Tonight’s Cook the Book recipe comes to us from below the equator – Brazilian-style Chicken with Okra. I’m getting ready to branch out beyond the everyday recipes in the book, but when the husband’s home, bird and turf rule the roost. I’ve already started out by prepping the main ingredients – chicken, bell peppers, onion, and OKRA. Yes, that crazy, sometimes snotty feeling veggie that most people have only enjoyed fried or in gumbo.
I’m excited to see how this turns out,but I’m making a couple of substitutions along the way. The recipe calls for chicken thighs and drumsticks – since we’ve got a non-dark meat eater in the house I’m replacing the thighs with breasts.
The wine is also going the way of the thigh – since this is now a dry, sober household I did some research on suitable substitutions for white wine, and found that ginger ale does the trick. It’s gotta be better than grape juice…
Right off the bat I was disappointed in how well my meal was going. For some reason my chicken just didn’t want to brown like Curtis’. I scored it, seasoned it, preheated my pan properly, and nothing. Bummer, but I pressed on.
The next step was to add the veggies and wine (I took a chance on ginger ale) – bell pepper, onion, jalapeno, garlic, and tomato. Reduce to a simmer, cook for 10.
The final step was to add in the okra and simmer for another 10. During all this simmer business I brought out the cheap-o rice cooker and made some plain white rice to soak up the sauce. The result? A tasty, healthy – though not as pretty as Curtis’ – chicken dish with a little bit of kick.
Lesson learned: how to successfully substitute wine in a meal without sacrificing flavor