Chicken Burma

Well, after an interesting week, I am back in the kitchen, back where I belong. I am back to doing what I do best, cooking up delicious foods.

I read something really interesting the other day that I want to share. Because our world seems to be getting smaller, and everyone is interested in all kinds of foods and cooking, the term “ethnic cooking” is becoming a thing of the past. Instead, we need to think of “Cooking as an opportunity to learn, rather than appropriate. Ethnic cooking is dead. We are all simply making dinner”, Christopher Kimball, author of Milk Street, The New Home Cooking. Mr. Kimball went on to say that “food is imbued with cultural intimacy, defined by the unique nature of local ingredients, and experienced by different societies in a thousand unique ways”. I love this new way of thinking. With this new way of thinking, I take you to the land of Burma for my next meal, Chicken Burma.

Burma, now known as Myanmar, is a country in Southeast Asia. It is a country comprised of over 100 ethnic groups, bordering India, Bangladesh, China, Laos and Thailand.Β  The British colony of Burma was part of the British run-state in India, the Empire of India, from 1824 to 1937. Burma was separated from the rest of the Indian Empire in 1937, just ten years before India became an independent country, in 1947.

Since Burma, or Myanmar, is a country in Southeast Asia, the foods are very similar to other Southeastern Asian countries, but as stated above, they all have their own local personality and flare, based on their own local ingredients. As you would expect, with Myanmar being so close to Thailand, the food is very similar to Thai food, which I love.

I made my own version of Chicken Burma the other day. We are both very adventurous eaters, and are always open to trying new things, though most times Larry only has two choices. He can eat what I make, and I am really the adventurous eater, or he can make his own dinner. He very rarely complains, and eats what I prepare. πŸ™‚

Of course, just like with everything I cook, I always add my own personality and flare to all the dishes I make, and I did for this dish too.

Chicken Burma

2- 3 tomatoes, quatered

4 TBSP olive oil and/or flavored olive oil, divided – I used both regular olive oil and lime olive oil

3 tsp salt

2 tsp turmeric

1/4 tsp red pepper flakes or to taste

2 stalks lemon grass

2 shallots, quartered

1 TBSP ginger

1 TBSP garlic

2 lbs chicken – I used boneless breasts, but you can use other parts as well

2 TBSP lime juice

1 TBSP lemon zest

1 cup peas, optional

1-1 1/2 cups sliced carrots

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

1/4 cup green onions

Pat the chicken pieces dry with a paper towel, then coat on both sides with the salt, red pepper flakes and turmeric. Let rest for at least 1/2 hour at room temperature before cooking.

While the chicken is resting, place everything else, except for the peas, carrots, green onions and cilantro and only 1/2 the oil, into a food processor and process until it is a thick paste.

Get a large skillet very hot, then add the remainder of the oil. Sear the chicken on both sides until it is golden brown, about 3 minutes per side, depending on the size of the pieces. Remove from the skillet and set aside.

Cook the peas and carrots for about 5-7 minutes, stirring frequently, or until the carrots are tender.

Add the pureed sauce and combine well. Then re-add the chicken to continue cooking. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and continue to cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the chopped cilantro and green onions towards the end of the cooking process, and mix together well.

Add the lime juice right at the very end and mix together well. Then serve over cooked rice.

I sliced my chicken to make a nicer presentation. I topped the rice with a bit of sauce, then the chicken slices and added more sauce on top. The chicken was so tender. It was like butter. The sauce is divine. It has a little heat, but mostly you get the subtle hints of lime. Delicious!

I served this with a cool, crisp chardonnay and some warmed Naan bread. Because this dish has a little heat, a white wine, and even a sweeter white wine is a good pairing. I prefer chardonnay, but a delicious Riesling or a Gewurztraminer would also go very well with this dish. Sweeter wines help to balance out any heat in the dish.

Stay safe, stay well, and stay alert. ‘Til next time.


Author: ajeanneinthekitchen

I have worked in the restaurant and catering industry for over 35 years. I attended 2 culinary schools in Southern California, and have a degree in culinary arts from the Southern California School of Culinary Arts, as well as a few other degrees in other areas. I love to cook and I love to feed people.

23 thoughts on “Chicken Burma”

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