This month’s Food of the World challenge takes us to the island nation of Samoa. Before the challenge I didn’t know anything about Samoa except The Rock is of Samoan descent. After researching, I still don’t know much about Samoa other than it has always been of strategic importance to the various navies and colonial powers in the South Pacific. They produce cocoa beans, bananas and coconuts (Wiki), which are featured in today’s recipe.
I found a Samoan style chicken recipe which claims:
This recipe comes from a Samoan woman I worked with, she brought it to a work pot luck and you could smell it everywhere, it was amazing!
I don’t know if it is authentic, and it’s not the prettiest dish in the world, but oh my goodness it was awesome! Serve it with a simple coconut rice from Samoa Food dot com, and you’ll find this is a meal you’ll want to add to your regular rotation. Not only is it flavorful, everything is cooked in one pot (except the rice, of course).
The original recipe calls for cut up chicken. I used a product called “delicias de pollo” which looks like cut up leg quarters. You can see them in the photo above. A pound and a half (including the skin and bones) was plenty for Rick and I with enough leftover for a nice lunch.
- 1 - 2 pounds chicken pieces (I used bone-in, skin on leg quarters cut into smaller pieces)
- 1 cup soy sauce
- ½ cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup sliced onion
- 2 - 3 cloves garlic, peeled and diced
- 1 tablespoon ground ginger
- salt, pepper and other seasonings to taste
- tapioca starch or other thickener
- 1 cup rice (or two cups already cooked rice)
- 1 cup coconut milk
- pinch salt
- Season the chicken well with salt and pepper and paprika.
- Brown the chicken on all sides in a large dutch oven.
- Remove the chicken to a plate and drain all but a tablespoon or so of grease from the dutch oven.
- Saute the onions and garlic in the dutch oven, scraping up any bits from the chicken.
- Return the chicken to the pan and add the soy sauce and vinegar, then add enough water to cover the chicken.
- Continue to cook for another 20 minutes or so or until the chicken is cooked through.
- To thicken the sauce, remove the chicken from the pan, and stir in the ground ginger.
- Estimate the amount of liquid. Measure a tablespoon of tapioca starch for every cup of liquid, plus another teaspoon. Make a slurry with the tapioca and a little water then stir it into the liquid in the dutch oven.
- Reduce the heat as the sauce begins to thicken and return the chicken to the sauce.
- Cook the rice, then add the coconut milk and a pinch of salt. You should have enough to cover the rice. Allow the rice to stand and absorb the coconut milk.
I used tapioca starch to thicken my gravy, it gives the sauce a nice sheen. If you prefer to thicken your gravy with cornstarch or flour, feel free, but keep in mind you may need to adjust the amounts you use. As mentioned in the quote above, the smell of the vinegar, ginger and soy sauce is fantastic and the chicken takes on some of the color (and all of the flavor) of the sauce. The coconut milk gives a nice flavor to the rice and works with the sauce to make it more like a curry.
The Food of the World party has been a fun challenge for me these past few months. There’s a fun group of bloggers who participate every month. Are you curious to see what other Samoan food was made? Click here to visit Lisa of Cooking with Curls, one of the co-hosts.