Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Day 102! Malawi Mango Chicken - Up Next, Malaysia

At the risk of sounding repetitive, let me repeat that it snowed another foot today, so cooking with mango, ginger and soy sauce provided a brief, exotic respite from all things New England, cold and wintry. I also have to confess that I chose this recipe based largely on what I had on hand, since I really didn't want to drive anywhere today. I suspect that this meal would be considered a feast in Malawi, since protein appears in meals infrequently due to the country's limited economic resources. That I can just open my fridge and find whatever I need/want makes me feel  incredibly privileged and fortunate.

Located in southeast Africa, Malawi is a landlocked country that shares its borders with Zambia, Tanzania and Mozambique. Malawi is affectionately known as "The Warm Heart of Africa." Settled in the 10th century and governed by it's indigenous people until 1891when the country was colonized by the British, Malawi regained its independence in 1964. The country is one of the world's least developed, yet densely populated in the world and relies on it's small subsistence farms and  agriculture to support it's economy. In recent years, the country has struggled under the devastating effects of the HIV/AIDS epidemic and sub-par health care.

Cuisine in Malawi has remained relatively free of outside influences. Most meals consist of Nsima, a thick maize porridge and Ndiwo, a relish that varies in ingredients. Rice, cassava, plantains, spinach, potatoes and tomatoes are staple foods. Fruits, lemon juice, curry powder also accompany and season meals. In limited amounts, talapia and chicken are the proteins most often eaten. Overall, however, starches and carbohydrates are the staples the Malawi people rely upon.

Malawi Mango Chicken (adapted from a Wikia recipe)

4 boiled boneless, skinless chicken breasts, shredded
2 sliced green peppers
1 sliced mango
peanuts, to taste
oil for stir frying


1/4 cup pineapple juice
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 Tbsp. vinegar
1 Tbsp. minced ginger (powdered is fine if that's all you have)
2 Tbsp. flour
2Tbsp. sugar

Mix the sauce ingredients in a bowl.
Shred the chicken, using two forks.
Add sauce to the shredded chicken and let marinate at least one hour.
Heat oil in wok or large frying pan then stir fry the marinated chicken with 2 sliced green peppers.
Then add 1 sliced mango and peanuts.
Cook only long enough for the mango to get hot.
If you chose, scoop the mango chicken mixture into a hollowed out mange shell. Serve over a steaming bed of rice.

Final Assessment: Awesomeness. This meal was easy to make, tasted so exotic and flavorful and was devoured by my family. A+

No comments: