If you're looking to spice up mealtime this Thursday your in luck!
Lily Ramirez-Foran from Dublin's Picado Mexican cookery school joins us this morning with a recipe for Yucatan Style Steamed Chicken which sounds right up our street.
2 medium size oranges, zest & juiced
100 grams achiote paste
6 big chicken breast fillets
Salt to taste
1 packet banana leaves
Kitchen string or twine
Serves: 4 - 6
In a bowl combine orange zest, orange juice and achiote paste until everything is dissolved forming a ruby marinade. I used a fork, but achiote is quite lumpy, so be prepare to put some elbow grease or use the blender.
Arrange the chicken fillets in a shallow dish, season with salt and pour the marinade over them making sure every piece of chicken is coated well. Let them rest for 10 minutes.
While chicken rests, get on with prepping the banana leaves; using scissors, cut the banana leaves in equal squares of about 25 cms (10 inch). You will need one square per chicken breast, but cut a couple of spare ones in case there is breakage and you need to overlap two leaves. Set them aside and prepare a steamer by filling it with some water (the same way you would if you were steaming potatoes). Bring it to boil and lower the heat so the water just simmers.
Take a chicken breast and place it in the middle of one of the banana leaf squares. Pour a spoonful of the marinade over it, fold the banana leaf to wrap around the chicken breast forming a parcel, the same way you would fold a burrito. You can use a second leaf to reinforce if needs be. Use some kitchen string to tie around the banana leaf to keep everything in place and repeat this step until all six chicken breast are parcelled in. I've put together a quick photo presentation to show you how I did it.
Wrapping Yucatan Style Steamed Chicken in Banana Leaves
Lay the parcels carefully on the basket of your steamer, put the lid on and steam the chicken for 35 - 40 minutes or until fully cooked.
Take the parcels out, you will see that the banana leaves have changed colour slightly, from a deep green into a brownish autumnal colour. Open the parcels making sure the chicken is cooked and serve all the juices with it.