Escondidinho (Yuca and chicken pie)

For the mashed cassava/yuca:

2.2 pounds cassava or yuca frozen or fresh (if you prefer, use potatoes instead), 1 kg
2 tablespoons butter softened or melted
1 to 1-1/4 heavy cream warm, or whole milk or coconut milk
1 cube chicken bouillon
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cups of any shredded melting cheese of your preference (e.g. Gruyère, white cheddar, fontina, gouda, etc)

For the chicken:
1/2 large yellow onion small diced
garlic cloves minced
4 tbsp butter
1 red pepper, julliened 
1-1/2 pounds chicken breats shredded, about 700 g
1/2 cup dry white wine
1-1/2 cups tomato pure
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup cooked corn kernels
1/4 cup chopped parsley or cilantro

  • To prepare the mashed cassava/yuca: If using fresh cassava or yuca, peel it first (frozen cassava, such as Goya brand, is already peeled). Then, place peeled cassava in a pot filled with cold water and let boil over high heat for about 15-20 minutes or until fork-soft. Remove from the heat, reserve about 1 cup of the water, and drain. Place cooked cassava on a cutting board and while cassava is still warm but can be handle without burning, remove the woody fiber from the center. Place warm cassava back into the pot, pour the reserved warm water on top, and mash very well using a masher. Stir in the butter, heavy cream, chicken bouillon, salt and pepper to taste. Set aside. Cheese will be used later in the assembling of the dish.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Butter or spray (with non stick cooking spray) a 13 x 9-inch (about 33 x 23 cm) baking dish and set aside.
  • To prepare the chicken: In a medium to large non stick dutch oven, sweat the onion with butter medium heat for about 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Then, add the minced garlic and let cook for about 1 minute over medium heat. Add the shredded chicken and sauté over medium-high heat for 1-2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the greens and sauté for about 1 minute. Add the wine and let almost evaporate. Stir in the tomato pure and salt and pepper to taste. Let cook uncovered over medium heat for 3-4 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in the cooked corn, and the chopped parsley or cilantro. Set aside.
  • To assemble the escondidinho de frango (chicken pie): Spoon chicken mixture in one single layer into the greased baking dish. Then add thin sliced peppers on top. Layer mashed cassava/yuca on top of the chicken layer. Finish by sprinkling shredded cheese on top of the mashed cassava/yuca, distributing uniformly. Bake for 30-40 minutes. Serve escondidinho de frango warm by itself or accompanied by a fresh salad or steamed vegetables.