I have always loved “bowl food”. Food you can eat in bowls with your feet on the couch while watching Friends.
Food that is neither pretentious or stuffy but full of the good stuff. So you can imagine my delight when this whole ‘bowl’ thing blew up the way it did. I felt a little chuffed that I was so ahead of the curve because I’ve been eating this kind of food for years.
I think a big attraction to this kind of food is that it is so obviously homey. It’s just very much updated. It’s the chicken, rice and vegetables your mom fed you as a child in a pretty bowl, really.And who doesn’t love all of those things? No one, that’s who. But I have to be honest, not everyone is as big of a fan as I am. C, for instance says this style of eating is very odd to him and he doesn’t like all his food so “together”. “Why is my salad and my chicken and the broccoli all on top of the rice?!” Sigh.
Anyway, so this week’s bowl comes in the form of a re-worked recipe I saw in a magazine a while ago. Their recipe
was called something along the lines of “Caribbean chicken and rice salad” and included chunks of pineapple and mango in the salad. I loved the idea of the salad but I can’t for the life of me get my head around eating fresh fruit with savoury food, I just can’t. So, I started thinking how I could adapt this recipe into something a little different.
That is when the bowl-idea struck, once again.
I used some left-over Jasmine rice which was the perfect vehicle for the delectable flavours of the chicken, salsa and
dressing. The chicken was marinated over-night (but a couple of hours will be more than enough) in a spicy miture of all spice, coriander, cumin, chilli powder and a little sugar before being dunked in egg and flour and fried until crisp. To keep things a little healthier, you could always grill the chicken instead of frying it and you can do that straight from the rub. I would suggest though, if you are planning on grilling the chicken, that you turn the rub into a marinade by adding a little olive oil, a clove of chopped garlic and a splash of fresh pineapple juice. Yum!
I served the chicken on the rice and added grilled corn salsa and a dressing made from coconut milk, oregano, pineapplejuice, fresh chopped chillies and salt. The end result was utterly delicious and although I got a “this is a little weird” from the mister, I think it’s pretty fantastic. The left-overs are also great packed for lunch the next day.
- 4 chicken breasts, cubed
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon all spice
- 1 teaspoon chilli powder
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1½ cups flour seasoned with 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 x 400g (approx 12 oz) can black beans
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 3 ears of corn, shucked
- 1 red onion, finely chopped
- 1 cup chopped tomato
- 1 red pepper, finely chopped
- handful fresh coriander, finely chopped
- juice of ½ lemon
- salt & pepper to taste
- 4 cups cooked rice
- fresh coriander
- lemon wedges
- fresh chillies, sliced
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1-2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 tablespoons pineapple juice
- 1-2 teaspoons chopped chilli
- salt & pepper to taste
- Combine all the spices, sugar and salt then coat the chicken cubes in the rub. Allow to marinade for at least 2 hours.
- When the chicken has marinated, coat them first in the beaten egg then in the seasoned flour. To make the salsa, grill the corn until charred and cooked then cut the kernels off the cobs. Combine with the rest of the salsa ingredients then set aside.
- Fry the chicken in a deep frying pan with around 1 cup of vegetable oil until golden brown and crisp.
- Remove from the oil and drain on kitchen paper.
- To make the fried beans, heat the oil in a small frying pan then add the beans. Season with salt and lemon juice then set aside.
- Combine all the ingredients for the dressing in a small bowl.
- To serve, place the rice in bowls then top with the chicken, salsa and fried beans. Drizzle over some of the dressing and top with fresh coriander. Serve with extra lemon wedges and fresh chillies.