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Arepas with Chicken and Avocado

Arepas stuffed with chicken avocado salad

4.9 from 14 reviews

Venezuelan corn meal cakes filled with chicken & avocado salad. [gluten-free]

Ingredients

Scale

For The Poached Chicken (or skip this step and use 3 cups cooked shredded chicken)

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
  • 1/2 small onion, sliced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 5 peppercorns
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

For The Chicken & avocado salad

  • 1 pound shredded poached chicken (about 3 cups) (see recipe below)
  • 2 Haas avocados, peeled, pitted, roughly mashed
  • 23 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, seeds and ribs removed, diced
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped white onion
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 jalapeño pepper, seeds and ribs removed, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons finely minced garlic (2 medium cloves)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt or more, to taste
  • Fresh ground black pepper

For The Arepas

  • 3 cups precooked white corn flour (P.A.N. or Masarepa)
  • 3 1/4 cups warm water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Oil

Instructions

  1. Poach the chicken Put the chicken onion, bay leaf, peppercorns and salt in a medium saucepan. Cover by an inch or two, with cold water. Bring to a boil. Turn the heat to low and simmer gently (hardly any bubbles) for 10-15 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through (Check for doneness after 10 minutes. Cut into the largest piece to make sure there’s no pink color). Remove chicken from the pot and set it aside until cool. Shred chicken, pulling it apart by hand or with the fork method (see my BBQ Chicken Enchilada post for more on the fork method)
  2. Make the chicken avocado salad In a medium bowl mix the mashed avocado with mayonnaise and lime juice. Add the rest of the ingredients: chicken, bell pepper, onion, cilantro, jalapeño, and garlic. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and store in the fridge until you’re ready to eat. Can be made a few hours ahead and kept covered in the fridge. Will be delicious the next day too, but green color may not be as vivid.
  3. Make the arepas Preheat oven to 350ºF. Pour the warm water into a large bowl. Stir in salt to dissolve. Pour in the corn flour and immediately start kneading the mixture with your hands, being sure to squeeze out any lumps. Allow the dough to sit for 3-5 minutes. Divide dough into 8 pieces. To shape an arepa, roll the dough into a ball and then pat it, between your hands, into a disc. Press your thumbs around the outside of the disc to form a nice edge. Discs should be 3 1/2 – 4 inches in diameter and 1/3 to 1/2 inch thick. Set discs on a large platter or baking sheet as you form them. (If the dough seems dry or cracks when you roll it, add a more warm water)
  4. Sear the arepas in a skillet Lightly oil a large non-stick skillet (cast iron is great). Turn the heat to medium and get the skillet nice and hot. Brown the arepas in batches, about 4 minutes per side, until they are seared with some brown areas on both sides. Set them back on the platter or baking sheet as you go.
  5. Finish the arepas in the oven When all the arepas are seared, set them directly on the wire rack in the center of the oven. Cook for 15-20 minutes, until they are puffed up a bit. They will have a very taut outer skin. Set them back onto the baking sheet for just a minute or two until they’re cool enough to handle. Cut them open. Fill them with Reina Pepiada chicken & avocado salad. Serve warm. Enjoy!

Keywords: Arepas with Avocado Chicken Salad