Monday, November 2, 2009

RECIPE - Bori-Bori

The images of Brazil that most foreigners carry in their heads come primarily from Brazil's coastal regions - Rio de Janeiro, Salvador, the Northeast Coast. Although it is true that the bulk of Brazil's population lives on or near the 4650 miles (7491 km.) of coastline, the interior of Brazil is enormous and ranges from Amazonian jungle in the North to California-like climatic conditions in the South.

The large interior states of Mato Grosso and Mato Grosso do Sul are in the region called the Central-West of Brazil. The adjacent map shows their location. They are home to the world's largest wetlands, the Pantanal, which teem with animal and bird life. Large amounts of land in these two states is agricultural - primarily ranching and culture of soy beans. Life here is not easy, and culturally the inhabitants often have more in common with locals in nearby Paraguay and Bolivia than they do with the sophisticated residents of Rio or São Paulo.

One of the most typical dishes of this region is known and loved equally in Paraguay, and demonstrates the cultural links across national boundaries in the center of South America. It's basically a variation on chicken and dumplings, but with local twists, and it's called bori-bori. Corn-maize (Portuguese: milho) is extensively cultivated in Mato Grosso, and the dumplings in bori-bori are made with a local cornmeal called fubá. Nourishing, simple and made with local ingredients - bori-bori is a truly-traditional dish from Brazil's Central-West.

For the complete recipe, click on "read more" below...

RECIPE - Bori-Bori
Serves 4

For the chicken:
1 large chicken, cut into serving pieces, without skin
salt to taste
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
2 large onions, finely chopped
1 sm. serrano chile, finely chopped (use to taste)
4 Tbsp. neutral vegetable oil
3 large tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
10 cups water (1.5 liters)
3 Tbsp. green onions, finely chopped

For the dumplings (bolinhos):
1 cups cornmeal (white or yellow, medium ground, polenta-style)
1 cup grated hard cheese (parmesan, romano)
salt to taste
broth from cooking chickens


Prepare the chicken: season by mixing salt, garlic and one chopped onion and rubbing this mixture into the serving pieces of  chicken. Put the chicken in the refrigerator and leave for at least one hour. Heat the vegetable oil over medium heat in a large, heavy saucepan, add the other chopped onion, and fry until lightly golden. Add the chicken pieces and brown on all sides. Add the chopped tomatoes, correct the salt, and cook for a few minutes over medium heat. Add the water, bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer for approximately 30 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through, but not falling off the bone. Remove from heat, and reserve one cup of broth for making the dumplings.

Prepare the dumplings: In a large bowl, mix together the cornmeal and the grated cheese. Add the broth from the chicken, stirring to incorporate completely. If necessary add a small additional amount of cornmeal until the dough becomes firm enough to roll into balls. Using hands, form the dough into small balls, about the size of a large walnut.

Final preparation:  reheat the chicken in its broth to a slow boil. Push the chicken to one side of the saucepan, making space to place the dumplings in the broth. Add the dumplings, and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for approximately 15 minutes, or until the dumplings are firm. Remove from heat.

Serving: Place the chicken and dumplings in a low casserole, pour the broth over, and sprinkle with the chopped green onions. Serve immediately.

(Recipe translated and adapted from Cozonha Regional Brazileira by Editora Abril)


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