Sunday, September 28, 2008

Brazilian Chicken Stew

In honor of our favorite reality TV show, The Amazing Race, I am going to attempt a new recipe inspired by the country/countries visited each week. This week, the race begins in California, and they head to Brazil.

I found this recipe for Brazilian Chicken Stew from Food & Wine, which incorporated tomatoes, onions, garlic, and cilantro from our CSA.

  • 1/3 cup peeled and thinly sliced ginger (3 ounces)
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 jalapeños, seeded and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon sweet paprika
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 medium onions, coarsely chopped
  • 2 cups drained canned plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped, juices reserved
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup dry-roasted peanuts, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut, plus more for garnish
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro, plus more for garnish
  • 3 cups chicken stock or canned low-sodium broth
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • Steamed rice and lemon wedges, for serving

  1. In a food processor, pulse the ginger with the garlic, jalapeños, lemon juice and paprika until finely chopped. Add the water and process to a paste.
  2. In a large saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil until shimmering. Add the onions and cook over moderate heat until softened, about 8 minutes. Add the ginger paste and cook until it begins to brown, about 3 minutes. Add half of the tomatoes along with the coconut milk, peanuts, 1/4 cup of the shredded coconut and 2 tablespoons of the cilantro and cook until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.
  3. Scrape the sauce into a food processor or blender and puree. Return the sauce to the saucepan. Add the stock and the remaining tomatoes and 2 tablespoons of cilantro and bring to a boil. Season with salt and pepper and simmer over moderate heat until reduced to 5 cups, about 20 minutes. Keep warm.
  4. Meanwhile, in a large nonstick skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil until shimmering. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and sauté over moderately high heat until golden and cooked through, about 10 minutes.
  5. Add the chicken; season with salt and pepper. Spoon into bowls and garnish with coconut and cilantro. Serve with steamed rice and lemon wedges.

My Notes:
Ideally, we'd have started off with a caipirinha, but alas, we cannot purchase alcohol on Sundays in Minnesota (!), and I didn't plan ahead.

I have to laugh at the "fast" description Food & Wine gives this recipe. I would not describe it as fast, and I wouldn't suggest it to a beginner cook. However, if you have a food processor and some time, this recipe is worth it. The flavors remind us more of Thai food (probably the chili/garlic/ginger combination) than anything I'd expect from South America. It's delicious!

Photography Note:
I am experimenting with taking passable photos in incandescent light as we head into Minnesota darkness for the next few months. I have the best luck when adjusting the "white balance" on my dSLR to incandescent, +2 or +3, and using a tripod. If you have additional suggestions, please share!

Tim's Rating: 9/10
Liz's Rating: 9/10

Next week on The Amazing Race: Brazil (again!)


Erin said...

This is a great idea! I'm looking forward to seeing all the recipes you try. I think the photo turned out great... I'm thinking I might need to start using a tripod too... how annoying.

jennrs said...

What a fun idea! I think the photo looks great.

Cate said...

Those flavors sound awesome. I'm amazed that photo was taken in incandescent light! Mine never look that good!

WeezerMonkey said...

I'm watching TAR (on delay) right now!

We've really loved the first episode for the past few seasons because of the start in L.A. We'd beat everybody in our town! ;)

Anonymous said...

that looks soooo good and FULL of flavor!

Maria said...

Your photos always look great!
What a fun dish too! Looks good!

Jen said...

Fun idea! I am totally stealing it. :)

Insomniac said...

Great idea Liz! This one looks kinda tricky, but you've inspired me to make some Brazilian black beans... or um, go eat at a Brazilian restaurant... lol