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Hispanic holiday feasting

Hispanic holiday feasting Dishes to share and recipes to pass on during the giving season.

By Anna Gamboa


The late chef Ed Quimson always enjoyed the Christmas season. Never mind if it meant being overworked preparing holiday spreads and hams for other people—for him, it was an occasion to share blessings, good food and company. Best known for innovative Filipino-Spanish dishes and for sharing his menu, we at HealthToday are helping pass on these recipes for your enjoyment—while emphasizing their healthy twists, of course.

Lead the Yuletide toast with a refreshing sangria loaded with antioxidants or resveratrol from the red wine. It packs a bubbly boost from lime soda, and a happy zing from chopped orange and apple bits. An ardent lover of boiled food paired with patis and rice, the chef dreamed up Paella Tinola—a dish which synthesizes Asian influences with a Hispanic favorite. Often comparing the dish to Hainanese chicken rice, the chef once described it this way: “Imagine all the flavors of the tinola [in the] paella [instead of having soup stock].”

Famous for his Iberian Chicken, a recipe he had tirelessly shared and taught countless times, Quimson had always cautioned with a naughty wink that many may possess the recipe and the steps to do it—but very few can inject the food they prepare with love like he can. Here’s wishing happy holiday food preparations for all you HealthToday readers—and your enjoyment in making these dishes for a special occasion.

Iberian Chicken


250 g white onion, peeled and cut into 8
250 g marble potatoes, cleaned and unpeeled
250 g peeled garlic cloves
11/2 cups olive oil
2 laurel leaves
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 cup white wine
1 dressed chicken, rubbed with 1 Tbsp of rock salt inside and out
2 Tbsp black pepper, freshly cracked


1. Put the first six ingredients into a pot and leave over high heat for 10 to 12 minutes. Mix the ingredients after, and check to see if the potatoes, onions and garlic have browned. Continue cooking for another five minutes on low heat, then add the white wine.

2. Fill the cavity of the chicken with the cooked garlic and onion mixture, and once the cavity is filled, tuck the wings and cross the chicken legs to prevent the stuffing from spilling out. Ensure there’s a slit near the chicken’s tail or bottom to insert the ankles, effectively sealing the cavity.

3. Put the stuffed chicken in a roasting pan, surround it with marble potatoes, and pour the remaining olive oil mix only on the potatoes—not the chicken, Then coat the chicken in cracked black pepper. Put the chicken in a preheated oven for about one hour at 375°F. When done, serve immediately.

Serves 4 - 5.

[Chef's tip]

Pat dry the chicken with a paper napkin before rubbing it with salt. For variety, use fish, turkey or lamb instead of chicken and adjust the baking time accordingly.


To complete your holiday feast, get a copy of HealthToday’s December 2013-January 2014 issue where you will find recipes for Paella Tinola and Sangria.

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