When I met my husband he told me he was one half German, one half Guamanian. Huh??? What??? Guamani-wha? He gently schooled me about Guam, home to his dear father. And wow what an education!
Not only is it a beautiful country with a rich and storied past, their food and cultural tastes are astronomical. Being a tropical island, my father-in-law (who we call Daddi-o) who is a part of the Chamorro tribe; grew up on fish, coconuts, rice and SPAM. Yes, SPAM. Something Posing As Meat. But that’ll come in another tutorial somewhere down the line. Hell, he’s even eaten fruit bat. They pretty much ate anything and everything they could get their hands on and it was a strict waste-not want-not.
One of the first Chamorro dishes my hubby cooked for me was Chicken Estufau. Granted, the first time he made this for me I was pregnant with our daughter and the smell of it alone was enough to make me nauseus, I really came to like it. Now it’s one of our favorite meals to cook for lunch, and he always has leftovers. Now I will teach YOU how to make it!
Here’s your ingredients (full recipe at the bottom!). You’ll need soy sauce, vinegar of your choice (we like red wine vinegar), garlic and onion powder, Natures seasoning, sweet paprika (Hungarian paprika) and pepper.
Measure out your soy sauce (yes, it’s a lot, but don’t worry LOL)
Then add your water.
Add your vinegar.
Start adding your spices.
Mix well and create a swirling vortex of yumminess.
Test and try to refrain from drinking it all.
It’s hard to do.
Add your chicken to a large pot. You can use chicken breasts, like this, or thighs. Bone in or bone out is your choice as well.
Pour in your soy sauce mix.
Chop up a nice juicy onion.
Throw it in the pot and let it boil.
It’ll boil for a really long time.
And seriously make your house smell fabulous. Like soy sauce dripped in awesomeness.
Chicken Estufau Recipe:
1 cup soy sauce
2 cups water
1 cup vinegar
Season to taste with pepper, onion and garlic powder, paprika and natures seasoning (isn’t a big thing, don’t even have to have it).
Mix everything together, pour over chicken. Bring to a boil, turn to low and simmer for 45 minutes.
Serve over Red Rice (recipe follows)
My in-laws will pretty much Estufau anything… Chicken, pork… Lord only knows.
My step mother-in-law makes another Guamanian dish called Red Rice that I have absolutely adored for I can’t tell you how long and now I’m finally making it on my own (although, she still does it better than me!) and always serves it with a “sauce” called Finna ‘denne (which also follows!). Traditionally you serve Estufau over either white rice or red rice. And red rice is usually always served at pretty much every meal (including breakfast!)
What you’ll need: Rice, chicken stock, butter, mixed veggies, garlic and onion powder and Achiote seasoning.
Melt your butter in a pot, make sure it doesn’t burn.
Add your rice.
Sautee until the rice starts to brown a little. Don’t burn it!
Add the Achiote powder (not as much as I added… Cause.. Yeah… That was too much. Don’t worry if you do add too much, it doesn’t really flavor it, just adds color).
Mix it together with your onion and garlic powder.
Add your chicken broth and mixed veggies, cover and simmer.
While it’s cooking, start your Finna ‘dinne! (Finna dinny)
What you’ll need: Soy sauce, vinegar, water, lemon and lime juice, onion and garlic powder, minced garlic, Natures Seasoning and green onions.
There really isn’t a finite recipe for Finna ‘dinne. It’s pretty much purely to taste.
Add your soy sauce to a measuring cup (again, looks like a lot, but you’ll end up watering it down.)
Add your vinegar, water and lemon and lime juice… Beware: the lemon and lime juice go a long way, so be very careful!
Add your seasonings and taste as you go!
Separate into two separate containers if you or someone else wants to add Pica. I’ll get to Pica here in a second.
Add your chopped green onions to your Finna ‘dinne and either enjoy, or sit it in your fridge. This will keep up to a month or more in your fridge!
Now if you’re more daring like my husband and my sweet father-in-law or mother-in-law, you can add Pica (or hot, for the non-Chamorro) in the form of jalapenos or Serrano peppers, chopped up finely and added to the finna ‘dinne. They pretty much feel the hotter is better, so there’s usually one or two jalapenos in there at any given time.
Soooo while you’ve made your finna ‘dinne, your red rice and chicken estufau should be done!
Didn’t honestly look a thing like my step mother-in-law’s red rice. But oh well. This was my first time!
And your Estufau will look particularly Estufau-y. And smell fabulous. Be careful when you take the chicken out to shred it, it’s going to be molten hot and you’ll burn your fingers!
Put down a generous helping of red rice (and red rice on a paper plate on the side like I do and cover it in finna ‘dinne)
Then top with your chicken Estufau and stewed onions with a good spoonful of the Estufau sauce.
It is seriously the best on the planet.
I had NEVER EVER had anything like this before in my life. Honestly, soy sauce was a rarely used condiment in our household that we could find in little packets in the bottom of the refrigerator. Now thanks to my husband and his family, Soy sauce is just as common as ketchup and I couldn’t be happier. Now… You’ll never catch me guzzling soy sauce out of the bottle like other members of my family, but it’s still a fabulous addition to any meal.
One of my favorite resources for Chamorro dishes is a gal on YouTube by the name of Paula Quinene. She has some AWESOME recipes on here, and quite a few I’m going to be trying in the future.
If you try any of these recipes, let me know how it goes and how you like it! Or if you’re ever in Oz, ring me up, I might just make ya some!