dimanche 13 avril 2008

Mango Chicken

Mango is probably my favourite fruit. Ripe mangoes are juicy and sweet with a unique flavour. There are many varieties of mangoes with skin colours ranging from green to red and yellow. The flesh is a bold yellow-orange. To test for ripeness, apply gentle pressure to the skin and it will yield slightly. Unripe ones will be hard on the inside, paler yellow in colour and less tasty than ripe ones. Fibres spread out from the large central pit and the most highly prized mangoes do not have a fibrous texture (notably the ones from the Philippines). The inedible skin is leathery, waxy and smooth but has many medicinal properties. In addition to being delicious, mangoes are packed with vitamins (including the antioxidant A, C and E ones) and minerals and are very good for you. They are also high in other essential nutrients such as potassium, copper, amino acids, are a good source of dietary fibre and contain an enzyme that acts as a digestive aid.

Mangoes can be messy to eat but are well worth the effort. The more delicate way is to cut off the two wide edges of the mango along the pit, slice the flesh into cubes (taking care not to cut through the skin), turn it inside out (a bit like a porcupine) then remove the cubes to a bowl to eat with a spoon or fork (or scooped it out directly from the skin). The best description I have ever read of how to eat a mango is on the bad girls blog:

This green coloured mango is from Peru and is typical of the type commonly available in Canada and Europe.

These yellow mangoes from Mexico do not have a fibrous texture and are very similar to the highly prized mangoes from the Philippines.

Mangoes – delicious, good for you and messy.

The next question is what to do with them? Add versatile to the list of mango properties. Mango can be served up in many different ways as a snack, beverage, aperitif, starter, salads, main course, side dish (condiment, preserves, salsa) and dessert. Dried mango strips from Cebu in the Philippines are a popular export to many countries around the world. These come from the sweet and non-fibrous mangoes and beat all other dried fruits hands down in my book.

Serves 6

2 medium mangoes, chopped
9 boneless chicken thighs
2 cloves garlic, crushed
15 mL (1 Tbsp) freshly grated ginger
30 mL (2 Tbsp) ghee* or vegetable oil
2 medium onions, finely chopped
2.5 mL (½ tsp) ground coriander
2.5 mL (½ tsp) ground turmeric
2.5 mL (½ tsp) ground cumin
1.25 mL (1/4 tsp) ground ginger
1.25 mL (1/4 tsp) ground cinnamon
300 mL (1-1/4 cup) cream
30 mL (2 Tbsp) limejuice

Process mangoes until puréed; strain into a small bowl.
Combine chicken, garlic and ginger in a large bowl; cover and refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight. Grill chicken until tender. Cut into 2.5 cm (1”) pieces.
Heat ghee in a large skillet; cook onions, stirring until lightly browned. Add spices; stir until fragrant. Add chicken, mango purée, cream and juice; cook, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes or until mixture is thickened slightly.
Serve hot with steamed white basmati rice.

* ghee is clarified butter (heat butter in a small saucepan and remove the white milk solids)

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