Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Mango Stuffed Chicken with Yellow Sunburst Tomato Basil Sauce

     Island Style Food!
     Caribbean and Floribbean cooking styles are nearly the same.  Both cuisines make use of local ingredients and the cooking techniques are a fusion of native local style combined with European influences.  
     Caribbean style Mango Bread Stuffing is a nice choice for seafood, chicken or pork.  For today's recipe, a half of a chicken is deboned, the placed over the mango stuffing.  The stuffed chicken is slow roasted till the stuffing and chicken are fully cooked.  A safe temperature of 165ºF on a probe thermometer inserted in the middle of the stuffed chicken is required, so there is no threat of salmonella contamination.  Most Caribbean islanders do not like undercooked food or rare beef.  In the tropics, it is always better to be on the safe side when preparing food.  This is because heat and humidity increases pathogenic threats.
     Lightly sautéed Yellow Sunburst Tomatoes are something between a sauce and a garnish.  The rum and butter creates a nice light sauce.  The Sunburst Tomato texture is soft and the refreshing flavor goes well with both chicken and mangoes.  Yellow sunburst tomatoes taste like cherry tomatoes, but they do have a more pronounced fruit flavor.  Yes, tomatoes are actually a fruit!
     Cilantro flavors the stuffing and Thai Basil flavors the sauce.  These two herbs are popular in both tropical Southeast Asian cuisine and Caribbean cuisine.  Basil and Cilantro is a pleasant flavor combination, especially with chicken or tropical fruit.
     Mango Stuffing: 
     This recipe yields 1 generous portion.
     Step 1:  Heat a sauce pot over medium heat.
     Add 1 cup of chicken stock.
     Add 2 tablespoons of small diced celery.
     Add 2 tablespoons of small diced onion.
     Add 2 tablespoons of small diced red bell pepper.
     Add 1/2 of a minced green serrano pepper.
     Add 1 minced garlic clove.
     Add 1 teaspoon of ginger paste.
     Step 2:  Bring the broth to a boil.
     Cook the vegetables, till they just start to become tender.
     Step 3:  Pour the broth through a fine mesh strainer into a container.
     Set the broth aside.
     Place the cooked vegetables in a mixing bowl.
     Step 4:  Cut 1 cup of French bread into small cube shaped pieces.
     Place the diced French bread in the mixing bowl with the vegetables.
     Add 1/2 cup of diced peeled mango.
     Add 1 tablespoon of minced cilantro leaves.
     Add 1 tablespoon of whisked egg.
     Add sea salt and black pepper.
     Add 1 pinch of allspice.
     Step 5:  Add just enough of the reserved broth to moisten the bread.  (Only a small amount is needed.  Save any extra for another recipe.)
     Gently toss the stuffing ingredients together.
     Mango Stuffed Chicken:
     This recipe yields a stuffed 1/2 chicken.  (1 hearty portion!)
     Step 1:  Debone 1/2 of a small chicken.  (Try not to damage the skin.)
     Step 2:  Brush a roasting pan with vegetable oil.
     Mound the mango stuffing on the oiled pan.
     Step 3:  Place the boneless chicken half over the stuffing.
     Use your hands to mold the chicken and stuffing together into a nice neat shape.  Try to completely cover the stuffing with the chicken if possible.
     Step 4:  Brush the chicken with vegetable oil.
     Sprinkle sea salt and coarse ground black pepper over the chicken.
     Add a splash of chicken broth to the roasting pan.
     Step 5:  Roast the stuffed chicken in a 325ºF oven, till it is fully cooked and golden brown.
     *A probe thermometer inserted in the center of the stuffing must be 165ºF for 15 seconds.  A center temperature of 170ºF is best. 
     Allow the stuffed chicken to rest for 1 or 2 minutes before serving.
     Yellow Sunburst Tomato Basil Sauce:
     This recipe yields 1 portion.  
     This quickly made sauce should be prepared just before the chicken comes out of the oven.  Wait till the chicken is about 3/4 fully cooked.   
     Step 1:  Heat a sauté pan over medium heat.
     Add 1/2 tablespoon of pomace olive oil.
     Add 1/2 tablespoon of unsalted butter.
     Add 1/4 teaspoon of minced garlic.
     Add 1 1/2 teaspoons of minced shallot.
     Add 1 tablespoon finely chopped seeded green serrano pepper.
     Sauté till the shallots turn clear in color.
     Step 2:  Add 2/3 cup of yellow sunburst tomatoes that are cut in half.
     Add sea salt and white pepper.
     Sauté till the tomatoes start to become tender.
     Step 3:  Add 1 thin sliced green onion.
     Add 1 tablespoon of chopped Thai Basil leaves.
     Add 1 teaspoon of lime juice.
     Add 2 ounces cup of amber rum.
     Add 1/3 cup of chicken broth.
     Step 4:  Quickly reduce the sauce, till most of the liquid evaporates and the sauce can lightly glaze a spoon.
     *The tomatoes should be tender and they should look like tomato halves, not mushy stewed tomatoes!
     Step 5:  Remove the pan from the heat.
     Keep the pan warm on a stove top.  (Add 1 or 2 tablespoons of chicken broth if the thin sauce dries out.)
     Mango Stuffed Chicken with Yellow Sunburst Tomato Basil Sauce:
     This recipe yields 1 entrée.
     Use a spatula to place the mango stuffed chicken on a plate.
     Spoon the sauce and sunburst tomatoes over and around the chicken.
     Garnish the plate with lime slices and a cilantro sprig.
     The stuffing is surprisingly light and not heavy on the tummy.  This is a great tasting Caribbean style entrée!

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