Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Yes We Yucatan!

Pollo "Pibil" con Cavolini di Bruxelles al Limone & Tortilla
Pollo Pibil with Lime Brussels Sprouts & Tortillas

I went a little crazy today in the creative department I guess and just dreamed up something which may or may not bear a resemblance to the real dish- but it sure tasted good! When I set about making it, I was not even aware that there is an actual dish from the Yucatan called Pollo Pibil. MY dish, was based on the puerco pibil recipe made famous in Robert Rodriguez's "Once Upon a Time in Mexico"- which is of course a pork dish. The pork takes 2-3 hours of slow cooking to be really good, but I wanted to try a much quicker version using similar spices and chicken- and wouldn't ya know it? It worked pretty well!

I started off by chopping some garlic, some celery and some chili pepper coarsely and adding them to the juice of a lime and a good splash of tequila. I liquidized these used them as a marinade for the chicken breast, which I cut into strips. I put it into a ziploc bag and let it soak in for 30 mins. Obviously, it would have been better if it had marinated longer- preferably overnight- but there you go! A spur of the moment thought and a lack of patience can also be a great source of creativity at times.

I started frying the chicken at a high heat and then added a couple of tablespoons of annatto paste. This immediately gave the chicken its incredible red-orange coloring. Once the chicken began to brown, I poured over the marinade to deglaze the frying pan and also because it was the base of the spicy sauce. I added a tablespoon of tomato paste to thicken the sauce up, some chili flakes and a shot of Tabasco... I wanted to give it a real kick! To make more sauce, I added orange juice and a little balsamic vinegar as the original Yucatan recipe calls for bitter oranges- the touch of vinegar works just fine!

I reduced the heat on the chicken to a very low simmer and prepared the Brussels sprouts in the meantime. I trimmed, quartered and boiled them for 5 minutes and then removed them from the heat. I popped them into a frying pan with a little grated ginger, butter and lime juice- which went to make a wonderful glaze for the sprouts. A sprinkle of cumin seed as a finishing touch and my pseudo-Mexican munch was ready to serve!

As a side, I simply toasted some triangles of tortilla and called it a day. So this is a pretty low-calorie deal compared to many Mexican meals- and that's gotta be a good thing, no?
Don't worry- that was a very ironic and rhetorical question! It was pretty delicious! Alternatively you could serve it with rice or even steamed potato or yucca- but for my Speedy Gonzales version, tortillas were the crispy and tasty way to go!

No comments:

Post a Comment