This classic Venezuelan fast food is yummy and takes little work. The basic staple of anything fast food in Venezuela is the arepa. But this old recipe builds on that tradition and has proven to be largely popular in the capital city of Caracas for many generations. The famous "Reina Pepeada."
But first, what does it mean? Reina means queen. Pepeada is a street term in Venezuela that means cool. It is not widely used as much as "chevere" and it is hardly said at all, but when it is said as "Reina Pepeada," it instills a vivid memory of how delicious Venezuelan food can be. And like all food, it should usually be honored by making it the right way to produce a wonderful food that generations of people can love.
for four freshly hot arepas:
- 2 chicken breasts seasoned to taste and baked,
preferably with skin, to retain moisture
- 1 avocado of about 500 grams
- 1/4 cup of mayonnaise
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 1/8 teaspoon of ground pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon of mustard
- butter (optional)
Remove skin from the chicken breasts and cut the chicken to pieces.
Cut the avocado to pieces.
Put the chicken and avocado into a bowl.
Add everything else to flavor.
Slice the warm arepas in half and if the arepas are thick, take out a bit of the dough stuffing inside to make room for this queen of cool.
The Reina Pepeada stuffing does not need to be warmed or heated. The chicken can be of any temperature (as long as it is cooked). If you don't know how to make the arepas, then it is this:
1 teaspoon of salt
1 cur of pre-cooked white corn flour (preferably of the brand harina PAN -- your local hispanic grocery store should have something similar to this).
1 1/4 cups of warm water
Put the corn flour in a bowl and add the salted water little by little, mixing with the flour until all the water has been used and the flour has become a dough. Let it rest for five minutes.
Now, shape the dough into round rolls about 3 inches in diameter and 1/2 inch thick. In a lightly greased skillet, slowly cook the arepas until a crust forms on each side. Now place them into a casserole and bake in the oven at 350 degrees for approximately 30 minutes, until the arepas sound hollow when tapped.
Instead of using just water, you could use chicken or beef broth or bullion cubes instead. It is easy to mix and it's good!
Enjoy the Reina Pepeada...
and Viva Venezuela!