Vanuatu: Chicken Lap Lap

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I am very excited about the very first installment of the Tastetrotting Across The Globe series! The continent and country was randomly selected by using an App that I found on my Kindle.

I was really pulling for the continent of Oceania and I was hoping that it would be our first continent for this series and my wish came true!

Our very first country is Vanuatu. To be perfectly honest, before I started my research on cuisines from different countries I never heard of Vanuatu. But Vanuatu did make the news a few weeks ago when cyclone Pam hit the area leaving a large trail of destruction and several deaths.

So grab yourself a nice cool beverage of choice, a beach chair, and a great book and imagine yourself sitting on a nice, warm, sunny beach on Vanuatu listening to the waves and enjoying the beautiful sites along the way.

Vanuatu-mapThere are 80 islands that make up Vanuatu. The people of Vanuatu live in wood, bamboo, and palm leaf houses and they cook their food by using heated stones that are piled on top of the food. As much fun as it would be to cook this way, I will not be using this method of cooking for the dish that I will be presenting to you today!

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Lap Lap is the most notable dish and is made with either grated yam, cassava, plantain, or sweet potato and wrapped in banana leaves, then roasted under hot stones. Most families on the island grow food in their gardens. Papaya, pineapple, mango, plantain, and sweet potato are abundant through much of the year. Coconut Milk & Cream are used to flavor many dishes

I had to make some adaptions to this recipe considering I could not find banana leaves, island cabbage, or taro. But I found some great substitutions to make this dish taste great! Here is the original recipe

Chicken Lap Lap

For the base:

Grated Sweet Potato

1 1/2 cups Coconut Milk

2 Cups Spinach

Salt & Pepper, to taste

Chicken:

4 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts

Juice from 1 Lemon

1 tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 tsp. turmeric

1 tsp. Curry Powder

Salt & Pepper, to taste

Coconut Sauce:

1 tsp. Coconut Oil

6 cloves garlic, minced

2 tbsp. Ginger, grated

1/2 cup GF Flour

2 Cups Coconut Milk

2 to 3 Green Onions, chopped

Salt & Pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Squeeze lemon juice onto the chicken. Place the chicken in a bowl with the olive oil, turmeric, curry powder, salt, and pepper. Place the chicken in the oven and cook for 50 min.

While the chicken is cooking, start making the coconut sauce. Heat the coconut oil in a pot with the garlic and ginger. Add in the flour and cook for about 4 min. to make a roux. Add in the coconut milk and green onions and whisk. Let the sauce simmer for a few minutes and let thicken slightly.

When the chicken is cooked and cooled slightly, cut the chicken into strips.

Grate some sweet potato and mix it with the 1 1/2 cups coconut milk.

To serve, place the spinach leaves on a plate, followed by the sweet potato/coconut milk mixture, then the chicken and the coconut sauce on top.

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