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recipes

Butterflied Chicken Casserole October 5, 2007

Butterflied Chicken Casserole

It's Friday once more, time for another cooking lesson with Chef Aklay. It's been cold and raining the whole day. Instead of going to his home to ask what I'll bring, I just bought a whole chicken and showed up at his place. He looks at it, rubs his chin, and says, "We'll make butterflied chicken casserole".

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole chicken
  • 2 bulbs garlic
  • 2 onions
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 eggplant
  • 1 kilo small potatoes (golf ball size)
  • 4 tbsp cooking oil
  • handful of string beans
  • watercress
  • salt
  • pepper
  • chili

Preparation

  • Cut chicken lengthwise on the chest (don't cut the back side) and spread open (like a butterfly). Make sure it stays spread out and open
  • Peel garlic and keep cloves whole
  • Chop onions into quarters
  • Dice carrots
  • Cut eggplant into quarter-inch slices
  • Scrub potatoes to clean

Cooking Process
Season the inside (don't season the outside) of the chicken with salt, chili and pepper and keep it spread-out

Boil potatoes for 10 minutes with salted water. Make sure the potatoes are fully covered with water. Drain. Cut into halves or if big, quarters. Heat oil into casserole and toss potatoes for 2 minutes. Add the veggies (garlic, onions, carrot, eggplant) and toss all together for about 2 minutes making sure nothing sticks on the pan. Place the chicken, skin side up on top of the veggies. Make sure the chicken is resting flat. Cover. Put on high heat for 5 minutes and then low heat for 20 minutes.

In the meantime, cut-up watercress and slice string beans very thinly.

Uncover casserole (after the 20 minutes), take the chicken out, sprinkle watercress and string beans on top of dish for 1 minute, keeping the casserole uncovered. Cut the chicken up and toss it back into the veggies and mix together for about 2 minutes. Turn off the heat and put the cover back. Wait 5 to 10 minutes. Dish is ready.

The Verdict
Given what was put into the dish and the way it was cooked, it was amazing to have it come out that way. The resulting taste was unexpected. It was one good chicken dish, with all the ingredients complementing each other. It's something I would try again when I have dinner guests.

--- TheLoneRider

    Aklay Tips:
  • You can do this with cut-up chicken but don't pile the chicken up. It has to be flat on one layer only, otherwise, it's not going to work.
  • Leave the dish covered for about 5 - 10 minutes with the heat off (when it's done) for finishing. This is crucial in amalgamating all the flavors.
  • The potatoes were boiled for 10 minutes because it takes longer to cook. For potatoes as big as eggs, boil for 20 minutes. The trick is to make sure the potatoes are completely covered with salted water.
  • You can use just about any vegetable (specially kitchen leftovers) except tomatoes.
  • Keeping the casserole uncovered when adding watercress and string beans keep them from getting black.
Comments? Email webmaster@thelonerider.com

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