Friday, August 16, 2013

Chicken 65.....Spicy,Fragrant Chicken. Roasted.

The first time I ate this was at an Indo- Chinese place. Don't remember any specific taste details just that it was truly mouth watering. Since then I have eaten it numerous times, at different restaurants. It has been listed differently on different menus as chicken 65, Chilli chicken, boneless chicken drumsticks, Andhra chicken... Each varied a little from the other. All tasty. All 'lets eat it again' good.
But one such stands out in taste bud land. Still tickling my memory palate. Enough to want to try and duplicate.
G n I were in Madurai, India. And he announced ' this is THE chicken65'. What made this extra- special was that it had the distinct taste of coconut oil. So here goes. My try at duplicating that long ago nostalgic memory.

What went into making this batch:
4 cups cleaned and cubed boneless chicken 

For the marination:
5 tbsp plain Greek yogurt  
3 heaped tbsp red paprika powder
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp tandoori masala
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
Pinch of red food color (optional)
Salt to taste

For frying:
2 cups bread crumbs
Coconut oil for deep frying

For garnish:
3 tbsp green onions
3 green chillies- slit
1/4 cup curry leaves
2 tbsp fresh cilantro - chopped

Suggested: Serve with onion rings and lemon wedges.

How it was made:
Marinate the chicken in all the ingredients so listed. Mix well to coat. Refrigerate for at least  3 hrs.
In a wok heat the oil. Roll each piece of chicken in the bread crumbs, and deep fry till well done and crisp. Drain and transfer to serving bowl .
Remove all the oil leaving only a few tbsp in the wok. In the hot oil add the spring onions and slit chillies. Sauté. Add the fragrant curry leaves and switch off. To this add the cilantro and pour on top of the chicken.
Serve hot with slices of onion and lime wedges.

Ps: This is the marinade I used today. 
I have used different spice combinations different times. Think- cumin, coriander!!
Also you can use olive oil or canola oil instead of the coconut oil. But like anyone who has eaten this will tell you , coconut oil renders its own signature taste.
Even try and play with the garnish. Roasted nuts anyone?
So you see this is far from a so called authentic dish. This is what worked for us today!
This is how it was done in my kitchen.
The verdict? A loud lip-smacking, 
'Yummo' from the people who rule our table and make my world go round. 
Until another dish, enjoy what you eat , and the people you eat it with.
Bon Appetite.

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Monday, March 25, 2013

Squid Phanna Upkari...Spicy Squids stir fried.

Like always, this trip to the farmers market saw us fresh stock our fridge.
There is something that fresh smelling vegetables do to the chef in me. Sous or otherwise.
This time around we found some fresh squid along with some pomfret.
Seemed like spicy squid was the order of the day!
So it was, that this 'phanna upkari' happened.

Heres what went into it:
2 cups fresh squid- cleaned and washed
1 cup red onion - chopped fine
1 tbp ginger-garlic paste
1 tbp oil
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp gharam masala
1 tbp red cayyene( chilli) powder
1 tomato - cubed
salt to taste.

How I made it:
In a little water, boil the squid with salt and turmeric, till cooked (about 10mins).
In a pan, heat the oil. Saute the onions and ginger-garlic paste. Add all spices and mix. Add the tomatoes and cook covered till it mashes to pulp.
To this add the squid and adjust the salt.
Cook for another minute or two to blend well.
Serve hot with steamed white rice.

The verdict from G was 'a lipsmacking success'.
Ps: adjust the spices to suit your palate.
We also tried this with some left over 'idiyappam'. Yummy again.
R tried to dip some pita bread into it. Loved it too!

So tell me how you will do yours.
Until another recipe, another meal, relish your food, enjoy the process and who you eat it with. Bon Appetite.

Leave me a comment, send me a photo of the food you cooked. Tell me a recipe!
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Thursday, February 28, 2013

Saucy Zesty Orange Chicken

'Something different' and zesty was the order of the day. 'Chicken' it should be, ruled G. So it was that this past weekend I found myself leafing through my earmarked recipes.
'Orange Chicken' seemed to fit the bill.Spicy and saucy we hadnt made it in our kitchen for a while.
There are many ways to do this.But my past attempts with this recipe and others have taught me, that what works for my critics E, R and G is spicy, and what works for 'me-yours truly' is fast and fuss-free.
This truly in every way is a gourmet tasting recipe. But if you are looking for a 'Gourmet Production' look elsewhere.

And like all my recipes, please adjust the spices/sauces to suit your palate.
Dont forget to see note at bottom to find variations and substitutions.

So here is how it came to our table.

What went into it:
2 chicken breasts, cleaned and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
salt to taste
1/2 tbsp pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup finely chopped green onions.(optional).

For the Sauce:
1 1/2 cups water
1 fresh orange peeled
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/3 cup white vinegar
2 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp grated orange zest/peel
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp minced fresh ginger root
1/2 tsp minced garlic
2 tbsp chopped green onion
3 tbsp red pepper flakes

How it was made:
Blend/puree all the ingredients for the sauce, into a salsa-like consistency.Marinate the cleaned chicken pieces in the sauce for upto 2+hrs in refrigerator.
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.Mix the flour , salt and pepper. Roll each piece of marinated chicken in the flour to cover both sides. Set aside the sauce. Place chicken into the skillet, and brown on both sides. Drain on a paper lined plate. Remove excess oil from skillet to leave only about 2 tsp . Heat the pan and add the chopped green onions. Saute and add all the sauce used for marination.Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.Reduce heat, add the fried chicken pieces, and simmer, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Serve hot with any rice variety or bread.

Ps: I have always used fresh mandarin or 'cuties' orange for this recipe. You can alternatively add fresh orange juice instead. Also remember to not throw the peel if using fruit. I add a small piece of the peel (1 Tbsp grated worth ) to the sauce.

If you want a thicker sauce/gravy add a little cornstarch dissolved in water to the sauce before adding the chicken.
When in a rush I have skipped frying the chicken and just cooked the marinated chicken in sauce. I did not find a defined change in taste but G vouches the frying adds the needed crunch.
Alternatively you can not puree the sauce ingredients and just add all of it into the pan. Bring to boil. Cool and then marinate the chicken in it!

So that is variations one too many!
Will you try this in your kitchen?
Tell me how!
Until another culinary muse,
Bon Appetite.

Leave me a comment, send me a photo of the food you cooked. Tell me a recipe!
Click here to see the list of spices and powders used in my kitchen!
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