28 Jan Chicken casserole -La portugese style
The origins of this style of cooking is portugese though and more so made with beef is what someone told me once..In terms of the base, which is supposedely bland( i put in red chilli sauce for a spicy taste), which typifies Portugese cooking actually..Portuguese cooking in the original form is very bland with the emphasis being on olive oil,tomatoes, onion and garlic.Two most distinctive culnary products are the fortified wines, Port and Madeira.. hence most of their poultry receipes feature wine .
I did not adhere to the strict ingredients nor the exact detailing or the right wines..For me ,its about a pallatable , delectable taste and since it was for dinner on a regular weekday, it was made simple, and yes i added red chilli sauce for that spicyness which actually is against the portugese style.Never theless what’s cretaivity if you dont experiment ?There is no credit to your cooking nor is your cooking worth an applause if you cant use your creative streak to deviate form the origins , and invent your own receipe and your own taste….”Inspiring” is what the word is, for a new recepie if origins of a certain receipe exists…For me , its important that you work up a dish within minutes with whatever you have in your kitchen.That is the significance of a great prolific cook and a creative one too..
So here I am , putting down this simple receipe and can be made with just whatever veggies you might have in stock to go with the chicken , rice and wine..You dont need to run to your local supermarket to get the ingredients.
But yes, if you really want the exact portugese style, to perhaps impress your guests or credit yourself for mastering a new cultural cusine , you will have to get the right kind of white portugese wine and the exact exotic veggies that will increase the flavour of the dish by a flavourful mix with the chicken.
Chicken-750 gms boneless ( i used with bones since i did not have boneless pieces in stock)
Cabbage leaves- 6 cut into big ieces
Fresh grean Peas -1/4thcup
Zuccini or cucumber-1
Red bell pepper- 1( i used green since there was no stock of the red ones in my kitchen)
Flour- 25 gms
Olive oil- 3 tbsp
60 ml dry white wine( i used just a drop for the taste, since am not too much of a wine person, plus it was for a regular weekday dinner )
1 tsp freshly ground pepper
Red chilli sauce- 2 tbsp( you can adjust the taste according to what suits you or totally avoid it as well)
salt to taste
I used much lesser quantity since i wanted smaller servings.So you will have to adjust the quantities in the same ratio depending on the number of servings you require.
Cut the chicken into medium sized cubes.Sprinkle salt over and fry lightly in oil and butter. Stir in flour and cook for two minutes or until brown. The raw smell of the flour has to disappear and a brown colour needs to be developed.Add water and bring to a boil, stirring until the sauce thickens.Add salt, freshly ground pepper, bay leaves and red chilli sauce or paste what ever suits your fancy.Cover and cook until the chicken is tender.
Dice veggies , add to the pan and simmer( for around 15 min) until the veggies are soft and the chicken is cooked..The flavour of the veggies mixed in the gravy creates an irristable aroma .To it the suttle taste of wine creates magic in this brew cum gravy..
Method of using the pressure cooker: Impatient that i am , i used the pressuse cooker to prepare this dish in a jiffy and reduce time. Once the sauce starts boiling, you need to close the lid of the cooker and wait for one whistle. Reduce the flame and cook as per your own instuctions of cooking chicken, maybe on low flame for 8 mins. Open the lid, add the diced veggies to the cooker and this time let the gravy boil with the veggies on open flame without the lid on. Cook on slow open flame untill the veggies are tender and their favour is absorved in the gravy.
Low on spices and calories, this is very much a flavourful dish with the subtle taste of wine infused ..For the ones who love wine, this is a way to include your wine in your meal..This reflects portugese cooking and if you love ur food bland minus the calories there is nothing better then to relish this dish which is filled with so much flavour just with the addition of wine and veggies. Once done , it is quite amazing actually and especially for Indians, this is almost unimaginable , that minus the spices and calories, a dish can be so flavourful.. A very versatile homemade casserole , incredibly fascinating and scumptious.