I'm lucky enough to go on holiday twice a year, this is usually a weekend/city break and a longer holiday, usually to the Caribbean. Last year I visited the very cosmopolitan, vibrant, young city of Miami (as part of my Caribbean cruise) and could not leave this city without purchasing a cookbook (it's a new thing for me every time I go on holiday) which reflected on the area that I visited. Unfortunately as I was in Miami for 2 days, I did not sample, in my opinion traditional Floribbean food, the harmonious flavours of Florida, the Caribbean and Latin America, which is infectious as you walk along a street and hear Spanish or creole spoke, but luckily I was able to do this through this book.
A recipe that really caught my eye, was "Chicken Tropicana", just the name Tropicana sounds exotic, and for me, revokes memories of lying on Copacabana beach, Rio. The reasoning behind the name, I can only presume it is the Caribbean spiced chicken, mango, cooked in coconut milk and served with fluffy rice and the obligatory fried plantain. You see, with flavours like this, you could take yourself to Miami, The Caribbean and Latin American in one meal. This dish, was mouth watering, I personally think any meat seasoned well, cooked in coconut milk is an instant winner, but for me, what made this dish standout more so than others, was the combination of the savoury chicken with the delicate sweetness of the mango. Perfect for mid-week meal and to explore new flavour combinations.
Here is how my Chicken Tropicana turned out:
|Chicken Tropicana cooking and fried plantain.|
Recipe for Chicken Tropicana
1 chicken (about 3 1/2 to 4 pounds), cut into 8 even-size pieces
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/4 cup finely chopped onions
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon finely chopped candied ginger or fresh ginger
2 cups of coconut milk, or canned, unsweetened
1/4 cup orange marmalade
1 cup dried fresh papaya
1 cup died fresh pineapple
1) Wash the chicken and blot dry with paper towels. Season with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a large saute pan. Brown the chicken on all sides, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a platter and pour off all the fat.
2) Melt the butter in the pan. Saute the shallots, garlic, and ginger until soft but not brown, about 2 minutes. Return the chicken to the pan and stir in the coconut milk, marmalade and salt and pepper.
3) Simmer the chicken, uncovered, until almost cooked, 15 to 20 minutes. Stir in the fresh fruits and cook the chicken through, about 5 minutes more. Correct the seasoning, adding salt and pepper to taste.
4) Transfer the chicken to a bowl or platter and spoon the sauce and fruit over it.
Serve with basmati rice and fried plantain.