I was initially going to call these football-shaped arepas, but it’s kinda a touchy subject after the big loss on Sunday. So, lets just call these what they really are – arepas topped with chicken and roasted padron peppers.
In Venezuela and Colombia arepas are corn cakes that are round in shape, spilt open, and then stuffed, similar to a Mexican gordita. I decided to make these thinner and oval shaped similar to a Mexican huarache with the filling as a topping. This is a simple meal to whip up when you have some leftover chicken.
The dough for these arepas are soft and moist made with masa harina, milk, cream cheese, and shredded cheese. Masarepa is commonly used for arepas, but it is not readily available so I used masa harina instead.
The filling I made is simple and flavorful – shredded rotisserie chicken sautéed with roasted padron peppers, tomatoes, and onions. I also made a creamy salsa made with avocado and padron peppers as the base for the arepas.
Padron peppers are the size of jalapeños, but look similar to Anaheim peppers. They originate in Spain and are pretty mild, but I did eat a couple that packed a lot of punch for being so small. These peppers taste great on their own as a side dish, roasted and tossed in butter with a splash of soy sauce, and course salt. I will share how to make chiles toreados in a future post.
For this recipe I roasted the peppers for the filling and salsa adding a great spice to this dish without being overly fiery. If you do not have access to padron peppers substitute with jalapeño peppers. Padron peppers are prevalent in the summer months and can be found in gourmet grocery stores, farmers markets, or order them at Melissa’s Produce.
Arepas Topped with Chicken and Roasted Padron Peppers and Avocado and Padron Salsa
Avocado and Padron Salsa:
- 3 padron peppers, stemmed
- 1 garlic clove
- ¼ cup onion, chopped
- 1 avocado, pitted and peeled
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon virgin olive oil
- 3 cups rotisserie chicken, shredded
- ¼ cup white onion, chopped
- 2 roma tomatoes, chopped
- 2 roasted pardon peppers, chopped
- 1 cup Oaxaca cheese, shredded
- green onions, sliced
- Avocado and Padron Salsa:
- Preheat oven to broil. Roast the padron peppers on a foil-lined baking sheet until blackened all over, about 5 minutes. Flip them over and roast the other sides for an additional 4 to 5 minutes.
- Let peppers cool and then place in a blender with garlic, onion, avocados, and salt. Blend until creamy.
- In a large mixing bowl add milk, salt, and cream cheese to a mixing bowl and whisk until creamy.
- Add sugar, masa harina, and cheese. Hand mix well until the masa harina absorbs most of the liquid.
- Line a tortilla press with plastic wrap. Roll the dough into a cigar shape, about 5 inches long. Place between two sheets of plastic and flatten gently with tortilla press or under heavy skillet until 1/4-inch thick. Peel off the plastic wrap. Repeat with remaining dough.
- Preheat an ungreased comal (griddle) on medium-high heat. Cook arepas on the comal for about 2 to 4 minutes on each side until toasted. Repeat with the remaining arepas.
- Roasted Chicken and Padron Filling:
- Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat.
- Add shredded chicken and onion and sauté until onions are tender. Add tomatoes and pardon peppers and combine.
- Top arepas with salsa, chicken filling, shredded cheese, and green onions.
Written by Yvette / Photos by Yvette
Gracias Melissa’s Produce for this lovely gift. I was not compensated for this post. All opinions shared about this product are my own.