International food is the easiest form of travel, because even if you can't get on a plane, you can still savor the flavor of a far-off destination.
This week, we invite you to Brazil via a special recipe from Ipanema, a Brazilian and Portuguese restaurant in New York City. Sibling co-owners Carlos and Victor Pedro grew up in the restaurant business, and take cuisine inspiration from their father and famed restaurateur, Alfredo Pedro. The brothers tapped celebrated chef Giancarlo Junyent, formerly of Tom Colicchio's Temple Court and Berimbau Brazilian Kitchen, to executive direct the menu.
"At Ipanema, we offer a modern take on Brazilian and Portuguese cuisines," Junyent says. "Both regions are filled with a rich variety of ingredients, and we wanted to bring our own spin on classic dishes. Piri Piri is a popular spice in Portugal, and we use it in several dishes at the restaurant, including our Piri Piri chicken with yuca puree and mustard greens."
If you aren’t able to make it to the Big Apple for a taste test, you can recreate this fan-favorite chicken Piri Piri plate in the comfort of your own kitchen! Below, you'll find step-by-step instructions to make your own sweet and sour sauce, spice blend, yuca puree and perfectly-cooked chicken. Take a trip with these exotic flavors and impress your guests.
Piri Piri Chicken
Sweet and sour sauce
- 1½ cup apple cider vinegar
- 1½ cup sugar
- 1½ tbsp Malagueta pepper
- 1 tsp black peppercorns
- ½ tsp cumin
- 4 cups chicken stock
- ½ tsp oregano
- ½ tsp thyme
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 4 deboned chicken breast
- 1½ pounds of mustard greens
- 1 onion sliced in Juliene
- 2 garlic chopped thin
- 1 lemon zest
- 1 lemon juice
- 4 cups of cooked yuca
- 4 cups heavy cream
- ½ pound melted butter (softened)
To make the sauce
- Start by making a gastrique sauce. Melt sugar on medium-low heat until liquidy and slightly brown, about 3 minutes. Add apple cider vinegar and reduce until thick, about 5 minutes. Set aside.
- Next, add chicken stock to a large pot, heat on high and reduce for about 25 minutes or until reduced by half.
- Add tomato paste to the reduced stock, and stir until combined.
- Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer.
- Seperately, toast the Malagueta pepper, black peppercorn and cumin in a pan.
- Add the gastrique sauce, toasted spice blend and herbs to the simmering sauce, and continue to reduce until "nappe," when the sauce coats the back of a spoon in a thin layer. You're looking for maple syrup consistency.
To make the chicken
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Heat a non-stick skillet on medium-high, and add olive oil once hot.
- Season the chicken generously with salt and pepper on both sides. Place the chicken in the pan skin-side down and reduce to medium-low.
- Once the skin is golden brown, reduce the heat to low and cook for about 10 minutes.
- Place the pan in oven and cook for another 10 minutes, or until the internal temperature reads 165F.
- Remove the chicken from the oven and rest it for at least 5 minutes to retain moisture.
- In a separate pot, bring 2 quarts of generously salted water to a boil. Blanch the mustard greens in boiling water for 1 minute, then immediately transfer to a bowl of ice water. Once cooled, thoroughly dry the greens and separate in a new bowl.
- On another non-stick pan, heat two tablespoons of oil on medium heat. And onions for about two minutes, followed by the garlic until translucent. Add mustard greens and adjust seasoning with salt, pepper, lemon zest and lemon juice to taste.
- Once the chicken is done resting, cut it horizontally in four pieces and top with the mustard greens, onions and garlic mixture.
To make the yuca puree
- Add all ingredients in a vitamix, and blend until you have a pure consistency.
- Adjust salt and add heavy cream if needed.
- Keep it in a pot heated in low/medium temperature.
- Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil.
- Add yuca (fresh or frozen work fine) and boil for about 35 minutes, or until fork tender.
- Drain from water and set aside.
Assemble the dish
- On a deep plate, make a circle of yuca pure.
- On top of it, layer your mixture of chicken, mustard greens and onions.
- Top it off with your sweet and sour sauce, and bom proveito!
Visit Ipanema in NYC and online for more delicious meals and authentic flavor inspiration.