In Venezuela, sandwiches are often made with corn rolls known as arepas (ah-reh-pahs) that are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Here, we use the arepas to create a healthy sandwich stuffed with chicken and avocado salad.

Sandra Gutierrez
Source: Diabetic Living Magazine, Fall 2019

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Recipe Summary

active:
30 mins
total:
50 mins
Servings:
4
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Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

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  • Place chicken in a medium saucepan; cover with cold water. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low, partially cover, and cook until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part registers 165 degrees F, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

  • Meanwhile, combine arepa flour and 1/4 tsp. salt in a medium bowl. Slowly add 1 1/2 cups warm water, mixing with your hands until a smooth dough comes together (see Tips). Knead for 1 minute. Shape the dough into a ball (it will have the texture of mashed potatoes). Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let rest for 5 minutes.

  • Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces (about 1/2 cup each). Shape each piece into a disk, 3 1/2 inches in diameter and 3/8 inch thick, by pressing it between your palms (see Tips).

  • Brush a large oven-safe nonstick skillet with oil and heat over medium-high heat. Add the 4 disks and cook until the undersides are beginning to show golden flecks, about 3 minutes. Flip the arepas and repeat on the other side.

  • Transfer the pan to the oven. Bake until the arepas are cooked through and slightly puffed, 12 to 15 minutes.

  • Meanwhile, shred the chicken. Halve avocado and scoop into a medium bowl. Add yogurt, lime juice, the remaining 1/4 tsp. salt, and pepper. Mash with a fork until smooth. Stir in the chicken and scallions.

  • Slice each arepa in half crosswise to open a pocket (like a pita bread). Divide the chicken salad among the arepas and serve immediately.

Tips

Tips: Arepa flour is precooked cornmeal. It is not the same as regular cornmeal or masa harina (the cornmeal used to make tortillas), neither of which will work to make arepas. You can find arepa flour in the international section of most supermarkets--the two most popular brands are P.A.N. and Goya.

Moistening your hands with a bit of water helps prevent the dough from sticking to them. If the outer edges of the arepas crack when pressed, your dough is too dry; moisten your hands with water, shape the dough back into a ball and press again. If the dough won't hold its shape, it is too wet; add arepa flour 1 Tbsp. at a time and mix again.

To make ahead: Cook chicken (Step 2), cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days.

Nutrition Facts

426 calories; protein 25.8g 52% DV; carbohydrates 50g 16% DV; exchange other carbs 3.5; dietary fiber 3.6g 14% DV; sugars 1.1g; fat 13.2g 20% DV; saturated fat 1.8g 9% DV; cholesterol 62.8mg 21% DV; vitamin a iu 178.4IU 4% DV; vitamin c 8.7mg 15% DV; folate 54.9mcg 14% DV; calcium 38mg 4% DV; iron 4.3mg 24% DV; magnesium 43.9mg 16% DV; potassium 579.9mg 16% DV; sodium 344.2mg 14% DV.