Thursday, February 27, 2014

Mango Chicken

My husband grew up on a little French island located in the Indian Ocean, east of Madagascar. He lived there until the age of 18 when he left for Bordeaux in France to go to college. I have had the fortune to return back to RĂ©union Island with him twice. It has an active volcano and has a tropical climate similar to Hawaii. There are both black sand and white sand beaches, and the reefs provide a paradise for snorkelers and scuba divers alike. The islanders comprise of people hailing from Europe, Asia and Africa. The populations have combined in a melting pot to form a culture of Creoles. The Creole cuisine has influences from all of the cultures, which makes it both unique and exotic. Many local dishes combine the use Indian spices along with fresh herbs and local vegetables, and are served with lentils, rice or beans. The Saturday farmer's market is bustling with patrons lined up to buy fresh fish, poultry, spices, fruits and vegetables for the week. If you have a bucket list of places to visit, then I highly recommend that you add RĂ©union Island to the list! It will not disappoint.

The recipe that I chose to make for you comes from a recipe that uses duck (Canard Mangues). However, I substituted chicken in the dish and it just as delicious. The combination of sweet and savory will delight your taste buds. I hope that you enjoy a taste of the culture that my husband grew up with.

Mango Chicken

by Tonda
adapted from La Cuisine Reunionnaise par L'Image by Carol Iva, Jean-Clarde Certinor and Pierre Alibert

1 Tablespoon olive oil

1 whole chicken, cut up and skinned
2 small yellow onions, diced
4 green onions, sliced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 branches of thyme
1 teaspoon of turmeric
8 Roma tomatoes, diced
Water to cover
Salt and pepper to taste
3 to 4 mangoes, peeled and sliced
3 to 4 Tablespoons parsley, chopped fine

In a deep pot, brown the chicken in the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the yellow onions, and let them cook until slightly soft. Add the green onion, garlic, thyme, turmeric, and tomatoes. Add just enough water to cover the chicken. Season with salt and pepper to your liking. Reduce heat, cover and allow to simmer for one and a half hours. Add the sliced mango during the last ten minutes of cooking. Serve over rice and sprinkle with parsley.

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