This rustic chicken and bean casserole features a fragrant seasoning and is topped with one of Brazil’s favorite ingredients, yuca, also known as cassava.
For the Yuca Mash, bring a large pot of salted water to boil on high heat. Add yuca; return to boil. (Adding more boiling water, if needed, to cover the yuca by at least 1 inch.) Reduce heat to medium; boil 30 minutes or until yuca is very tender.
For the Bahian Seasoning Blend, mix all ingredients until well blended. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 350°F. For the Chicken & Beans, melt butter in large saucepan on medium-high heat. Add chicken; cook and stir 5 to 7 minutes or until no longer pink. Add onion, bell pepper and garlic; cook and stir 5 minutes or until vegetables soften. Stir in tomato paste and Bahian Seasoning Blend. Sprinkle with flour; mix well. Add stock, black-eyed peas, olives, 3 tablespoons of the cilantro and salt. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low; simmer 5 minutes or until thickened, stirring frequently. Spoon into 2-quart baking dish. Place baking dish on baking sheet. Set aside.
Drain yuca well. Remove and discard fibrous core from center of each yuca piece using 2 forks (1 fork to hold the yuca piece and the other to remove the fibrous core). Gently peel off any other fibrous layers that may cling to yuca. Return yuca to large saucepan. Add 1/4 cup butter, softened, and warm milk. Mash with potato masher to form a sticky and chunky puree. Season with salt and white pepper. Spoon yuca mash around edge of the Chicken & Beans, leaving the center of visible. Sprinkle Cotija cheese on yuca mash.
Bake 40 minutes or until filling is bubbling and cheese is golden brown. Let stand 5 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro.