This recipe is a little bit more complicated than the ones I usually post, but believe me, it’s worth every second. And it’s not difficult, it just involves a smidge more stirring than I usually propose.
I was trying to decide what to have for lunch and I kept drawing a black. I’d looked through my fridge and cupboards for inspiration and came up short. I was getting to the point where I was ready to wearily resign myself to a fairly insipid meal of grilled chicken and steamed vegetables when I realised that I had been approaching the situation completely incorrectly and it would behove me to change my mindset.
Instead of thinking “What do I want to eat?” I thought, “Where would I like to taste?”. Just that simple change in my thought process stoked a fire in me.
I considered making Chinese chicken, but I didn’t have the ingredients.
I really want to start eating New Nordic Food but I didn’t have any fish or rye bread. I’m sure there’s more to the cuisine than just those two elements, but I was hungry and clearly not thinking straight.
Eventually, I settled on South America. I love the flavours of the Latin Countries. It’s all so bright, fresh and powerful without overpowering your tastebuds. A well cooked South American dish is as refreshing as it is satisfying.
After a quick Google, I settled on Brazilian food. This is because I usually stray towards Mexican dishes or Caribbean and wanted to branch out a little.
I knew I had chicken, tomatoes and rice so I set forth and created this menu which was just delightful. There are three parts to it and it’s really easy to get the timing right.
Part 1 – Frango Churrasco (Grilled Chicken)
2 Large Chicken Breasts
Garlic (2 cloves finely chopped)
Dried Chilli Flakes
Rice Wine Vinegar
- Chop the chicken into large-ish chunks
- In a bowl, combine all of the other ingredients. It’s really up to you how much you put in but I used roughly a teaspoon of each and what I can only describe as a “glug” of oil and vinegar
- Put the chicken in with your mix and stir it through thoroughly. Make sure that all the chicken is completely covered
- Leave it to stand for at least 2 hours. Don’t skimp on this, through the incredible power of osmosis, your chicken will be tender and flavourful if you give it enough time
- Lightly oil a baking dish, just a very thin layer to make sure the chicken doesn’t stick
- Make sure the chicken is spread out across the dish and cook at a mid-low temperature for a couple of hours. I like to leave one test piece of chicken. One of the larger pieces. That’s the one you can cut into and taste to make sure it’s all cooked
Part 2 – Pico de Gallo
Pico de Gallo is a type of uncooked salsa, in case you were wondering…
Jalapenos (I just used the pickled ones out of a jar)
Coriander (stalks and leaves)
Fresh Mint leaves
Fresh Ginger (cut this really finely, or you risk a surprising mouthful of gingery goodness. That sentence did not go at all as planned…)
- Roughly chop the tomatoes and onions and throw them into the blender
- Throw everything else in too, while you’re at it
- Blitz it for a brief period of time. If you end up with a paste, you went too far. You’re aiming for chopped and mixed
- That’s it
Part 3 – Coconut Rice
I’m not going to go into loads of detail about this part. All you need to do is make rice with half water, half coconut milk.
The rough rule for rice (that was really fun to type) is 1 cup of rice to 2 cups of water. So you need 1 cup rice, 1 cup water and 1 cup coconut milk. Add a pinch of salt to the pan and once it’s started boiling, turn it down to a simmer and give it a regular stir so it doesn’t stick. Once the rice has absorbed all the liquid, you’re on to a winner.
There you go. A healthy and delicious Brazilian-style meal. I’d suggest making the Pico de Gallo last, so it’s really fresh and vibrant. But I had mine the day after so, quite frankly, my opinion counts for nought.