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Chicken with Okra - Frango con Quiabo e Angu

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Frango con quiabo is Brazilian comfort food - a simple yet pleasing dish of stewed chicken with okra. Okra can be used to thicken certain Brazilian stews (thanks to its slightly slimy and oozing nature), but in this recipe the okra is fried separately and then added to the stew at the very end, a technique that keeps the okra crisp and tender, yet not at all slimy. The fried okra is so good, in fact, that my family ate half off it before I was able to add it back to the stew once the chicken was cooked. Frango con quiabo is often served over a polenta-like corn pudding called angu as well as over rice (or even both).

Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 35 minutes

Yield: Serves 4.

Ingredients:

  • 2 whole chicken breasts, cut into stewing-size pieces
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 3 tablespoons vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2-3 cups fresh okra (or one bag of frozen okra)
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped fine
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped fine
  • 1 tomato, diced (optional)
  • 1-2 cups chicken broth
  • Angu (see recipe here) or rice for serving

Preparation:

  1. Cut the stems off the okra and cut the okra lengthwise into half-inch rounds. Place okra in a colander and salt generously, tossing to coat all the pieces with some salt. Season with black pepper too if desired. Let okra rest for 45 minutes to 1 hour.

  2. For the marinade, whisk together the lime juice, vinegar, 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, minced garlic, and salt and pepper to taste.

  3. Place the chicken pieces in a dish or ziplock bag, and cover with the marinade, turning chicken to coat. Let chicken marinade for at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator (chicken can marinate several hours to overnight).

  4. Place 4 tablespoons of vegetable in a heavy skillet over medium heat. Once oil is hot, add okra and fry for about 5 minutes, until some pieces are starting to get slightly browned but okra is still bright green. Using a slotted spoon, remove okra to a plate covered in paper towels, and set aside.

  5. Add the chicken pieces to the same skillet and cook briefly until browned on all sides. Remove to a plate and set aside.

  6. Add the chopped onion, pepper, and tomato to the skillet. Cook vegetables until soft and fragrant, about 8-10 minutes.

  7. Add the chicken back to skillet, and add some chicken broth until the chicken is about half covered. Simmer chicken, stirring occasionally, until chicken is cooked through and most of the liquid has evaporated.

  8. Just before serving, add the okra to the chicken.

  9. Serve over angu (creamy polenta) or rice.

Serves 4.

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