Turmeric Chicken Adobo

Recipe of the Week

Seasonal Produce: Fresh Turmeric, Cauliflower, Squash

I bought a fennel on Friday and planned to cook ‘sea bass en papillote’, but due to the snowy conditions, I struggled to get some fresh whole sea bass. So, that’s the recipe for next week sorted!

So, I’ve opted to cook a warming Filipino curry, an adobo. The word ‘adobo’ is derived from the Spanish word meaning ‘marinade’ and the key ingredient for an authentic Filipino chicken adobo is vinegar. It’s been a traditional dish since the Philippines were colonised by Spain in the late 1500’s. History lesson over – back to the cooking!

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Ingredients

2 fresh roots of turmeric, grated (don’t worry about peeling!)
3 tbsp desiccated coconut
1/2 squash, cut into 1inch pieces
1/2 cauliflower, broken into small florets
1 white onion
2 echalion shallots
6-8 cloves of garlic
3 inch ginger
1/2 tsp chilli flakes
800ml coconut milk
200ml cider vinegar
3 tbsp wild honey

Method

Firstly put the squash and cauliflower in a baking tray, coat well with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Pop in the oven at 180C for about 30 minutes until cooked. Toss every now and then whilst cooking.

Grab a wok and dry fry the turmeric for about two minutes. Tip onto a plate and put to one side. In the same pan pour in the coconut and keep tossing until brown, verging on burnt. Don’t panic- it actually adds to the taste! Once the coconut is cooked, grind down in a blender or pestle and mortar.

In the same wok fry the onion, shallots, garlic and ginger with 2tbsp olive oil until the onions become translucent. Next add the chilli flakes and allow to cook for about a minute. Then tip in the desiccated coconut, toasted turmeric, coconut milk and 150ml of the vinegar. Bring to the boil and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the liquid has reduced by about a third. Once the sauce is cooked, pop in a blender and blend into a smooth sauce. Pour back into the wok.

At the same time that the sauce is cooking, heat a drizzle of oil in a frying pan until hot. Season the chicken well with salt and pepper and pop in the pan, skin side down. We’re not trying to cook the chicken here, but to give it a good crispy skin and to brown it slightly. So leave skin side down for about 6 minutes making sure it doesn’t burn, and then turn over for about 4 minutes to brown on the underside. Turn off the pan and leave to one side.

Next, add the chicken to the wok and stir in well. Allow to simmer until the chicken is cooked through, approximately 60 minutes.

Mix the honey with the 50ml of cider vinegar you have left over in a cup before pouring into the wok and mixing together. Next add the roasted veg and season well – adding more salt or honey as required.

I’ve served this time with basmati rice simply because it was all I had in the cupboard – but I’d definitely recommend serving with brown rice. Enjoy!

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