Destinations, Europe, Journal, Spain

Sondra’s Chicken Surprise

June 21, 2014

We quickly found a local spot that meets Dennis’ carnivorous fix. This little place is about two blocks from where we are staying. It is called Asador De Pollos Fiesta. Andrew told us about it and that it was the best rotisserie chicken ever… He was right.

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You walk into this place and it’s only a counter to order. There are around 20 chickens rotating in a cooker at all times. There are two employees at this joint, who are also the owners—Sondra and her husband (I haven’t actually caught his name yet). Sondra is full of life and tells us elaborate stories every time we come to get food—which is literally every day, maybe minus two or three days since we have been here.

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Sondra’s husband doesn’t speak much English, but he also seems to be quiet by nature–which allows Sondra to tell stories. Sondra tells her stories with amazing intensity–and then she will suddenly burst into laughter, bearing her delightful grin. Most of the time, I have trouble understanding what she is saying [because I know exactly four phrases in Spanish], so I try to read her facial expressions to see if I should laugh, smile or nod pensively.

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Even though there is a language barrier, I still have learned a lot about her life. Sondra is 61 years old, has five children, seven grandchildren and two great grandchildren. She had her first child at 14 years old—she said she is so happy and would never change a thing.

She goes to the market at 6 am every morning to get the items she needs for the day, and closes up the store around 10 pm. The store is open every day, except Monday, and she and her hubby are there the entire time. She said she thinks she will retire at 65, but isn’t sure if she wants to just yet—she’s a grinder.

She is super proud of is her chicken recipe. She hasn’t changed it for nine years. The chickens are stuffed with whole cloves of garlic, rosemary, thyme, lemon and who knows what else—but it is amazing. We keep going back for it! They chop up the whole chicken, put it in a tin and then cover it with the broth from the rotisserie cooker. It is absolutely the best. She also makes ribs and fries that are amazing, and chicken croquets that are to die for.

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Another thing that Sondra loves besides cooking is gardening. Mijas is full of plants that are hung in colorful pots on the buildings, and Sondra has about 20 hanging plants from her house. She showed us a postcard of a white building with beautiful hanging pots of flowers. She said a photographer from England came to Mijas, snapped that shot of her house, and now that photo is used for postcards all around Mijas. She was super proud of it–as she should be.

She also told us about the garden in her backyard.

Without reserve, she said, “You know the marijuana plant? Beautiful plant, just beautiful. I have tons in my backyard. Just beautiful…and great for tea.”

I just nodded and smiled intently, trying not to giggle. It was definitely one of those #OnlyInSpain type of moments. And, I learned something new… Apparently, marijuana makes great tea—who knew!

I’ll probably skip that though, and go for the chamomile.

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xo Kelsey

 

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