Yummm!!! Our dish today is Escondidinho de Frango (or Brazilian Chicken Shepherd’s Pie), a variation of the popular Escondidinho de Carne Seca (“Sun-dried Beef Shepherd’s Pie”) from my native Northeast region of Brazil. A true one dish wonder or casserole that can be made from leftovers. Happy? If only you could see my beaming smile…
Originally, escondidinho (pronounced es-kohn-jee-JEEN-yoo or es-kohn-dee-DEEN-yoo, depending on the region of Brazil) was made from carne seca (sun-dried beef) topped with mashed cassava and cheese (queijo de coalho). As you see, it follows the same general concept of a cottage pie, popularly known as shepherd’s pie. But just as cottage pie has its many variations, so does its Brazilian fellow, escondidinho. Nowadays, escondidinho may be made from chicken, charque (a meat similar to jerked beef), shrimp, ground beef, or codfish, among other things. One has not changed though… It is always topped with mashed cassava or yuca and cheese (mostly queijo de coalho). Although halloumi cheese from Cyprus has a similar taste and texture to queijo de coalho, I adapted my escondidinho de frango to incorporate a simple melting cheese (e.g. fontina, cheddar, gouda, gruyère, asiago, etc). Similar to the cottage pie in its origins, escondidinho was a dish created by the poor and affordable to all.
Escondidinho de frango can be served by itself (one dish wonder) or accompanied by a fresh salad or steamed vegetables. It’s really up to you!
I made this escondidinho de frango — along with other dishes– for a Brazilian friend’s baby shower that I hosted at my house. I was so happy to eat it again after such a long time, as well as to see everyone’s else excitement at having escondidinho de frango.
I do hope you enjoy this escondidinho de frango as much as we all did…
Escondidinho de frango is a delicious casserole made from chicken, mashed cassava/yuca, and cheese…Escondid