Apologies, this has taken far too long to get to print and now with Christmas upon us you could possibly store this one up, use some of your leftover turkey or wait until the new year; entirely your choice.
You can use any shallow pan you have at your disposal, for me, I have a 15″ x 2.5″ paella pan that sits sufficiently over 2 burners, it could potentially create heat-spots if you don’t rotate the pan during the cooking but you can easily overcome this by the separation method you shall see in some of the images as we move through the recipe to ensure a fair and even cooking.
- 2 leeks stripped and washed, 1 chopped, 1 sliced
- 1kg chicken breast
- 1 sliced mango
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1/4″ ginger (grated or chopped)
- 4 garlic cloves (finely chopped)
- 1/3 tsp fenugreek (crushed)
- 250g Mushrooms (Maitake, Shiitake, Oyster)
- 1 tsp Coriander
- 1.5 tsp Cumin
- 1 tsp Cinnamon
- 3 Birds Eye Chillies
- Thai Basil (fresh)
- 400 ml Soave (white wine)
- Creamed Coconut
- 400 ml Double Cream
- Mozzarella Pearls
- 2 tsp Sweet paprika
- Pasta (your choice) I used dried fusilli for this recipe (fresh pasta isn’t robust enough)
Start 24 hrs ahead of time by marinating the 1kg of chopped chicken in the chopped mango, the fenugreek,1 of the chillies and sweet paprika.
Begin by chopping one of the leeks and simply slicing the other before setting aside.
Grab the Maitake, Shiitake and Oyster mushrooms and rip them apart, the more rustic the better as we’re after contrasting sizes and texture not uniformity.
Take the ginger, garlic, and finely chop and blend with the chillies, add a couple of drops of pre-boiled (but still hot) water and continue to chop to form a paste.
Add the coriander, cumin and cinnamon, along with 1/3 of the mushrooms.
On a high heat allow the leeks and garlic to begin to caramelise before adding some ripped up Thai basil.
Allow the oil to seep from the Thai basil leaves before separating the food and introducing the marinated chicken.
Allow 3 minutes before stirring to ensure the sealing of the chicken, then a further 90 seconds to avoid drying the poultry out, stir the content of the pan for a further 30 seconds.
Split the content of the pan in half once again to prepare for the remaining 2/3 mushroom, let the heat take the initial water away (circa 90 seconds).
Then add the wine (to the edge of the pan, the heat shall remove all the alcohol but leave the fresh taste, hence the choice of Soave.
Allow the wine to evaporate and the depth of flavour to build then add the creamed coconut.
Once fully blended separate for the final time and add the double cream and lower the heat to minimum.
In a clockwise direction create small circles to gently blend and fold the cream into the chicken and vegetables, this should take about 7 to 8 minutes.
Allow to fully blend until the cream takes on a subtle beige shade, the chicken remains moist as we did not overcook earlier.
Drain the mozzarella pearls up to 2 hours in advance, this way they shall not dry out but shall remove sufficient water content.
Once fully drained the cream will give this beautiful shade as you add the remainder of the sweet paprika.
Lightly cook the pasta for 4 minutes in a pan of water then strain, and add along with the mozzarella pearls to the dish.
Stir the contents of the pan for 2 minutes to ensure all the pasta has at least been kissed by the sauce then place in a pre-heated oven at circa 160c.
Leave in the oven for approximately 25 – 30 minutes or until rich and golden brown. When serving you are aiming for the consistency below.
A very simple but extremely flavoursome hearty dish that I first experienced whilst visiting Kandy in Sri Lanka, give it a shot and feel free to ask any questions via twitter.