Thursday, April 08, 2021

Chicken à la Kiki


(c) Kemberlee Shortland, 2021


8 large chicken thighs (2 per person)

2 large onions, peeled and sliced

2 medium-large shallots, peeled and sliced lengthwise

2 large yellow bell peppers, sliced (any color but yellow stands out against the red sauce)

2 medium size carrots, peeled, cut in half and into half circles...or whatever shape you want

4-5 large garlic cloves, peeled and rough chopped

1 can of good quality chopped tomatoes

1 jar of salsa (mild, medium or hot)

2 tablespoons dry mixed herbs

3 stock cubes, chicken or vegetable (traditional stock cubes, not stock gel/jelly)

olive oil, as needed

! Options below for vegetarian and other ingredients


Preheat the oven to 350F

Clean and prepare the chicken thighs (remove straggling pin feathers, lose fatty bits, etc), rinse well and pat dry with paper towels.

Put 2 stock cubes into a wide bowl and add about 1/3 cup of olive oil. With the back of a spoon, mash the cubes into the oil to form a lose paste.

Baste your chicken thighs with the paste and set aside, reserve the leftover paste. If you don't have enough, add a little more olive oil.

Heat a heavy skillet with a little fresh olive oil and when hot, add the chicken skin side down. Brown both sides.

While the chicken is browning, prepare your vegetables. Slice the vegetables vs rough chopping it.

When the chicken is done, remove to a pan or dish and set aside.

Using the chicken cooking oil, add the reserved paste, onions and peppers and sauté until they start to soften. Add the carrot and garlic and mix thoroughly.

When your veg is well mixed and softened, add the can of chopped tomatoes and your jar of salsa and mix well.

Finally, crumble in your last stock cube and and the dried herbs and mix well.

In a large oven proof dish or pan, pour in your vegetable mixture. Layer the chicken on top.

Cover and put in the oven for approx 30 minutes or until the sauce is bubbling.

Remove the cover and continue cooking in the oven for another 10-15 minutes to crisp up the chicken skin.

At this time, if you're serving with rice, prepare that now. If you're using a pot on the stove method, this will take about 15-20 minutes. If you're using a rice cooker, this takes 15-30 minutes.

Serve hot when the rice is ready.


*Option 1:

If you have zucchini available, add that to your mix. Slice into strips like the onions and peppers, or into halves like the carrots.

You can also add in some cherry tomatoes if you have some laying around. Add them into the pan just before putting it into the oven.

** Option 2:

If you don't want rice, just before you pour your veg into the baking pan, add in a can of your favorite beans. Drain well. White beans or garbanzos would be a nice color to stand out against the red sauce.

*** Option 3:

Another alternative to rice is baked or steamed potatoes.

!! Vegetarian option:

Use vegetable stock cubes.

Also, in place of the chicken, use cubes of good quality tofu. Prepare the same as the chicken by basting them in the paste, then quickly browning the cubes in a pan. Add to the stop of the veg mix before putting into the oven to finish off. Start your rice at this time.