Monday, March 1, 2010

Recipe: Portuguese Chourico-Style Chicken and Chip Sandwiches

Back in a place called the 1980's I used to live in a quasi-housing project. A good friend of mine who shall remain nameless for his own dignity was living-in-sin with his then not-yet-wife in an adjacent building in the same housing area. Often on the weekends, he, his not-yet-wife, my not-yet-ex-wife and I would get together for dinners and the other absurdities that bored twenty-somethings do when they are low of funds because they are products of growing up in economically depressed circumstances. Some of these things the same people might find embarrassing today. Not me though, but I'm empathetic so I blur lines.

Anyway, round about near this quasi-housing project was a small Portuguese market that served as our corner store. Milk, bread the occasional box of cereal that kind of thing. They also sold some great Portuguese food including chourico rolls, malasadas and sweetbread. One of our favorite things to get there were seasoned pork cutlets called "chourico meat". This was pork that was marinated as if it was going to be ground and made into chourico, but instead, you pan fried it, topped it with cheese parked it in a pao secos and ate it as a sandwich. Good stuff under the worse circumstances, you add a few beers and some company and you've got a party!

I haven't had those sandwiches in about 30 years! So, recently, I've been making my own chourico and a few evenings ago I decided to make "chourico meat" using some chicken breasts that I had in the fridge. The result of course was delicious! Why else would you be reading about it at this moment, right? Now, I make these things pretty spicy because that's the way I like them. You can vary the ingredients less or more so as you desire.

Just promise you won't eat a few of these, drink too much beer and switch to tequila okay? Because my buddy did that, then I ended up saving his life by stopping him from falling into a newly excavated hole for the foundation for a building that "wasn't there yesterday" if you know what I mean? Also, don't bet two crazy women that you'll French kiss another guy for sixty bucks, because chicks never pay on bets!

On to this fabulously easy yet great recipe!

Portuguese Chourico-Style Chicken and Chip Sandwiches

3 lbs of boneless chicken breasts (sliced in half horizontally into cutlets)
1 cup of red wine
1 Tbs. colorau (or regular paprika)
1 Tbs. smoked sweet paprika (or regular paprika because you are obviously paprika deficient!)
1 Tbs. coarse sea salt
6 cloves of garlic (chopped)
3 Tbs. hot crushed pepper
2 cups of white wine or chicken broth
1/4 to a 1/2 cup of chopped parsley
Homemade, frozen or restaurant-bought french fries
Your favorite sandwich rolls (sliced)

In a large bowl add the chicken, wine, colorau, smoked sweet paprika, salt, garlic and hot crushed pepper and blend together well. Cover the bowl and place in the refrigerator for 2 to 4 hours. Take out and redistribute the mix once or twice during that time.

Have your french fries ready.

Place a large pan over medium high heat. Add the olive oil. When the oil begins to shimmer add the chicken 2-3 cutlets at a time and cook turning once until just done. Remove and place in a covered bowl to keep warm while cooking the rest of the cutlets.

Continue cooking all the cutlets in the same manner, placing them in the covered bowl until they are done.

Raise the heat and take any remaining marinade and pour it into the pan with the white wine or chicken broth and deglaze the pan.

Reduce the resulting sauce until thick.

Lower the heat and add all the chicken and parsley to the pan with the sauce. Coat well until warm enough for serving.

Remove from heat. Make sandwiches by filling the sliced rolls with the chicken and a good amount of the french fries.

Serve immediately.


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