NOT THE SAME OLD CHICKEN Consomme with chives Chicken and Chayote in Fresh Tomato Sauce Hot pasta or steamed rice Crusty sourdough bread Berries and creme fraiche Afritada is a Philippine stew that requires long, slow simmering and an enormous list of ingredients. You begin with either chicken or pork, throw in bay leaves, Spanish paprika, vinegar, sweet peppers, tomatoes and (sometimes) green olives. Toward the end you fry cubes of potatoes and drop them into the stew with green peas. It's delicious--and it takes forever.
This dish, inspired by Afritada , is also delicious--and it can be cooked very quickly. To cut the cooking time, we've used boneless chicken breasts and a jar of tangy pepper salad, which includes sweet and cherry peppers in vinegar and spices.
Because there's no substitute for chopped fresh tomatoes, we have not replaced them with canned. But in place of the traditional potatoes, why not try chayote? It's that pale-green, pear-shaped squash that the Cantonese call hop jeung gua and the Cajuns call mirliton . (Chayote, halved, seeded and sliced like an avocado, can be steamed or stir-fried. Crisp, thinly slivered pieces may also be eaten raw in salads.)
In this dish, you can retain the chayote's bright-green color by zapping the wedges in the microwave for about 3 minutes with a little water and adding it to the bright red sauce at the last minute.