Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Mild Mannered Mex Chicken Casserole

NAME: _Mild Mannered Mex Chicken Casserole

Around half a chicken
2 cobs fresh corn (or one tin corn kernels)
1 medium brown onion
2 cloves garlic
1 red capsicum or sweet pepper
1 medium sweet potato
2 tbsp lard (or duck fat)
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp olive oil additional
1 tin tomato diced
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp cumin ground
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp coriander seed powder
half a bunch of fresh coriander
1 tsp dried chilli flakes
1 tsp honey, molasses, or golden syrup
salt to taste
1 chicken stock cube

Boil corn cobs for ten minutes, strip kernels. (Or drain the tin of corn kernels.) Peel onion and cut into corn kernel sized dice. Peel garlic cloves and rough chop into rice grain sized chunks. Peel sweet potato and slice about 3mm thin. Remove bones and cut chicken into 1cm cubes. Slice red pepper / capsicum into 3mm thick rings, remove inner pith and seeds. Roughly chop the fresh coriander leaves and stems. Set each item aside in bowls as you prepare it.

Heat the additional 2 tbsp olive oil in frypan, add cumin and fennel seeds, fry for around a minute to start the fragrance, then add the corn, onion, garlic, and chicken meat. Continue to stir and fry until some corn kernels begin to show brown spots, then add the cumin and coriander powder, honey (or other sweetener) and stir and fry for another three minutes. Add the tin of diced tomato, crumbled chicken stock cube, chopped coriander, and salt to taste. Stir and allow to simmer until almost all the tomato liquid is absorbed or evaporated.

Turn out into a casserole dish and level out into a smooth layer, top with sliced capsicum / pepper. Add the remaining fats (olive oil, butter, pork or duck fat) into the frypan, batch fry the sweet potato so that each slice is coated and beginning to show brown spots. Lift each batch from the frypan and arrange in a layer over the casserole dish. Cover the casserole dish and place in the middle zone of a medium oven, check every 20 - 30 minutes for browning of the sweet potato. Once the potato starts to show extra browning, remove casserole from oven. This should take about an hour to an hour and a half.

Top with thin sliced spring onion greens and plate up.

It's always a pleasure when I make up a recipe and it comes up tops. Even more so when my wife asks me to "write the recipe down so you don't forget it - this one's a 'have again' recipe!" It's meant to be sweet - pick as ripe a capsicum or pepper as you can, add more chilli flakes if you like it spicier - but the sweet / coriander / cumin favour is what makes this, and the slight acid of the tomato rounds out the flavour.


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