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These naturally gluten free sandwiches resemble pita pockets, and are so addictive! The cornmeal dough gives these arepas a soft chewy inside and crusty exterior. They can be filled with everything from meat to beans to eggs to this addictive chicken salad. Reina Pepiada is among the most common variety and in Venezuela they are eaten for breakfast or as a snack after a night out. However, in Canada, we typically eat them for lunch. They are hearty, delicious and surprisingly healthy.
Serves: 6
Prep Time: 20 min
Cook Time: 30 min

Ingredients

canola oil
2 cups Harina P.A.N. flour
2 cups water
2 chicken breast(s)
2 avocado, chopped
1/4 cup Spanish onion(s), minced
1 lime
3 tbsp cilantro, fresh, finely-chopped
salt

Food Safety

Before you start, wash all surfaces and your hands with soap and warm water, and remember to wash your hands, utensils and cutting boards after they touch raw meat or eggs. Avoid cross-contamination by using a different cutting board for your meat and other ingredients. Make sure you’re cooking to safe temperatures and chilling any leftovers within two hours. For more food safety tips, visit our Food Safety at Home Section.

Steps

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°F (95°C).

  2. Add the flour and a pinch of salt in a large mixing bowl. Pour the water into the bowl and combine. Knead the dough with your hands until it forms a round ball that does not crack. Add a little flour or a little water as necessary.

  3. Divide the dough into six equal sized portions. Pat and turn the dough ball until it’s a ½-inch thick and 4 inches wide disc. At this stage the dough will keep in the fridge for 3-4 days when wrapped in plastic.

  4. Heat 2 tablespoons (30 mL) of canola oil in a heavy frying pan. Once hot add the arepa in batches and sear until the exterior gets crisp then flip and continue to sear, total time should be less than 8 minutes.

  5. Transfer the arepas to a baking sheet and bake for 8 minutes until they sound hollow when tapped.

  6. While the arepas bake, make the filling. Combine the chicken, avocado, onion, lime juice and cilantro in a medium sized bowl. Season with salt.

  7. Slice into the arepa (like a pita pocket) to make room for filling.

  8. Divide the filling between the arepas and serve immediately.

Helpful Tip

Harina P.A.N. flour is available in Latin food stores.

Nutrition Info

Per 295 g serving Amount
Calories390
Protein26 g
Fat17 g
Saturated Fat2 g
Carbohydrate35 g
Fibre7 g
Sugar1 g
Cholesterol50 mg
Sodium250 mg
Per 295 g serving % Daily Value
Potassium17
Calcium8
Iron20
Vitamin A2
Vitamin C20
Vitamin B638
Vitamin B1217
Folate27
Zinc13