Chicken legs in Red Sauce and Chick Peas – Piernas de Pollo en salsa Roja y Garbanzos is a wonderful translation of a handed down Puerto Rican recipe from an old friend. Piernas de Pollo en salsa Roja y Garbanzos has juicy moist chicken legs, red and green bell peppers, Spanish onions, fresh roasted garlic, chopped cilantro, red sauce, and garbanzo beans served with Valencia rice.
If you are fond of Puerto Rican Cuisine you are going to love this translation of my friend’s handed down the recipe. I know most of you already know, I adore Latino Cuisine and have shared a lot of it on this blog in the past. I decided to share yet another wonderful recipe for Chicken legs in Red Sauce and Chick Peas – Piernas de Pollo en salsa Roja y Garbanzos with you all today so that you can make your own rendition of one of my favorite Puerto Rican recipes to this date.
The Puerto Rican cuisine is notorious for its roots in the cooking traditions of countries such as Spain, Africa, and the native Taínos. In the latter part of the 19th century, the cuisine of Puerto Rico was greatly influenced by the United States in the ingredients used in its preparation.
Spanish influence is seen in Puerto Rican cuisine. Wheat, chickpeas (garbanzos), black pepper, onions, garlic, cilantro (using plant and seeds in cooking), oregano, basil, sugar cane, citrus fruit, eggplant, lard, chicken, beef, pork, and dairy all came to Borikén (Puerto Rico’s native Taino name) from Spain.
The tradition of cooking stews and rice dishes in pots such as rice and beans are also said to be European. Olives, capers, olive oil, grapes, and wine play a big part in Puerto Rican cooking however due to the tropical climate these foods cannot be grown. Puerto Rico had these foods imported from Spain. Early Dutch, French, Italian, and Chinese immigrants influenced not only the culture but Puerto Rican cooking as well.
African influence is seen in coconuts, coffee (brought in by the Arabs and Corsos to Yauco from Kafa, Ethiopia), okra, yams, sesame seeds, gandules aka pigeon peas, many varieties of bananas, plantains, and other fruit, other root vegetables, and Guinea hen, all have been said to come to Puerto Rico from Africa. Africans also introduced the deep-frying of many foods.
South American influence is seen in foods native to South America were brought to the island by the Spanish trade, such as cocoa, avocado, tomatoes, chayote, papaya, bell peppers and vanilla from Mexico and Central America. Potatoes and passion fruit were also brought over from Peru and Brazil.
Below you will find my recipe for Chicken legs in Red Sauce and Chick Peas – Piernas de Pollo en salsa Roja y Garbanzos with simple to follow instructions to make one of the best Puerto Rican inspired meals you’ll ever taste.
Chicken legs in Red Sauce and Chick Peas
- 2 tablespoon of olive oil, +1 extra
- 12 chicken legs, washed and patted dry
- 1/4 of a cup of large green bell pepper, diced
- 1/4 of a cup of large red bell pepper, diced
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 4 cloves of roasted garlic
- 1/4 of a cup finely chopped cilantro or Culantro
- 1 can of garbanzo beans (15 ounces) drained, rinsed
- 2 cups of low sodium vegetable broth
- 1 and 1/4 cup of tomato sauce
- 4 medium potatoes, sliced into 4 long-wise
- 12 Spanish Green Olives
- 1/2 teaspoon of dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon ground toasted coriander seeds
- 1 whole bay leaf
- 1 envelope Sazon, Con Culantro y Achiote
- Kosher salt, to taste
- fresh ground pepper, to taste
- sliced avocado
- sliced lemon, or lime
- Chopped cilantro to garnish
- Wash and pat dry chicken legs then season Chicken legs with kosher salt and pepper.
- In a large deep cast iron skillet or Dutch Oven over medium-high heat add 2 tablespoons of olive oil, once heated add seasoned chicken legs cook for 3 minutes on all sides.Reduce heat to low, add diced green and red bell peppers, diced onion, 4 cloves of roasted garlic, chopped cilantro or culantro: sauté for 2-3 minutes to soften.
- Once you are done sautéing vegetables with chicken, add 1 can of rinsed and drained garbanzo beans (Chick Peas) 2 cups of vegetable broth, 1 and 1/4 cups of tomato sauce, 4 medium potatoes sliced longwise, 12 Spanish Green olives, 1/2 teaspoon of dried oregano, 1/4 teaspoon of coriander, 1 bay leaf, 1 envelope Sazon Con Culantro y Achiote, season with kosher salt and pepper to taste. Stir to merge seasoning.
- Place a tight-fitting lid on Cast Iron skillet or Dutch oven and cook on very low for 1-hour stirring occasionally (may add extra vegetable broth if needed)
- Serve with white Valencia rice garnished with lemon or lime wedges and sliced avocado.