Last week Ben and I got a glimpse into the Agriculture lands of Argentina. We checked into a small town called Mayor Buratovitch, which is about 90 kilometers outside of the port town Bahia Blanca.
This flat farmland is Onion Country. The sandy soil and fair weather is great for onion growing. As we found out, 80% of Argentines onions are exported to Brazil, and the other 20% hang around Argentina.
We happened to visit onion country during the onion fair. The fair was almost exactly the same as any fair in the U.S. There were carnival rides (which I opted out of), artesian booths, farming equipment sales and a main stage for entertainment. They even had a food court of fried food, but that is no novelty when you realize that the rest of Argentine street food is deep fried.
The real treat was getting to know our couch host and her family. Antonella helped me especially with my Spanish, and I helped her with her English. She and her husband gave us tours of the farms and of the fair, and her family was excited to meet us.
During our stay we were treated to a traditional Argentine country meal called “Pollo al Disco.” Naturally, Ben and I quickly took to calling it “Disco Chicken” and the dish lived up to its name.
The reason it’s called Chicken by means of Disc (roughly) is because it’s cooked on a big disc. This disc comes from the harvesters used for the onion fields. When the disc run out of commission they are cured for cooking. This disco cooking is so popular that a propane powered cooker can be purchased–it’s a spiral that cradles and heats the disc. It’s kind of like a Wok, but instead of an even heat, the heat is concentrated on the edges.
Huge quantities of food can be made on the Disc. For Disco Chicken, you’ll need:
- 4 kilos of chicken, all parts.
- 6 or 7 yellow onions
- 1 green pepper
- 5 potatoes
- 5 cloves garlic
- half liter cream
- half liter milk
- half pound butter (yeah, I know we’re crossing the unit line here)
- sunflower oil
- box white wine
- white and red pepper flakes
Ok, so first saute the onions and pepper flakes in the disco. Take the onions out and throw in the chicken and garlic. Let these cook until golden brown, then add the white wine to cook. Here, add the oregano and let it simmer.
Meanwhile, make the sauce by heating up the butter, milk and cream in a pot on the stove. Keep these warm, and don’t let them boil.
Also meanwhile, fry the cubed potatoes in sunflower oil until crispy/chewy.
Add the cream to the chicken and let that simmer with the onions. Once it simmers, add the potatoes (drain the oil), let them all party together and viola! you have a disco chicken.
And it was awesome. Best chicken cooked on a tractor part I’ve ever had, and that’s coming from an Idaho girl.