food for thought

by michelle

chicken with prunes and olives + spinach salad + yellow rice

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A veritable Mexican feast cooked by David. The chicken recipe comes from The Art of Mexican Cooking by Diana Kennedy and the rice and salad from MEXICAN healthy ways with a favourite cuisine by Jane Milton.


Season 8 chicken pieces with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil in a heavy casserole and brown the chicken pieces until golden. Remove them from the casserole and add a finely chopped onion and 5 cloves of minced garlic, cooking gently for a few minutes until translucent. Add 2 medium chopped tomatoes and fry for a further 3 minutes. Add ¾ of a cup of finely puréed tomatoes and 15 pitted prunes, cover and cook until the chicken is almost tender. If the sauce seems too dry add a little chicken stock. Add 3 charred, peeled and diced red peppers and 15 pitted green olives and cook until the chicken is tender.

For the salad dressing, roast 6 cloves of garlic until soft. When cool, remove the skins, chop them and combine them in a jar with ½ a cup of white wine vinegar, ½ a teaspoon each of ground white pepper and ground allspice, a bay leaf and 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh thyme. Shake well and set aside. Toast ½ a cup of sesame seeds until golden and set aside. Slice 6 shallots and sauté in butter until soft. Add 8 seeded and sliced fresh serrano chiles and cook for a further 2-3 minutes. To assemble the salad layer washed spinach leaves, the shallot mixture and tomato slices. Pour on the dressing, sprinkle with sesame seeds and garnish with fresh thyme.

The rice dish is flavoured with achiote (annatto seed paste) which is available at Mexican suppliers. Place 1 cup of rice in a heatproof bowl and pour in boiling water to cover. Let stand for 20 minutes then drain, rinse under cold water and drain again. Heat some vegetable oil in a saucepan and add a teaspoon of ground achiote, cooking for 2-3 minutes. Add a finely chopped onion and 2 crushed garlic cloves and cook until they are translucent. Add the rice and cook for 5 minutes. Pour in 2 cups of chicken stock, bring to the boil and lower the heat to a simmer. Cook for 20-30 minutes until all the liquid is absorbed. Season with salt to taste and add ½ a cup of drained and sliced pickled jalapeño chillies. Stir well to distribute them evenly then spoon into a serving dish and garnish with coriander.


Written by michelle picker

April 5, 2014 at 6:00 am

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