For the background to this #AtoZWorldCookingChallenge Click HERE
Admittedly, I had to look in the atlas to place Andorra and found it was nestled between France and Spain. Given its location, Andorran cuisine is heavily influenced by its neighbours yet has some unique flavours of its own. Due to the mountainous terrain, it has surprisingly little arable land with its main crops being harvested there are wheat, rye, barley, oats and vegetables.
The national dish of Andorra is a hearty stew called Escudella, which has numerous ingredients with the core six being, white beans, ham, chicken, potatoes, rice and pasta. What I love about this dish is its versatility, cost and availability of ingredients. I had a burning desire to make a huge quantity and divide up into tupperware containers for an endless supply of work lunches, this was a mistake as I soon got fed up of the stodginess. Having said that, please don’t let this put you off giving Escudella a try – just not in such large quantities as I did. There’s a heavy influence of meat in this dish, however this could easily be substituted or left out completely for a vegetarian option.
Escudella is not Escudella without rustic bread, Andorra use a lot of ‘bread plates’ to serve their food in and instead of serving bread with butter, they rub garlic and mash fresh tomato on warm slices of grilled bread, (Pa Amb Tomaquet), a must if you’re going to give this relatively bland dish a try.
- 4 Chicken thighs – bone in (bones for the stock)
- 1 Ham hock – cooked
- 2 Onions
- 4 Potatoes
- 4 Sping onions
- 1/2 Green cabbage
- 2 cans of white beans – of your choice – I used Cannelloni, butter beans and chick peas
- 1 Cup of Rice
- 1 cup of pasta
- Generously seasoned and some chilli flakes give it that extra heat!
- I cooked the chicken in foil with a drizzle of white wine the previous day then de-boned
- Make a good broth/stock with the water, chicken and ham bones, simmering slowly for about an hour
- Heat the oil in a large skillet, when the onions begin to brown add the pieces of chicken and ham and brown slowly
- Peal the potatoes and any other vegetables you can find and chip into chunks to suit, then add to the skillet with the ham and the chicken
- Give it a good stir
- Remove the bones from the broth and discard, and pour through a sieve to ensure there are no nasty bits of bone or grizzle
- Pour the broth into a large sauce pan and ass the contents of the skillet.
- Add the beans, rice and pasta. Cook for about 10 – 15
- minutes, until the rice and pasta are done, then serve very hot with rustic garlicky, tomato bread.