Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 17 October 2019

Recipe: Charcoal chicken with papaya atchara

Cuisinero Uno's Chef John shares a recipe that uses chicken, one of his favourite meats to cook with

Charcoal Chicken from Cuisinero Uno
Charcoal Chicken from Cuisinero Uno

Chef John, from Cuisinero Uno at the Steigenberger Hotel Business Bay, says of cooking with his favourite meat: “Chicken is one of the most, if not the best used produce in the world. It is very versatile in terms of handling and cooking, and has a neutral mild flavour that can go with different spices and dressings. It is widely used in all cuisines, from Asian and European to South American. Chicken is a very good source of protein and, if prepared properly, can taste exceptional. It is also an ingredient that is readily available everywhere and is not expensive. Having said that, chicken can be a challenging ingredient for a chef. Because it is so common, it gives you an opportunity to turn something normal into something special.”

Chef John from Cuisinero Uno
Chef John from Cuisinero Uno

Charcoal chicken with papaya atchara

Serves 4 to 5

Ingredients and method for the marinade

10g achuete powder

50g lemongrass

4 pieces kaffir lime leaves

50g garlic

100g ginger

200ml corn oil

3 pieces lime

5g black pepper

10g salt

500g skin on chicken thigh

Prepare the marinade by mixing all the ingredients inside a blender and pulse until it forms a loose paste.

Soak the chicken thighs in the mixture for 24 hours and store in the fridge.

Ingredients and method for the atchara

150g young papaya

200ml white vinegar

100ml water

100g white sugar

10g turmeric powder

50g red pepper

50g carrots

20g coriander leaves

Peel and slice the young papaya, carrots and red pepper into thin sheets and cut into thin strips. Set aside.

Prepare the atchara by simmering the vinegar, water and sugar in a small pot for two minutes. Remove from heat and add the turmeric powder.

Put the papaya strips, carrots and pepper in the pot and simmer for another minute.

Remove from heat and place the mix over an ice bath. Once it cools, transfer the mix into another container and leave it in the fridge for pickling. You can use the atchara after two days.

Assembling the dish

On a hot charcoal grill, lightly sear the marinated chicken thighs over high heat. Continue cooking them on the side over smoke, where there is lower heat, until fully cooked.

Place a bed of the pickled papaya, carrots and peppers on a plate and lay the charcoal chicken on top. Garnish the dish with some coriander leaves to finish.

Updated: April 11, 2019 04:40 PM