Monday, September 15, 2014

Picnic in Ecuador - For the Love of Food and Food of Love

Picnics in Ecuador are all about love of food and food of love.

Love of food because all true Ecuadorians love good food.

They all have a little foodie inside of them and can spend hours talking about the right way to prepare a certain type of dish.

Or the differences of using a blender to just frying the refrito and the condiments and adding them to the food.

Or if a certain dish should have pepper, cumin, coriander or some other ingredient or not.

And of course, is the cebiche from Esmeraldas the real one or the one from Manabí.

A deadly discussion, almost as heated as which is the favorite, and best, soccer team in Ecuador.

And food of love because all Ecuadorian are taught when they grow up that food is love.

Mothers show their love through the food they cook to their families.

A real mother is the one that feeds you.

And the more there is food and tastier it is, the more she loves you.

In Ecuador, the way to man’s heart, truly, is through their stomachs.

To woo an Ecuadorian you need a lot of meat and copious quantities of plantain banana, potatoes, rice, manioc and other starches.

You should not forget the salads and fruits either.

For a picnic everyone pinches in.

I cooked the rice and the potatoes and brought sodas.

My friends made an Ecuadorian chicken dish, seco del pollo. 

Which means dry chicken and is completely absurd name for the dish.

Since the chicken is very moist and prepared with thin, clear and very tasty broth.

Besides the chicken, we had cooked plantain bananas, avocados, salad, laughter, interesting conversations and lots of friendship.

Sharing food is like sharing love with the people that surround you.

Seco de pollo or chicken stew

Yields for 8-10 people
Seco de pollo or seco de gallina is an Ecuadorian chicken stew cooked slowly in a sauce of beer, onions, garlic, peppers, tomatoes, herbs and spices.

·         6 lbs of assorted chicken pieces
·         4 tbs oil
·         2 red onions, quartered
·         ½ red onion, minced for refrito
·         10 whole garlic gloves plus 4 ground garlic cloves
·         2 tsp ground achiote or annatto
·         4 cups of beer
·         8 tomatoes, quartered
·         3 bell peppers, quartered
·         1 hot pepper (jalapeno or serrano)
·         1 bunch of cilantro, reserve some to add at the end
·         1 bunch of parsley, reserve some to add at the end
·         1 tsp oregano
·         2 tsp cumin
·         Salt and pepper to taste

1.    Blend the beer, quartered onions, whole garlic cloves, tomatoes, bell peppers, hot pepper, cilantro, parsley, oregano and cumin to obtain a smooth puree.
2.    In a large saucepan or soup pot heat the oil over medium heat to prepare a refrito or sofrito, add the minced red onion, minced garlic and achiote, cook for 2 minutes.
3.    Add the chicken and brown lightly on each side, add the blended puree mix
4.    Cook on low heat until the chicken is very tender and the sauce has thickened. Unless it's a hen, the chicken should be tender in less than 1 hour. However it takes longer for the sauce to thicken, so if the chicken is very tender - meat falling of the bones - and the sauce isn't thick yet, then remove the tender chicken pieces, turn up the heat and cook the sauce until it's nice and thick, about 20-30 minutes.
5.    Add salt and pepper to taste.
6.    Add the remaining cilantro and parsley.

Do you think food is love?

Did you have any picnics during these vacations?


  1. Everybody looks so happy and the food looks delicious!

  2. The chicken stew recipe sounds amazing - thanks for sharing. Love to try foods from other countries!

  3. This is so cool! Looks like a wonderful time :)

  4. Wow! It's so interesting to see how people in eat in other cultures. Yum!

  5. That food looks super yummy! Ecuador is definitely on my 'must visit' list <3

  6. Everyone looks so happy! That food looks like proper comfort food, yum!

  7. It seems like you had an awesome trip.
    I love the recipe of the chicken

  8. I will have to try this recipe! I always love trying exotic foods, and this seems like a great place to start!

    Have a great day!

  9. Love that you ended up getting the recipes, so you can cook these dishes after you leave. Such an amazing experience!!

  10. This look amazing! You seriously can't beat the product on the coastal countries of South America!

  11. lol I think the way to every man's heart is through is stomach! he he.

  12. That's some real foods for a picnic. Looks like a Jamaican picnic

  13. Food looks delicious, love the pictures!

  14. The food looks amazing and everyone's smiles makes me think the day was pretty great too!

  15. I could eat it for 5 minutes. all of the dishes are amazing.

  16. This sounds like a great recipe and it looks like it was a really fun day for all of you as well! Very cool! Thanks for sharing:)

  17. Mmm this looks so tasty! Excuse me while I sneak off and make myself a very early lunch!

    Lovely illustrative photos!

    Katie <3

  18. YUM! I love seco de pollo! We make it a bit different.. amazing food! The food all looks amazing!

  19. i love the flavor and feel of your photos

  20. Yum yum yum. I love seeing all these post and stories from you life in Ecuador

  21. Mmmmm, looks so yummy! Love a good home cooked meal and picnics are always a fun idea!

  22. That all looks and sounds so amazing! I love how joyful everyone looks into your photos :)

  23. Yum! looks delicious! Looks like everyone had a great time!

  24. Ooo I've never had chicken stew but this looks amazing! Must try!

    1. Don't tell that to an Ecuadorian. They would die of shock. I mean how can anyone live without chicken stew ;)

  25. This all looks so good. Was that a big plate of mango I saw in a photo?! I'm there!

    1. There are a lot of mangos here. The Christmas is especially mango time. Then you have street vendors with mangos everywhere and can get a box of mangos (more than 100) for five dollars.

  26. Mmmm the food looked amazing! Makes me want to go throw some food together right now! :)

  27. AMAZING!!! I am from Trinidad and we make something very SIMILAR there. I absolutely love it as my best dish and you have just inspired dinner for tonight.

    Thrifting Diva

  28. This looks so delicious! Thank you for sharing all of these great pictures, too!

  29. The way to a man's heart is definitely through their stomachs! Haha!

  30. Looks so delicious! Thank you for sharing the recipe!

  31. my sister cooks all the time and truly believes that food is love!!!

  32. It all looks so yummy and fresh!

  33. I love this experience you are having. The food looks great.

  34. Yum! this picnic looks AWESOME and like everyone had such a blast. I love the delicious looking food!

  35. Looks delicious!! I love learning to cook meals that are from a different culture than mine and I love plantains yum yum

  36. This looks so yummy! I would feel right at home in Ecuador because I love food myself!

  37. I love this! It looks like so much fun. I would love to experience a picnic in Ecuador. Thanks for sharing with Hump Day Happenings!