Ariel Fox is the chef and mastermind behind Dos Caminos, a chain of popular Mexican restaurants in New York City.
In 2008, Fox was selected to compete on “Hell’s Kitchen,” a cooking competition show hosted by celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay. She became a top-three finalist in the show’s sixth season. In 2018, Fox won season 18 as a returning veteran.
Fox dropped by “GMA3” on Thursday to share her recipe for chicken picadillo with a Peruvian green sauce and cashew crema. This recipe, among others, can be found in her cookbook, “Spice Kitchen: Healthy Latin and Caribbean Cuisine.”
Chicken Picadillo Recipe:
1 small pumpkin (about 2 1/2 pounds), peeled, seeded and diced into 1-inch cubes
5 tablespoons coconut oil, divided
1 1/2 pounds organic ground chicken
1 tablespoon coconut sugar
1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
1 medium yellow onion, peeled and diced into 1/4-inch cubes
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 poblano chile pepper, seeded and diced into 1/4-inch cubes
1 cup diced plum tomatoes, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1/2 cup pimento-stuffed Spanish green olives, sliced
Additional sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Toss the cubed pumpkin with 2 tablespoons of coconut oil.
3. Spread the pumpkin on a greased nonstick baking sheet and place in the preheated oven. Roast until just fork tender, about 15 to 20 minutes.
4. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly.
5. In a large sautéed pan, brown the ground chicken with 1 tablespoon of the coconut oil. Add the coconut sugar, sea salt and cracked black pepper. Once cooked, using a slotted spoon, remove the ground chicken from the pan to a plate lined with paper towels.
6. Return the pan to heat and add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil. Add the onion and cook until soft, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until almost turning golden brown.
7. Add the ground cumin, ground allspice and poblano pepper. Cook for 2 to 3 more minutes before folding in the roasted pumpkin pieces.
8. Add the cooked ground chicken back into the pan.
9. Deglaze the pan by adding the tequila. Be careful — it may flame up momentarily from the alcohol content. Once the tequila has reduced and the raw alcohol has cooked out — about 5 minutes — add the tomatoes, olives and capers.
10. Continue to cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the sauce thickens, about 5 to 7 minutes more. Taste and adjust seasoning, if needed.
Peruvian Green Sauce (Aju Verde)
1/4 cup plain cashew crema or real mayonnaise made with olive oil
2 cups cilantro leaves, no stems (about one large bunch)
4 cloves garlic, peeled
1 serrano chile pepper, stemmed, seeds removed
1 tablespoon aji amarillo paste (found in ethnic markets)
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
Juice of two limes
Splash of apple cider vinegar
1/2 ripe avocado, peeled and roughly chopped
2 tablespoons avocado oil
Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste
Combine all ingredients in a high-powered blender. Blend until the herbs are almost completely broken down, and the sauce is bright green and creamy. It will still have a bit of texture. Taste and adjust the seasoning to your liking. Cover and refrigerate for up to one week.
1 cup raw cashews1/2 cup filtered water
Place cashews and water in a high-powered blender. Blend on high until completely smooth.