Thursday, 19 March 2015

Mango, chilli, ginger and coconut chicken - flu be gone!

Spring is finally here. And with it, lighter days. And, as my sad luck would have it, a very stubborn flu. After more than a week of producing Ghostbusters-worthy gunk it was time to brink out the big guns. A.k.a. mango, chilli, ginger and coconut chicken to the rescue!

This is one of the dishes I've been making for years, yet never managed to pen the recipe. I know that my friend, The Cat Blogger has been waiting for this post ever since I started blogging as this dish won her and her daughter over way back. Well, here goes!

And hey, not only is this packed with (bug-busting) flavour, it's also quick and at your table in less than 30 minutes. And it's dairy-free, kosher and gluten-free. What are you waiting - time to get cracking!

Mango, chilli, ginger and coconut chicken:

Serves four

4 chicken breasts
salt, white pepper

Mango, chilli, ginger and coconut sauce:

4 cm piece of fresh ginger (finely chopped 2,5 tbsp)
1-2 red chillis, finely chopped
2 large garlic cloves (finely chopped 2 tbsp)
the juice and finely grated zest of a lime
1 tbsp curry powder
1/2 chicken stock cube dissolved in 1,5 dl boiling water
2,5 small baby food jars (â 125 g) puréed mango 
1 tbsp soy sauce
2,5 dl coconut cream (the thick stuff you see as you open a tin of coconut milk)

oil for frying, 

for serving: a coriander bush and 2 spring onions

Sauté garlic, ginger and chilli in a couple of tbsp oil Add curry powder, keep stirring and cooking for a minute and then add lime zest and juice along with soy sauce.

Then add chicken stock, mango puré and coconut cream. Cook for another 10 minutes until the sauce starts thickening a bit.

Pat the chicken fillets dry and cut into 1 cm thick slices. Season with salt and white pepper. Sear quickly, working in batches, the chicken in a hot pan and transfer into the sauce. Continue cooking over medium heat for 10-15 minutes until the chicken is just done. 

Check the taste and add more soy cauce if needed. Finely chop coriander and spring onion, fold into the sauce and serve with rice.

Normally I would have paired this with one of the Alsatians we've grown so fond of, probably turning to Wolfberger for a match. Gewürtztraminer for instance would have the sort of ripe sweetness that works so well with the heat from chilli and ginger. 

However, we happened to have some of this new Venetian friend instead. 

Garganega is a grape widely grown in the Veneto region and the foundation of many Soaves. It's got bright citrusy notes that perk up the overall appearance, but also ripe fruitiness which, together with the gentle spiciness (courtesy of oak barrels among other things) make this a great match for Asian cuisine. 

As the label suggests, the wine is made with appassimiento- method, which means that the grapes are partially dried over a certain period (40 days for this one) before pressing. As a result the wine has a lot more concentrated, richer flavour.

And hey, this particular wine was named in honour of the wife of the founder of the winery. How adorable is that!

Oh, what's the deal with the birds, you ask? That, my friend, is  a Rajasthani parrot chain. The birds are suppose to bring the household good luck while the bell at the end of it is supposed to ward off the evil spirits. I still haven't won the lottery but on the other side - I don't get any Jehovah's Witnessess at my door either...!




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