Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Inventou O Prato de Frango ( Brazilian Chicken)

The catchy title of this chicken dish is actually a rough translation from English to Portuguese for the phrase "Totally Made Up Chicken Dish"  I can't verify the accuracy of the translation since I don't speak a lick of Portuguese, but it seemed like I needed to "fancy it up" by using a romance language instead of my own.  If it's not correct take it up with BabelFish.  I was completely at their mercy.

I am always looking for something we have never eaten before to try for meals.  We get bored eating the same food over and over.  A few weeks ago when I was cleaning my cookbook shelf, I happened on an old folder stuffed with recipes I had cut from magazines.  To anyone younger who might be reading this, there was a time, before Pinterest, when we looked through magazines for trendy, new food inspiration.  Once we found something that caught our eye, we would physically cut if from the page and either stick it in a folder, or paste it to a 3x5 card  and keep it alphabetically in a nice little card box. ( Seems insane or like something reminiscent of the dinosaur era, right?)  Of course, once I found the folder, it was a message from above to quit dusting and shuffle through the bits and pieces of magazine pages.

When I looked through it, I wondered what had possessed me to cut some of them out in the first place. Liver spaghetti? I hate liver so why would I bother with that?  Congealed salads?  Ditto with the Jello aversion!   I  also found quite a few recipes that would be considered ancient now, since some of the ingredients are no longer made. ( Anyone remember Whip & Chill)   Some reflected pop culture ( The Saturday Night Fever Dinner Party ) and some were just timeless recipes.

I found a recipe for a Brazilian pork dish  and made it for supper that night. It  met with lukewarm results then, but  the leftovers were stellar when we ate them for lunch a few days later.  I figured the  rub used to flavor the pork was what made it delicious, so I took the spice list and tweaked it a little to make my personal Brazilian* blend.

Brazilian Seasoning Blend

2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon powdered ginger
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon ground mustard
1 teaspoon ground coriander seed
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Put all the ingredient in a bowl and whisk to blend well.  Store tightly covered. ( I used an empty washed and well dried spice container and wrote Brazil on the cap but I am pretty sure it would live happily in any covered jar)

                          Completely and Totally Made Up On The Fly Chicken Recipe

4 boneless chicken breast halves
1 small onion, sliced in rings
1 clove garlic, minced
3 teaspoons Brazilian seasoning
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup dry white wine ( add an additional 1/2 cup if desired)

Season the chicken breasts lightly with the seasoning mix and let rest for about 5 minutes.  Add the oil to a pan and heat till hot.  Lightly brown the chicken on both sides then remove from the pan.  Add the onions and wilt, then add the garlic.  Put the chicken back in the pan on tops of the vegetables and add the white wine.  Sprinkle the remaining seasoning over the chicken breasts.  Reduce heat to medium low, cover the pan and let simmer until the wine is reduced by half.  To serve put 1/4of the onion garlic mixture on the bottom of the plate and top with the chicken.  Drizzle the top of each piece with the liquid remaining in the pan.

This was a very tasty and very easy dish.  I served it with some funky potatoes I had gotten in my co-op box and a side salad.  Next time I will serve it on a bed of rice and add an additional 1/2 cup of wine when cooking so it will have a tad more sauce.   This seasoning blend is so good, it could possibly become my second most used blend.  Don't worry Cavander's, you will always be my first love.

*This may or may not actually be a Brazilian spice combination.  I am only calling it Brazilian because the recipe I found did.

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