About the chicken in Ecuador:
In short, the chickens here in the Andes Mountains in Ecuador are exceptional. That is, the chicken we purchase from the mercados, as we have stopped buying chicken from any of the grocery store chains. At the mercados, the pollos are just so much fresher and there’s no water or brine — just pure meat and no bad smell. When we bought chicken from Tia or even Supermaxi in the past, and from Safeway or Walmart in the States, we actually had to throw the chicken in the trash several times, because they had such a bad odor, even though the freshness dates had not expired
As for the mercados, it’s good to go in the mornings, as that is when the delivery trucks roll in, delivering each day’s supply of fresh chickens to the merchants. Sundays are big market days–they usually double in size then. We’ll take a bus or head down the hill to the nearest mercado at around 8 or 9 am, mas o menos. We have had absolutely no problems whatsoever with any of the chicken from the number of vendors that we purchase from. Update: Now we’re even getting our chickens delivered from Cotacachi. The chickens, while not organic, are antibiotic and hormone free for $1.50 per pound. Great chickens.
So, for quality chicken, Supermaxi or any other grocery chain, is out for us. And truly, if we ever have to return to living in the States, one of our biggest hardships will probably be going back to buying and eating chicken from a supermarket grocery chain! Yuck!
—Please note: that as far as the recipes go in this blog, garlic here is a whole lot less potent, therefore, I cook with a lot more than I would living in the States.