice of 1 lime, and extra wedges for garnish
• ½ cup all-purpose flour
• 2 large onions, quartered and sliced
• 1 pound campari tomatoes, chopped
• Pinch of red pepper flakes
• ¼ cup, packed, cilantro leaves, chopped roughly
• Rice, to serve as a side (optional)
• Roasted of fried potatoes, to serve as a side (optional)
• Cilantro, for garnish (optional)
-Place the pieces of chicken into a bowl, and drizzle in about 2 tablespoons of the oil; sprinkle in a generous pinch or two of salt and pepper, the paprika, and two of the pressed garlic cloves, plus the zest and juice of the lime; marinate for at least 30 minutes, or even overnight if doing ahead.
-Add the flour to a large bowl or plate, and add each chicken piece in to lightly coat in the flour; repeat with all pieces.
-Place a large skillet or pan over medium high heat, and add in enough oil for a very shallow fry, about ½ cup; once the oil is hot, add in a batch of the chicken to cook until golden-brown on each side, about 4 minutes per side; remove and rest on a plate and repeat with remaining chicken.
-Using the same pan/skillet, wipe out any excess oil and residue from the flour so it's fairly clean; place over medium-high heat, and add in about 3 tablespoons of the oil.
-Once hot, add in the sliced onions and saute those until they become softened and golden-brown, about 10-12 minutes; add in a sprinkle of the salt and pepper, and then add in the chopped tomatoes, and cook those with the onions until they begin to break down and soften, releasing their juices, about 4-5 minutes.
-Add in the remaining 4 cloves of pressed garlic, the pinch of red pepper flakes, and the roughly chopped cilantro, and stir together; check to see if another pinch or two of salt and pepper is needed, and finish with the squeeze of lime juice, if desired; turn off the heat.
-Nestle the chicken pieces back into the sauce, smothering them in the tomatoes and onions, and serve over some rice and/or potatoes, if desired; garnish with a little extra cilantro leaves, lime wedges and red pepper flakes, if desired.