Chicken Escabeche

This recipe is one I picked up at the Filipino Food Store.com – and being half Filipino, I knew I had to give it a try. My readers know me by now – “trying” equates to playing around with a recipe while making it for the very first time.

I like things with a great deal of color. The original recipe seemed colorful enough – red and green peppers, a carrot and tomatoes – all bright and pretty.

I don’t know what it is about green bell peppers, but personally I don’t care much for their flavor – preferring a nice orange; yellow or red. They just taste better. That could all be in my head – can’t say one way or the other. The first change made to the original recipe was to toss out the green bell pepper, replacing it with a yellow pepper instead. Next, I used a purple carrot rather than the usual orange carrot. This was only because there were purple carrots in the product market, and whenever I see those beautiful purple carrots, I cannot help but put them to use. (Needless to say, this isn’t a permanent change – it’s going to be a when available thing). Finally, I reduced the tomatoes from 4 to 1. This change seemed to balance the amount of tomatoes to the rest of the vegetable mixture.

Chicken Escabeche
4 chicken breasts fillet
2 cloves of garlic, grated
2 to 3 shallots, peeled and sliced
1 thumb-sized ginger, peeled and grated
1 medium-sized yellow pepper, seeded and cut lengthwise
1 medium-sized red pepper , seeded and cut lengthwise
1 big carrot, peeled and cut in julienne strips
1 Large red tomatoes, cut in small cubes
3 tablespoons Olive Oil
3 tablespoons of flour
1 teaspoon of corn starch mixed with 2 tablespoons water
1/4 Cup Water
4 tablespoons of soy sauce
3 tablespoons of rice vinegar
2 bay leaves
Salt and pepper to taste
3 Cups cooked rice

Start cooking rice. Keep warm until ready to serve.

Pat dry the chicken fillet, cut lengthwise into 3 or 4 strips per breast. (The breast should be larger than “stir-fry” but thin enough to fry up easily). Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Prepare all the vegetables on two cutting boards. Place shallots, ginger and garlic on one small cutting board, set aside.

Cut bell peppers into long strips, julienne carrot and cube tomatoes on another. This will make it easier when adding vegetables to the pan. Set aside.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat with a little olive oil. While pan is warming, toss chicken breast in flour.

Fry chicken until nicely browned and cooked through, about 8 to 10 minutes depending upon thickness and size. As chicken cooks, remove from pan and keep warm in a 300 degree oven.

Once pan is empty, quickly fry garlic, ginger and shallots until aromatic – about a minute or so.

Add remaining vegetables and stir-fry for about 5 minutes. Add 1/4 cup of water to mixture and continue to cook until tender.

Add soy sauce and vinegar to the pan. Taste sauce and adjust seasoning with a little salt and pepper. Mix in cornstarch. Reduce heat to medium-low.

Return chicken to pan (including any juices that have gathered in platter). Spoon sauce over chicken and heat through.

Push chicken to one side of the pan. Whisk in cornstarch until blended with sauce. Remove bay leaves and allow to sauce to thicken slightly. Remove from heat.

Pile chicken in center of large serving platter. Pour vegetables and sauce over chicken. Spoon rice around mixture. Serve immediately.

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