Blue Corn Chicken Tacos
Blue Corn tortilla shells, shredded lettuce, cilantro, white onions, Chipotle salsa, Chipotle hot pepper sauce, Sour cream, shredded manchego cheese and chicken seasoned with taco and Mexican adobo seasoning, dried oregano and red chili flakes.
* I know I titled this “tacos”, but I ate this like a salad (only my husband was patient enough to stuff all these fillings in his taco shells) because I just crumbled the shells over my pile of taco ingredients, dug my fork in the pile and applied forkful after forkful to my face, was so tired doing house chores all day.
Recipe: CHICKEN ADOBO IN COCONUT SAUCE WITH PINEAPPLE
Because the recipe for this was requested. Typing this on my phone while eating this for lunch.
1 pound chicken thigh fillet cut into chunks
1/2 cup (Filipino soy sauce, not the Japanese Kikkoman, try to buy Datu Puti brand)
2 Tablespoons worcestershire sauce
1/3 cup white cane vinegar (white regular vinegar will do or also try to buy Datu Puti white vinegar at a Filipino store)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 bay leaves
1 whole head of garlic, cloves separated, peeled and sliced
Cracked black pepper to taste
- Marinate the chicken pieces with all these ingredients overnight in a ziploc bag. The next day, pour entire contents of ziploc bag in a tall enough saute pan, add 1/2 cup canned pineapple chunks and 3 cups of water. Turn on heat to high until it boils then turn heat to low and simmer slowly, braise for 30mins-45mins or until you are left with a third of liquid, reduced sauce.
Add, 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut cream (for cooking, preferably made in Thailand)and simmer until sauce thickens.
Serve with plain boiled white rice.
Mini Chicken Tandoori Skewers with Coconut Rice and Hot Madras Curried Lentils, Corn and Carrots
Chicken and Saffron Arroz Caldo with Spring Onions, Fried Garlic Bits, Boiled Egg, Chicken Skin Chicharrones and Calamansi
If I am to be asked about what dish I would happily eat repeatedly for a month or two, in a heartbeat, I will definitely say, Chicken Arroz Caldo. It is the one and only soup dish, but really more accurately, a savoury and chickeny rice porridge, that comforts me, even comforts my spirit, and by this I mean, that this dish is warming, hearty, fills anyone up real well and quite blissfully, eases the suffering of anyone who is sick, and really, to me it is my kind of Chicken Soup For The Soul… my soul.
Arroz Caldo (Spanish for rice soup) is a Hispanicized or Spanish version of the Chinese’ Congee. It is Hispanicized because of the addition (traditionally) of safflower or kasubha in Tagalog (a cheaper and more abundant counterpart of the much proper and expensive saffron… but obviously I decided to be a bit posh and used Saffron in this) use to colour the porridge, and black pepper along with the aromatic trifecta of garlic, onion and ginger sauteed along with morsels of chicken or beef to which a Chinese congee is deprived of.
And although this rice soup/porridge dish is Chinese in inspiration and Spanish in adaptation, this is spot on natively Filipino in taste… I call this Filipino soul food.
This dish is one of the first things I made myself learn how to cook when I was a teenager only because I wanted so bad to cook it whenever I want it. It is one of my favourite humble foods to eat most of the time… any time.
I never often asked my mother or grandmother (when she was still alive) to teach me how to cook certain dishes, I just avidly watched them prepare the ingredients, and the steps or stages they went through cooking every dish from start to finish. And in making this particular dish, I learned from both my grandmother and mother, that the best rice to use in Arroz Caldo is glutinous rice because the starchiness of this variety of rice helps thicken the soup much more gloriously than the regular variety. Also, it is crucial for this dish that the rice is totally puffed or cracked because texture wise, it is much more better in the palate than munching on whole al dente rice grains.
I will not give the recipe for this as I always make it in a large stock pot. But here is the procedure; In a stock pot, put this ration of 1:3 glutinous rice to hot chicken stock with either safflower or in this case, saffron threads infused in the stock. Place pot over high heat and wait for the rice and stock to get to a boil, then turn down heat to medium-low and gently simmer rice. Meanwhile, in a sautepan, saute finely chopped ginger in canola oil for 3 mins over medium-high heat, then add finely chopped onions, sweat onions for 3 mins, then add finely minced garlic and saute until garlic is soft and fragrant. Add either cut up chicken pieces or chunks of chicken breast fillets, and saute with the aromatics until cooked. Transfer sauteed chicken into stockpot with simmering rice. Mix together and season with salt (or fish sauce, optional) and fresh cracked black pepper. Continue simmering the soup/porridge until liquid has slightly thickened and rice is puffed or cracked.
Serve piping hot in bowls and top with thinly sliced spring onions, fried garlic bits, sliced hard boiled eggs and either chicken skin chicharrones or crushed pork cracklings (optional) and serve with calamansi halves or lemon wedges on the side.
Tex-Mex Chicken Tortilla Pizza
I always like left-overs, specially left-overs I can sort of deconstruct and come up with something more delish… even practical.
This is basically all of the components of Chicken Fajitas only I intentionally scattered around all the filling, added more cheese, made the tortilla golden and crunchy and flecked the cheesy surface with some freshly cracked black pepper… and Voila!!! I made me a Pizza!
Chicken breast fillet strips sauteed with onions and green bell peppers (seasoned with cumin, coriander, oregano, chili powder) topped with salsa roja, queso and cilantro, over handmade flour tortilla
HOT MADRAS CHICKEN CURRY
The Madras curry originated from the South of India and got its name from the city of Madras, now known as Chennai.
This type of curry has its origins in Hindu and authentic recipes for this were usually vegetarian, but it also can be definitely made with any meat.
A prominent characteristic of this particular curry mix is it is hotter than most curry mixes and the orange-red colour of it. The addition of some tomato puree into this dish also imparted not only another depth of reddish glow but also some more savoury richness in taste.
One can definitely make this completely vegetarian by replacing meat with cauliflower and aubergines, or also chickpeas along with the potatoes and carrots.
1 kilo chicken thighs (salt and pepper to season/marinade chicken)
1/4 cup canola oil (2 tablespoons for pan-searing the chicken, 2 tablespoons to saute aromatics)
1 head garlic, minced
2 large white onions, chopped
1 tablespoon ginger, chopped fine
4 cups chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
1 cup tomato puree
2 tablespoons hot Madras curry mix
2 large potatoes, large dice
2 carrots, large dice
- Season chicken thighs with salt and pepper and pan-sear in canola oil until lightly golden and meat is caramelized. Place on a dish. And add the remaining canola oil in the pan.
- Saute ginger, onions and garlic then add the hot Madras curry powder mix.
- Put back the seared chicken thighs. Add the potatoes, carrots, tomato puree and chicken stock. Bring to a boil then lower heat to simmer the stew for 45 minutes or until root vegetables are tender and stew is thickened. Season with salt to taste.
- Serve with plain boiled rice, Indian chapatis or Naan.
Makes 6-7 servings
Spaghetti in Garlic Gravy with Herbs and Lemon Marinated Chicken and Cherry Tomatoes
This pasta recipe I came up spontaneously. And cooked this dish 30 minutes right after I conceptualized and imagined how the taste would be.
I just thought that lemon (juice and zest), thyme, rosemary, extra virgin olive oil and salt and pepper to marinate and flavour the chicken chunks would already make the meat so delish. I had a tray of cherry tomatoes in the chiller and the sauce… I figured that it would be wonderful if I can taste some chickeny goodness in the pasta itself, so I decided that instead of making a proper pasta sauce I’ll make a gravy (make that as the sauce), flavour it with a tiny hint of basil and some big savory punch of garlic.
500 grams spaghetti pasta (cooked al dente)
1 pound chicken breast fillets (skinless and boneless, sliced into 1 inch chunks)
For the chicken marinade:
2 teaspoons fresh thyme, chopped
2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, chopped (if using dried, use half of the amount)
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of ½ a lemon
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon coarse salt (not table salt)
½ teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (to sauté the marinated chicken)
- Add all the marinade ingredients into the chicken and marinate for 20 minutes (if making this dish in pronto) or over night (if making this dish the next day… much better).
- Saute the marinated chicken in extra virgin olive oil until cooked (about 4-5 minutes) then set aside.
For the garlic gravy:
½ stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 large cloves garlic, finely minced
2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 ½ cups chicken stock
1 Tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
¼ cup parsley, chopped (to sprinkle/finish the pasta)
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
2 cups whole cherry tomatoes
- Place sauté pan over medium heat and add butter and olive oil.
- Saute garlic until fragrant and soft.
- Add the flour and cook for a minute.
- Add chicken stock and simmer gravy until thickened then add the chopped basil.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Add the sauteed chicken in the gravy then toss the cooked spaghetti into this sauce.
- Add the cherry tomatoes and finish the dish with the chopped parsley and grated parmesan cheese (serve extra on the side).
Makes 5-6 servings
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