Reina Pepiada Arepas Recipe

Arepas stuffed with shredded chicken and avocado = the perfect handheld meal.
August 3, 2020, 11:00am
Photo by Farideh Sadeghin

Makes 12
Prep time: 15 minutes
Total time: 1 hour


for the filling:
2 pounds|1 kg boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 garlic cloves, unpeeled
1 bunch cilantro
½ yellow onion, peeled and quartered
kosher salt, to taste
¾ cup|160 grams mayonnaise
½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
½ cup|55 grams diced red onion
3 dashes hot sauce, preferably Tabasco
1-2 dashes Worcestershire sauce
2 limes, juiced (about 3-4 tablespoons)
2 avocados
freshly ground black pepper, to taste

for the arepas:
4 cups|610 grams Harina PAN (precooked corn flour)
3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more
2 tablespoons kosher salt

to serve:
Oaxacan cheese, shredded
your favorite hot sauce or salsa


  1. Make the filling: Place the chicken, garlic, half of the cilantro stems and all of the roots, and onion in a medium saucepan. Cover with 8 cups water and season with 1 ½ tablespoons salt. Bring to a simmer over medium and cook until the chicken is soft, about 35 to 40 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool the chickens down completely in the liquid.
  1. Transfer the cooled chicken breasts to a large bowl and shred. Add the mayonnaise, mustard, onion, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and lime juice. Mince the cilantro leaves (you need about ¾ cup) and the remaining cilantro stems and add them to the chicken mixture. Halve, pit, and peel one of the avocados and dice. Add to the chicken mixture and season with salt and pepper.
  1. Make the arepas: Heat the oven to 450°F. In a large bowl, mix 5 cups water with the oil and salt. Slowly add the flour, moving continuously, until you get a thick dough. Using your hands, knead until soft and smooth, about 2 minutes. The dough should be wet and soft, but not sticky. Cover with a damp cloth and set aside for 10 minutes.
  1. Using oiled hands, form the dough into 12 equal-sized balls and transfer to a sheet tray. Working in batches and using oiled hands, flatten a few of the balls into 4-inch circles. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large griddle or cast-iron skillet over medium-high. Working in batches, cook the arepas, flipping once, until golden on each side, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a sheet tray lined with a cooling rack and bake the arepas until cooked through and slightly puffed, about 8 minutes.
  1. To serve, halve, peel, and pit the second avocado. Slice a 2-inch slit in the side of the arepas and stuff with the filling. Add some cheese and some more slices of avocado and enjoy.

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