Monday, May 11, 2009

Chilli While They Last

Further trimming my cooking magazine collection, I set upon the Gourmet Travellers from 2005. Gourmet Traveller is a beautiful magazine (with a very average website) but I have rarely cooked from my issues. When I spied a Masterclass focussed on Mexico I decided to make the lima bean and chicken chilli verde for Sunday dinner and leftovers. As luck would have it I was able to buy a cheap kilo of anaheim chiles at the trash and treasure market at the Jamison Center on Sunday; now the frosts have started it's probably the last of the local peppers for the season.

This chilli tastes light and is deliciously spicy, perfect for an autumn eve, it's good served with sour cream, lots of fresh coriander and parsley, and steamed rice or some warm flour tortillas.

Lima Bean and Chicken Chilli Verde
Adapted from a recipe by Kathleen Gandy in Gourmet Traveller January 2005
Serves 6

250 g dried lima beans, soaked overnight
500 g fresh anaheim chillies
1 kg skinless chicken thighs cut into 2 cm cubes
Plain flour for dusting the chicken pieces
4 tbsp extra light olive oil
2 jalapeño chillies
1 large brown onion
3 cloves of garlic
400g tin of tomatoes
2 sprigs each of oregano and thyme
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 dried bay leaf
1 1/2 cups of chicken stock

Place the soaked lima beans in a large pot of fresh water and bring to the boil, cook for 30 minutes or until the beans are soft; drain and set aside.

Remove the stalks from the anaheim chillies, then place them under a grill on high. When the skin has blistered on one side, rotate the chillies. When they are charred all-over remove them from the grill and wrap them in cling wrap. While the chillies sweat, seed and dice the jalapeño chillies and dice the onions and garlic. Open the cling wrap parcel of chillies and slide the charred skin off the chilli, you can also remove some of the seeds; roughly chop the skinless chillies.

Toss the diced chicken with seasoned flour to coat. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large (28 cm) pot over a medium heat, then add a third of the chicken and cook for 3-4 minutes or until browned, then remove and set aside. Repeat twice with the remainder of the chicken.

Add the remaining oil to the pan, then add the chillies, onion and garlic and cook over a low-medium heat for 5-6 minutes or until softened. Crush and add tomatoes, herb and stock and increase the heat to bring the mixture to the boil. Return the chicken to the pan and add the drained lima beans. Decrease the heat to low and cook with the lid on for 20 minutes, season with salt and pepper and cook for a further 20 minutes with the lid off to allow the sauce to thicken.