Saturday, May 20, 2006

Chicken with Okra

I grew up eating this dish .Not every day obviously but with a certain regularity. In Brazil some people are a bit weary of okra as if not looked after properly it can ‘dribble’. Yes, dribble. That unpleasant, sticky, liquid thing that runs out of one’s mouth when we are a bit tired and doze off unexpectedly. However, if the okra is slightly fried before being thrown into a stew or something like it, it will not ‘dribble’. An American friend once challenged me in front of a lot of people saying that it was not true. That there was no way we could avoid the sticky, unpleasant goo we got when putting okra together with some sort of liquid. Well, I did not spend my evening trying to convince him that he was wrong. After all if some people think that they hold the goblet of truth so be it. I do tell you though that that is the right way to avoid that sticky goo.

I made this lovely recipe by Fran from Flavour which has fried okra as it main ingredient. I told Fran that I would post the Brazilian recipe of okra. So here it is. Sometimes I ate this dish in a sort of stew-style dish but mine is more subdued. If you want more sauce I would dare say that you should add some chicken stock to the chicken as soon as the onions are added.

2 kg chicken breasts cut into medium sized pieces

½ cup vegetable oil

3 big onions, chopped

1 teaspoon of ‘mineiro’ seasoning**

1 kg okra, cut into small round slices

‘Mineiro’ seasoning

500g onions

200g garlic

2 green peppers

1 bunch of parsley (flat leaf)

1 bunch of chives

Put all the ingredients above in a blender. Whiz it with sal to taste and remove it when it reaches paste consistency.

Heat half the oil in a saucepan and throw the chicken in, mixing until it reaches a golden colour and are cooked through. Add the onions and enough ‘mineiro’ seasoning to add flavour to the chicken, cooking in slow heat.

In a separate pan heat the remaining oil and throw the okra in. Mix it all the time until it is fried. When ready remove from the pan and put on a plate with some kitchen towel on it.

When the chicken is nearly ready throw the okra in and let it cook for a bit longer.

Serve it outright.

In Brazil we serve it with something similar to polenta.The Portuguese name is ‘Angu’ and its ingredients are cornflour and water. I have never been a big fan of angu anyway so I eat it with rice.


paz said...

Ohhh! I had okra today!

Thanks for the tip on how to prevent the okra from becoming so gooey.

This recipe looks great!

Paz (who like okra with rice, too!)

valentina said...

Paz, do you have any recipes of okra with palm oil?

Fran said...

I love this recipe & can't wait to make it. Thank you for posting this. What is the Mineiro seasoning? Looks fabulous!

valentina said...

Fran, Mineiro is the person or something from the state of Minas Gerais, southeast Brazil.This dish is very popular over there. And the seasoning is also tipical from that state. They prepare a great amount in advance and keep it in the fridge to be used when needed.

Ana said...

Yummmy!! I love okra, also grew up eating it in Brazil!
Your recipe sounds delicious, I love the combination and will definitely be trying it soon!

valentina said...

Ana, this recipe pushed all the buttons of nostalgia. I had not eaten chicken with okra in ages.

mae said...

Oh, wow. another okra recipe that looks stunning!

paz said...

Hi Valentina: We use to eat okra cooked in palm oil, but we haven't eaten it that way in ages. Here, we normally substitute it with vegetable oil. Of course, the taste is different. One of these days, I'll go buy some palm oil and cook with it. ;-)


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