Ensalada Chilena and Despedidas

Hello! Feliz Domingo a todos

This weekend there were three different despedidas (or goodbye parties) for gringos happening. I was only able to go to two of them, both on Saturday. The first was for my housemate who only recently returned from here month-long vacation, so I only got to meet her briefly. My housemates decided to have a lunch party, and I volunteered to cook. I ended up making a lot of food.

Some of it was not very interesting (deviled eggs, cole slaw, pasta salad) but I did make my first ensalada chilena as well as my first, whole roasted chicken.

The ensalada chilena turned out well. The truth is, this is one of those chilean dishes that’s so simple it’s almost not a dish, but there are a few secrets to make it turn out just right. It’s a lovely side dish for any type of grilled meat and is really lovely with humitas or pastel de choclo.

Ensalada Chilena

4-6 large whole tomatoes, peeled and soaked in chilled water.

1 large white onion, sliced into very thin pieces (almost shaved with the knife) and soaked in a little vinegar, sugar and water.

1/4 cup cilantro leaves, minced

2 tablespoons of olive oil

sea salt

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar


Slice the tomatoes in half, then cut them into thin half moons and arrange on your serving plate. Drain the milky water from the onions, and plop the onion on top the tomatoes. Sprinkle the cilantro on top, and drizzle the olive oil, vinegar, and salt to finish.

The chicken turned out nice as well. I can’t say I had any type of exact recipe, but below is a good base recipe that you can play with. Pick any spices you like! Any and all taste delicious…

Grace’s Whole Roasted Chicken

1 whole chicken, bones in

1 tablespoon of butter

3 tablespoons of olive oil


black pepper


red pepper




Heat oven to 400.

Put the butter in the bottom on the pan and place the  whole chicken on top. Mix the olive oil and the spices in a small bowl, and brush over the top of the chicken. Make sure to get the rub mix into all the little crevices. Cover the pan with tin foil and put into the oven for about a half an hour. Take the bird out of the oven after 30 minutes, and flip it so it is breast down. Baste the bird in its juices, then put in back in the oven for another half hour or so, until the skin is nice and golden, and there is no red by the bone. Remove from the oven, baste it in its juices, and let it rest for 20 minutes.

The despedida lunch was a nice way for my friends to meet my housemates and to send off my housemate back to Germany.

A lot of gringos have left recently, which has been a little hard. It makes me homesick and also has reduced my group of friends over the last few months. However, I’m excited to travel soon, and the good thing about living in Santiago is you meet new people all the time.


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