Recipe: Pollo en Bistec (Chicken and Potatoes Stewed in Oregano and Black Pepper Sauce)

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Photo by Mark Randall
Photo by Mark Randall (The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)

If you’re looking at a map of Mexico, that nub of land that juts north of Quintana Roo, the state where tourists flock to Cancun and Tulum; and the cuisine of the Yucatan is unlike the Mexican food you imagine. For millions of years this area was isolated from from mainland Mexico. The Mayas had more contact with the Caribbean than their countrymen; and later, they were the first to encounter Europeans in the new world. Today those influences are embedded in Yucatecan cuisine.

Since 2003, David Sterling has been living in the city of Merida where he offers cooking classes and gives culinary tours. This recipe for Pollo en Bistec comes from his book Yucatán: Recipes from a Culinary Expedition which won the James Beard Award for Cookbook of the Year.