|1||3.5 to 4 lb. chicken cut in pieces|
|¼ cup||Olive oil|
|¼ cup||Lime juice; freshly squeezed|
|2||Limes; minced zest of|
|2 smalls||Onions peeled and thinly sliced|
|2 tablespoons||Mild honey|
|1 tablespoon||Fresh ginger; minced|
|1||Fresh serrano or jalapeno with seeds; minced|
|4||Carambola (4 oz. each)* cut in 1/4" thick slices|
|½ cup||Almonds; raw and whole|
|1 small||Cilantro bunch; to garnish|
*When you buy carambola, also called star fruit, look for ones that are uniformly yellow to orange and have a subtle perfume. If they are green, they aren't ripe and won't yield a great deal of flavor. At their ripest, their flavor is an unmistakably tropical combination of apple, banana and lychee.
Rinse chicken well and pat it thoroughly dry.
In a large bowl, whisk together olive oil, lime juice and zest, onions, honey, ginger and minced pepper. Stir in three-fourths of the carambola slices. Then add the chicken, and turn it until it is coated with the marinade. Cover and refrigerate overnight, or up to 2 days, turning the chicken occasionally so it marinates evenly.
Arrange chicken in a single layer in a 9 x 13" baking dish; season generously with salt. Add almonds to the marinade, stir, and spoon it over the chicken. Bake at 375 F. in the center of the oven, basting frequently with pan juices and turning any chicken pieces that get too brown, about 35 minutes. Add remaining carambola, stir, and continue cooking until the chicken is golden and a thigh yields clear juice when pricked at its thickest part, 15 to 20 minutes. Taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning.
Just before serving, mince the cilantro if you are using it. Serve chicken right from the baking dish, or divide among four warmed dinner plates.
Spoon sauce over the chicken, garnish with cilantro and serve.
This dish can be prepared up to 2 days in advance. Goes well with a semi-dry German Kabinett, such as Deirhard 1989.
Loomis writes: "Becky Campbell became a tropical fruit aficionado through the career of her husband, Carl, who is an internationally known tropical fruit expert. He researched and taught at the University of Florida, where he is now professor emeritus. She became an expert on cooking with tropical fruits, and lectured and taught cooking classes for years.
Together they developed a small tropical fruit orchard in the backyard of their home near Homestead, Florida.
"Becky refers to the tropical fruit orchard that surrounds their single-story home as a 'mini experiment station.' Her husband does the experimenting, and she brings the bounty into the kitchen. Their orchard produces everything from Key limes and carambola to black sapote and mangoes.
"Becky and Carl were recently in Uganda, where carambola is as common as green grapes are here. There she picked up valuable tips for using the lovely star-shaped fruit, and she set out samples for us to taste: golden star-shaped slices of dried carambola, carambola leather and carambola preserves, where the stars were suspended in a thick sweet syrup. They were all delicious."
From _Farm House Cookbook_ by Susan Herrmann Loomis. New York: Workman Publishing Company, Inc., 1991. Pp. 145-146. ISBN 0-89480-772-2.
Electronic format by Cathy Harned.
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