Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Recipes - Portuguese Chicken w Pineapple Sauce

I created this delight sometime in January of 2010 when I looked around my kitchen and decided to throw a few things together.  I was not expecting it to be awesome, but it was! This has since become one of my most popular signature dishes.  An unusual combination of flavours that complement each other to produce this spicy, summery chicken dish.

2 chicken breasts
store bought Portuguese spice mix 
½ a pineapple, skin and core removed and chopped into small pieces
1 clove garlic
½ tbs ginger, grated
1 ½ cups pineapple juice (store bought with no added sugar)
½ cup water
1 tbs brown sugar
½ lemon, juiced
1 small red chilli, seeds and pith removed and finely sliced
2 avocados, diced
mangoes, diced
½ small Spanish onion, finely diced
1 punnet cherry tomatoes, quartered
½ cup coriander, finely chopped
salt and pepper, to season
olive oil

NB: Avocados and mangoes must be 'just ripe' as their firmness will prevent the salad from becoming mushy.

Step 1 - To make the pineapple sauce, heat a very small amount of olive oil in a sauce pan.  When hot, add garlic and fry for about 10 seconds – if garlic colours, discard and start again.  
Step 2 - Add pineapple, ginger, brown sugar, pineapple juice, water and a pinch of salt, bring to boil and cook for a few minutes. Reduce heat to low, add lemon juice and chilli and simmer for about an hour.  If at any stage the sauce looks like it is too dry, add a little more pineapple juice.
Step 3 - After 40 minutes, taste sauce as it may need more salt (if sauce is too sweet) or more lemon juice (if it requires more tartness).  At 50 mins, transfer ¾ of the sauce to a blender, and blend til smooth.  Return to pan and simmer for the remaining 5-10 minutes until sauce is thick.  Remove from heat and set aside.
Step 4 - Preheat oven to 180°C
Step 5 - Slice chicken breasts length-ways so you have 4 long, thick pieces of chicken.  Shake a few tablespoons of the spice mix onto a plate and roll each piece of chicken in the spice mix until all sides are coated.
Step 6 - Heat a grill pan over high heat.  Seal chicken for about 20-30 seconds on each side and transfer pan to oven.  Cook chicken in oven for 10-15 minutes until just cooked through.  If your grill pan is not oven proof, line a baking tray with baking paper and place tray in oven while it is preheating.  Place chicken on the hot tray to cook in oven.  
Step 7 - When chicken is cooked, remove from oven and set aside to rest for at least 5 minutes before slicing.
Step 8 - For the salsa, combine avocado, mango, tomato, onion and corriander in a bowl.  Drizzle with a little olive oil, season with salt and pepper and gently fold to combine.
Step 9 - To serve, spoon a mound of salsa onto a serving plate.  Slice chicken on a diagonal into thick medallions and place on top of salsa.  Spoon over some pineapple sauce and serve immediately.  

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