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The Hirshon Curaçao Filled Cheese Shell - Keshi Yena

The Hirshon Curaçao Filled Cheese Shell – Keshi Yena

  • Author: The Generalissimo


Units Scale
  • 2 lb. bone-in chicken breasts
  • several limes
  • Salt and pepper
  • Poultry seasoning
  • 1 onion and 3 garlic cloves, pureed
  • ***
  • stock:
  • 4 quarts water, vegetable stock or chicken stock (TFD uses chicken stock)
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 12 peppercorns
  • 2 onions
  • 1 celery stalk with leaves
  • bay leaf, bruised
  • ***
  • 3 tomatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 4 onions, sliced
  • 1/2 Poblano green pepper, finely-chopped
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, finely-chopped
  • 1 Scotch Bonnet or habanero pepper, de-seeded and minced fine
  • 1 Tbsp. parsley, minced
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. Keshi Yena spice, made by combining equal amounts of garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne, dried oregano and dried sage
  • 2 Tbsp. ketchup (TFD endorses only Sir Kensington’s)
  • 1/4 cup pimento olives, sliced
  • 1 Tbsp. capers
  • 1/4 cup raisins (TFD prefers golden raisins, but brown are the classic version)
  • 2 Tbsp. piccalilli
  • 3 eggs, reserving about 6 Tbsp.
  • 2 hard-cooked eggs, cut into slices
  • 2 lbs. top-quality sliced Gouda cheese or 1 4 lb. shell of a whole Gouda cheese (red wax-wrapped variety)


  1. For the chicken filling, rub the breasts with the juice from several limes and then the onion/garlic puree.
  2. Season the breasts with poultry seasoning, salt and pepper, then let them stand for several hours in the fridge. Then arrange the pieces in a shallow baking dish, and after browning the chicken under the broiler, bake it for one hour at 350 F, deboning it when cool enough to handle and shredding the meat.
  3. Bring stock to a boil with stock ingredients, reduce heat and simmer for twenty minutes. Strain and reserve the broth, discarding the vegetables.
  4. Sauté two tablespoons butter until melted and hot. Add and stir in well the chicken breast. Add tomatoes, peppers and onions, ketchup, pimento olives, capers, raisins, keshi yena spice and piccalilli.
  5. Simmer until the tomatoes are reduced, about twenty or thirty minutes. Remove from the fire and permit mixture to cool. If keshi yena is to be baked, preheat oven to 350 F, if it is to be steamed, begin heating water in the bottom of a double boiler.
  6. Beat the eggs and add to the meat mixture.
  7. Generously butter a casserole or the top of a double boiler. In place of the cheese shell, two pounds of Edam or Gouda slices may be used to line the cooking container. The slices should overlap and create the same effect as the shell. Add filling cover with additional slices and follow directions for baking or steaming the shell. The traditionalist with a great deal of time and patience, may scoop out a four pound Edam or Gouda, taking care not to pierce the shell.
  8. Before placing the cheese shell in the buttered casserole or double boiler, spoon three tablespoons of the reserved beaten egg into the bottom of the container. Half fill with the meat mixture and add hard boiled eggs.
  9. Fill shell to the top with remaining meat and cover with the original cap of the Edam, from which the wax has been removed, or a few more slices of cheese. A word of caution! Never use soft young cheese for keshi yena.
  10. Drip the remaining three tablespoonfuls of beaten egg over the top of the cheese as a sealer. (Place the lid on the double boiler). Set the casserole in a pan of hot water, or the double boiler top over the simmering water. Cook for one and one-quarter hours. Reverse keshi yena on a heated platter and keep warm as the cheese becomes hard and unappetizing if permitted to cool.