COSTA RICA- Casado

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If you ask someone for a ‘soda’ in Costa Rica, you won’t get a fizzy drink, you’ll be given directions to the nearest small family-run restaurant, where they specialize in home-style cooking. One of the most popular meals in these sodas is casado, a meal consisting rice and black beans, typically along with meat and salad.

Casado in Spanish means ‘married man’ and the name seems to have its origins in the home-spun nature of the restaurants, where customers would go to feel like they were treated as casados.

There will certainly be a warm homecoming for the current Costa Rican team if they can follow up their surprise opening victory over much fancied Uruguay with another positive result over Italy tonight.

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INGREDIENTS (Serves 2)
CHICKEN
2 skinless chicken breasts
5 spring onions chopped.
2 garlic cloves crushed
10g fresh ginger, finely chopped
1 Scotch Bonnet chilli, finely chopped
1 tsp soft brown sugar
½ tbsp allspice
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
Juice of 1 lime
30ml olive oil for cooking

RICE & BEANS
100ml coconut milk
150ml chicken stock
100g long grain white rice
1/2 can black beans- drained and rinsed
1 garlic clove chopped
Juice of 1 lime
Salt and pepper to taste

INSTRUCTIONS
1. Chop the scotch bonnet in half and deseed (wear gloves –they are super hot)
2. Place scotch bonnet in food processor with garlic, half of the spring onions ginger, sugar, allspice, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and lime juice. Mix to paste.
3. Cover chicken breasts in spice mix and leave in fridge for 1 hour.
4. Bake chicken breasts in oven with the olive oil at 180C for 25 minutes or until cooked through.
5. Pour coconut milk and chicken stock into a pan and bring to the boil.
6. Add the rice, beans, garlic, lime juice and remainder of spring onions.
7. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes until rice is tender and stock mix is absorbed.
8. Spoon the rice onto warm plates, and serve with chicken breasts and salad of choice.

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