Flying Jacob – Sweden’s Bacon/Banana Dish
I visited Sweden in January 2014, and I’ve wanted to go back ever since. One of the best parts of that trip was the food. I imagine the long, dark winters allow the Swedes ample time to create a wide assortment of tasty foods. The most interesting of the foods was the traditional dish Flying Jacob.
Matilda described this dish to me as a conglomerate of chicken, peanuts, bacon, and bananas. Yes. BANANA. I don’t think there is such a dish that brings together so many different flavors. The chicken called for is a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken. It has flavors of its own. Then there’s the bacon and peanuts that go on the top. One is salty and the other is.. well, bacon. Bacon has its very own luscious flavor. The sauce is a mixture of heavy cream and chili sauce. The final ingredient: banana.
All of these flavors come together to create a mouthful of flavor. One bite is salty. The other is bacony. The banana flavor is there but subdued by the chili sauce. The cream thickens the sauce and weighs down your stomach. Served over rice, this is a meal that will leave you full for days.
The build up to Flying Jacob left me rather nervous. Matilda simply kept talking about this dish that she just loved and wanted to her mom to cook for me. She describe it as chicken and bacon and banana. My tastebuds flipped. What in the world was banana doing in a chicken dish with bacon and peanuts?! I trusted her description that is was the “best thing you’ll ever put in your mouth.”
The first evening, we had the much anticipated Flying Jacob. Before me was a steaming dish of chicken, bacon, and banana. The scents wafted into my nose. Bacon danced in the air. Peanuts sang their bar food song. Chili sauce added a kick to the smell, and the banana was no where to be found. Then I tried it. One giant spoonful later I experienced a volcanic explosion of flavor. Chicken here, banana there, peanut this, bacon that. My mouth was a spinning whirl of tastes.
It was amazing. Everything I thought would taste bad tasted good. I was floored. Flying Jacob officially crawled into my taste buds and created a home.
The last two and a half years, I’ve done nothing but dream about those flavors. Matilda and I talked of cooking another dish of Flying Jacob but never seemed to find the time. Finally, I broke down and decided to make it myself.
I searched all over the internet for a recipe that seemed to make sense. Finally, I happened upon this website that contained a story similar to mine with a simple enough recipe. I sent the recipe to Matilda to approval.
5/24, 5:35pm Morgan Cantrell
Is that similar to the recipe your mom uses? I just REALLY want some freaking flying jacob. lol
5/25, 1:04am Matilda Malmkvist
Ye. Just whisk the cream first and we always have some Italian seasoning on it haha
And then you have as much peanuts as you want to. It’s nice with the salt ones haha
5/25, 8:45am Morgan Cantrell
Ok! 😀 I’m gonna try to make it this weekend
The weekend came, and my boy friend and I went to the store to buy all of the required foods. I purchased everything listed in the recipe I found online but did not get the Italian seasoning Matilda mentioned. I couldn’t figure out how to add that to the dish.
When Boy Friend and I began cooking, I assigned him the easy job of pulling the chicken off the bone. I didn’t realize though that he would begin to eat all of the skin!!! He didn’t leave hardly any to add to the mixture! Once I figured out what he was doing, I made him stop. Boys will be boys.
I prepared everything everything else and got it ready to be cooked. The recipe I listed below is what I did to prepare the food. I didn’t go perfectly by the recipe from the website as I like to venture off in my own direction anyways.
RECIPE: FLYING JACOB (Flygande Jakob)
1 fully cooked rotisserie chicken
1 cup Heinz Chili Sauce
3 cups heavy cream
8 slices of bacon, broken into small pieces
1 cup cocktail peanuts (ish)
Preheat the oven to 435 degrees (225 Celsius)
Stir cream and chili sauce together, set aside.
In a frying pan or microwave (like me), fry bacon until crispy, set aside.
Pull all the chicken meat off of the bone. Make sure to use the skin for extra flavor. (Don’t let your boyfriend eat it all. Keep an eye on him.)
Slice bananas. Add into bowl with pulled chicken.
Pour cream and chili mixture on top of bananas and chicken. Mix.
When mixed, pour into pan. Bake for 15 minutes until it’s bubbly.
Sprinkle peanuts and bacon over the top and serve with rice.
I have never been so proud of a food creation! The Flying Jacob that I made tasted exactly as I remembered it!! Boy Friend wasn’t as overly excited about it. He had his own critiques.
“Next time we make this, can we keep everything basically the same but no bananas? I feel like this would be awesome if there weren’t any bananas. I just can’t get over it.”
So I guess the next time I make it, I will try to go a little less on the cream. It was incredibly dense. And I’ll try to use one banana instead of two, so the Boy Friend will be happy.