Today, we made a Guatemalan traditional dish from scratch with a local woman in one of the coffee co-ops: Pepian con Pollo.
To start the dish, you take a live chicken (yes, fully alive and moving!), put it head down into a metal cone over a empty sink (just enough so its head is peaking out at the end), and proceed to cut its throat to kill it. Although we had some eager travelers in our group that wanted to be the ones to kill the chicken, the woman did it herself, but in a way where anyone who wanted to watch could. Due to a weak stomach, blogger Richelle did not watch it, buy Austyn was up front witnessing it happen. After killing it, we had to wait for the blood to empty out.
Following this, we were told to place the chicken – feet first – into a boiling pot of water in order to loosen up its feathers in order to pick them off. Finally, we butchered the chicken and threw it in a pot to cook.
While waiting for the chicken to cook, we sliced and diced many fresh vegetables – carrots, red peppers, onions… you name it! All to be put into the dish. We de-seeded dried chili peppers and put that on a clay slab (which is only used when making this dish) with other fresh vegetables to roast – all of this would then be smashed and blended into the sauce.
After prepping all of these aspects of the dish, we were shown how to form corn tortilla shells! These were served with every meal we had, and they are made fresh for every meal, even if there are left over from the meal before – talk about delicious!
After about 2 to 3 hours of prepping for the dish, it finally all came together and we ate our wonderful work for lunch.
Following lunch, we drove to Antigua for some free time to shop and a market scavenger hunt for our dinner than night! We split up into teams to find certain items in the food market and were given 100Q (about $13 USD). We were all successful in our findings – most not using any more than about 50Q in order to get our supplies! It is amazing how far money can go here, and how well we all have gotten with bartering prices with sellers!
We went back to our house in San Miguel Escobar to prepare the food we had bought – dinner consisted of loaded nachos, papaya and mango smoothies, fresh guacamole, and fried plantains with chocolate for dessert. Overall, it was a wonderful day, and everyone was happy with their personal gift purchases.
Pictures will be uploaded sometime on Saturday when we are back in the States.