Palm Hearts in Wine Sauce with Shredded Chicken

9 Jul

This has got to be one of the wackiest combinations I have come up with, but one that I am happy to add has turned out delightfully appetizing.

Let me take a moment here to talk about Palm Hearts, because really, these succulent yet crisp little melt-in-the-mouth things are quite spectacular. You might think they’re limp and unpleasant when you see the tin can they come in and the idea of eating palm hearts itself can be quite daunting, but I beg you to give them a chance. This was my first encounter with them, and I am completely bowled over by just how versatile and exotic they are. On the outside, they’re a bit crunchy, but on the inside (which is spiralled) they’re soft and creamy (like hearts!).

So anyway, here I’ve combined them with shredded chicken and wine sauce. Remember not to mess around too much with the palm hearts because they can be very delicate and pretty much have a taste of their own which would be cruel of us to mask.

Recipe for Palm Hearts in wine Sauce with Shredded Chicken

For the Wine Sauce

What you need:

250 gm  shallots, chopped

1 sachet of mulled wine spice

250 ml red wine

1 tsp garlic paste

1 cube of vegetable stock (you are welcome to use chicken or beef stock as well)

1 cup water

4 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp butter

3 tbsp balsamic vinegar

Salt and pepper to taste

What to do:

On a high flame, heat the olive oil and fry the shallots until golden brown. Now add the vinegar and mix it in till it evaporates.

Boil the 1 cup water and dissolve the cube of stock in it. Add this water to the mixture and simmer on a medium flame. Add the sachet of spice and simmer for another 5 minutes.

Remove the sachet, add the garlic paste and pour in half the red wine. Simmer until it reduces by a third. Now add the remaining wine and again reduce by a third. The sour taste will also reduce considerably. Add salt and pepper as required.

The sauce should be quite thick by now. Add the dollop of butter and swirl it in slowly till it melts.  Your warm, wholesome sauce is now ready to serve! Mmmm…

For the Palm Hearts and Shredded Chicken (serves 2)

What you need:

1 chicken breast

1 tsp garlic paste

1/2 tsp mixed Italian seasoning

1/2 tsp pepper

salt to taste

4-5 whole stocks of palm hearts, diced

1 tbsp butter

Water for boiling

What to do:

In a shallow pan, heat the butter on a medium heat and add the diced palm hearts and sauté gently for 4-5 minutes. Keep aside.

Steam the chicken in a double-boil arrangement. This ensures that the moisture is retained and the meat remains soft. Once cooked, shred it roughly with a knife.

Add the garlic paste, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper to the chicken and mix. Now press the mixture into a sort-of circular cake.

Before serving, add the palm hearts to the plate and pour the doll a nice helping of warm wine sauce over it. Ah, delicious!


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