This version of the ayaca uses potatoes instead of corn flour, or Maseca, for the version I made here. The filling is basically the same: chicken, raisins, olives. The recipe my mom gave me called for longanizas (lohn-gah-NEE-sahs), a.k.a., pork sausage for the protein portion of the filling, as well as chickpeas. Since I didn’t have longanizas handy, I used Mexican chorizo which has a little bit of kick to it. I hate to break it to you, but this version is as time-consuming as the Ayacas de Gallina. However, the outcome is as delicious, although I prefer the Maseca version. This one is a bit airier – it’s like eating mashed potatoes with chicken and chorizo in a big mush. The banana leaves give the ayacas a sweet taste, and when you get a bite that has the olives, the raisins, the chickpeas, the chorizo and the chicken all together, you have tasted heaven. Serve it with aji, or hot sauce, and encurtido (pickled onions). Enjoy!
Note: Similar to last time, I had quite a bit of filling left. You can make some rice and mix the chicken mixture into it. You can also make some pasta and add this chicken mixture for a delicious and quick pasta meal.
Ayacas de Papa
(makes 12-15 ayacas, depending on how big you make them)
4 lbs russet potatoes
1 lb chicken thighs, poached and shredded
4 eggs, beaten
4 hard-boiled eggs, sliced (optional)
1/4 lb golden raisins
1/4 lb green olives, pitted and sliced
1/4 lb pork sausage, or chorizo, casings removed and chopped
1 12oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
6 stalks green onions
3 small tomatoes, seeded
3 green bell peppers, seeded
1/4 lb butter
salt and pepper and cumin to taste
12-15 banana leaves cut in rectangles, 12″x16″
Peel the potatoes and quarter them. Fill a stock pot with enough water and boil the potatoes until they are cooked. Drain. Mash the potatoes with the butter and the beaten eggs. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Make a refrito with the tomatoes, peppers and onions, and sautee in a pan with some olive oil.
Add the shredded chicken, the chorizo (or pork sausage), the chickpeas, the raisins and the olives. Sautee for a few minutes until the chorizo or sausage is cooked. Taste for seasoning and add salt, pepper and cumin if needed.
Lay a banana leaf on the counter. Place a big scoop of the potato dough in the center of the leaf. Use the banana leaf to flatten the dough. Add a big scoop of the filling and top with sliced eggs if desired.
Proceed to wrap the ayaca as if you are wrapping a burrito: fold the bottom, tuck in the sides and roll.
Cook in a double boiler for 15 minutes. Serve warm with aji, hot sauce and/or encurtido.