Ypioca, one of Brazil's best producers of cachaça, called 160. If you can find Ypioca 160 it is worth the price - it is aged 6 years in oak barrels, and was named the best premium cachaça in the world by the International Cane Spirits society.
This recipe has been adapted and translated from a recipe published by Jocélio Pereira Azevedo. I was served it at the home of a talented amateur cook here in Fortaleza, Eduardo Mendes de Oliveira.
Chicken with cachaça and rapadura
6 half chicken breasts, skinless (boneless optional)
salt and fresh-ground pepper to taste
2 cups cachaça
2 Tbsp. grated rapadura
flour to coat chicken breasts
2 Tbsp. butter
4 Tbsp. olive oil
3 cups finely chopped onion
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 cup light cream (Half and Half)
In a shallow bowl or baking dish large enough to hold the chicken and cachaça, place the chicken breasts, generously seasoned with salt and pepper to taste. Cover with aluminum foil. Marinate for at least one hour, refrigerated.
Remove from refrigerator, pour the cachaça over, then sprinkle the rapadura on top. Re-cover with aluminum foil, and marinate overnight, or for at least 8 hours, turning the pieces in the cachaça from time to time.
Remove chicken from bowl or baking dish, reserving marinade.
Put a small amount of flour in a plastic or paper bag, and individually toss chicken pieces in flour, to coat lightly. Shake chicken pieces to remove excess flour.
Heat butter and oil in large, non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat. Add chicken pieces, a few at a time, and cook until nicely browned on all sides. Remove chicken from frying pan and reserve.
Pour out excess fat from frying pan, add onion and garlic, and cook over medium heat until softened and transparent. Do not let onion and garlic brown.
Return chicken to the pan, then pour over the cachaçamarinade. Flame the marinade*, and then cook the mixture over medium heat until liquid is reduced by 3/4 and the chicken is done.
Add the cream slowly, and let cook for approximately 5 minutes or until the sauce thickens. Check for seasoning, and add salt if required.
*To do this, light a match and lower the flame onto the mixtures until it lights then let the flame extinguish itself.