Posts Tagged ‘Chicken’

Love Thai Food…

I am in love with Thai food… It’s my go-to food when I want to eat something nice and familiar and be sure that I will love it. So making Thai food at home is not a usual thing for us as when we feel like it we just go out or take out from our favorite Thai restaurants around our place. A few weeks back I bought this cookbook from Barnes and Noble. The reason I picked it up was it was on sale and it had a ton of very pretty pictures. I love cookbooks with pretty pictures. It just makes it easier for me to decide on whether I want to or not make a particular recipe. So this book that I picked up is called ‘Curry Bible’ by Mridula Baljekar. There are a pages of recipes for different meats and vegetables all with the same link – curry. This is where I picked this recipe from – Thai Yellow Chicken Curry, one main reason being that it has baby corns in it. I love baby corns and so does Amit and both of us love Thai food, so why not. Oh and an added incentive was that it does not use all coconut milk, instead it uses yogurt which makes it an healthier version. I did make a couple of changes to the recipe either because I did not have the ingredients or felt it would make the dish just a little more flavorful. This recipe serves 4 and takes about 45  mins to prepare.

Ingredients:

  1. 6 tbsp Thai yellow curry paste (ingredients and recipe follow)
  2. 2/3 cup plain yogurt
  3. 1/4 cup coconut milk
  4. 1.5 cups water
  5. handful of fresh cilantro
  6. handful of thai basil leaves (I did not have these handy so skipped it)
  7. 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  8. 1 large red onion cut into wedges
  9. 2 garlic cloves finely chopped
  10. 2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts (cut into strips)
  11. 6 oz baby corns (halved lengthwise)
For Thai Yellow Curry Paste
  1. 2 orange habanero chili (I wanted it spicy, you could use normal orange or yellow chilies)
  2. 3 garlic cloves
  3. 4 shallots
  4. 1 tbsp turmeric powder
  5. 1 tsp salt
  6. 12-15 black peppercorns, crushed
  7. 1 lemongrass stalk, chopped
  8. 1″ fresh ginger

Directions:

  • Heat 1/2 tbsp oil and add the yellow curry paste. Stir fry the paste till it is fragrant for a min or two.
  • Add the chicken and baby corn to the paste and transfer it to another bowl.
  • In the same pan heat the rest of the oil and stir fry the onions and garlic till the onions are pink.
  • Now add the chicken and baby corn to this and stir fry till the chicken and baby corn are tender.
  • Now stir in the yogurt, coconut milk, water, cilantro and thai basil.  Bring this to a boil and let it simmer for a couple of minutes.
  • Garnish with some cilantro and basil and serve hot with rice.
For Yellow Curry Paste
  • Grind the ingredients together in a food processor or grinder to a smooth paste. You can store this in the refrigerator for upto a week.

I served this with some saffron coconut rice. The recipe for the saffron coconut rice will be uploaded soon. The recipe is very easy to make and goes well with either rice or bread. Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we did.

Shilpa

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In celebration of completing another major step towards my PhD!!!

I know I have been missing from my blog from a very long time. In fact it will be two months on the 22nd of August. But well I guess sometimes you just need to prioritize and you end up giving up the very thing that makes your life less stressful. But I can say one thing about the last two months, I did manage to accomplish two major milestones towards my doctoral degree; first – I submitted my PhD proposal and second – I completed the written part of my comprehensive exam. A couple more steps and I will be pretty close to officially completing my PhD program…

So in celebration of having completed all these milestones, I decided to make some chicken tikka masala tonight. In fact I was to start making it around 6:30 pm but thanks to the dust storm that rolled into Phoenix this evening, I was stuck at school for an hour more than I had planned.The chicken tikka masala essentially has two main ingredients, the gravy/masala and the chicken tikka. This recipe serves 4 persons and takes about an hour to prepare from start to finish if you make the chicken tikka and masala simultaneously.

Ingredients:

  1. 500 grams of boneless cubes of chicken
  2. 2 tbsp oil
  3. ½ tsp Cumin seeds
  4. 1 Bay leaf
  5. 2 Black cardamoms
  6. 3 Green cardamom
  7. 3 Cloves
  8. 1 inch Cinnamon
  9. 3 medium / 2 large Chopped onions
  10. 2 tbsp Ginger garlic paste
  11. 3 chopped Tomatoes
  12. 1 ½ tsp Coriander powder
  13. 1 tbsp Red Chili powder
  14. ¼ tsp Turmeric
  15. Salt to taste
  16. 4 tbsp Cashewnut paste
  17. 1 Tomato (no pulp chopped into large chunks)
  18. 1 Green pepper / Capsicum chopped into large chunks
  19. 1 Onion chopped into large chunks
  20. 2 tbsp Cream
  21. ½ tsp Garam masala
  22. fresh Coriander for garnishing
  23. 1 tbsp lime juice

For the chicken marinade

  1. 1 tsp Ginger paste
  2. 1 tsp Garlic paste
  3. 1 tsp Chili powder
  4. Salt to taste
  5. 1 tbsp Lime juice
  6. 2 tbsp Oil
  7. 1/2 tsp mustard powder
  8. 1/4 tsp carom seeds / ajwain
  9. 2 tbsp Gram flour
  10. 1 cup Yogurt
  11. 1 tsp red Chili powder
  12. 2 tsp Ginger garlic paste
  13. ¼ tsp Turmeric
  14. Salt to taste
  15. ½ tsp Garam masala

Directions:

Chicken Tikka

  • Marinate the chicken in ingredients 1 to 5  under ‘For the chicken marinade’ for 20 minutes.
  • In the meanwhile heat the oil and add the carom seeds. Once the carom seeds start popping, add the gram flour and roast it till it is cooked through. There will be a nutty smell once the gram flour is cooked.
  • Now add this to the yogurt, red chili powder, ginger garlic paste, turmeric, salt and garam masala.
  • After 20 mins add the marinated chicken to the yogurt mixture.
  • Let the chicken marinate for about 2-3 hours. (I did not have 2-3 hrs. I managed to marinate it only for an hour or so)
  • Once the chicken is marinated long enough, oil a baking sheet and pre heat the oven to 425F.
  • Skewer the chicken cubes onto skewers and place the skewers on the baking sheet. The chicken will cook pretty fast, about 15-20 mins. After once side is cooked, turn over the chicken on the skewers. After about 10 mins, turn it over once again. It should be browned slightly on either side.
  • Add the chunks of tomato, green pepper and onions to the leftover marinade.
  • Set the chicken aside. You can start preparing the gravy while the chicken cooks.
  • Once the chicken is cooked, set the oven to the broiler setting and transfer the vegetables on the same baking sheet.
  • Once the vegetables brown remove them from the oven and set them aside.

For the Masala / Gravy

  • Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Once the oil is hot add the cumin seeds, bay leaf, cardamom (black and green), cloves & cinnamon to it. Once the whole spices start imparting their fragrance, add the chopped onions.
  • Brown the onions and add the ginger garlic paste at the very end. Once the ginger garlic paste is also fried add the tomatoes and cook till the tomatoes are completely incorporated with the onions.
  • Next add the coriander powder, red chili powder, turmeric powder and salt. Let the dry spices cook through, it will take just a couple of minutes.
  • Once the dry spices are cooked through add the cashew paste and cook it for a couple of minutes till the oil starts separating from the mixture.
  • At this point add the chicken and mix thoroughly. You may want to add some water to the gravy at this point if it is too thick.
  • Let the gravy simmer for a couple of minutes then add the roasted vegetable chunks to the gravy. Mix the vegetables together and let it simmer for a couples of minutes.
  • Next add the cream, coriander leaves and lime juice to the gravy.
  • The chicken tikka masala is now ready to serve.

We had the chicken tikka masala with some naan and it was brilliant. Now no more craving for restaurant style chicken tikka masala. I can make it at home anytime. Though not too often, it’s not the healthiest of meals after all. But once in a while when you feel like indulging, its perfect. And I followed the recipe from the following link – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gh-SZ1drOMc. One change I made to the recipe was that I roasted the vegetables before added it to the gravy.

Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I did both making and eating it. And hopefully no more such long breaks from blogging for me. I can definitely say that cooking is my stress buster for sure. Thank you for reading my blog and I hope you enjoy the chicken tikka masala.

A lip-smacking, mouth-watering delight!

Chicken Makhani, this is one dish I always thought is for the restaurant. Not one to be recreated at home as it’s almost impossible to get the right mix of ingredients or I missed something. So I never actually got down to trying the recipe. Then the other day I went to Fresh and Easy on the way back home from work and picked up some never frozen chicken breasts. I really wanted to make something very Indian with some yummy curry. So I decided to challenge myself to the elusive perfect chicken makhani or the famous butter chicken. I browsed through a zillion recipes online and based on what I saw I came up with my own recipe. One which I hoped would be THE PERFECT BUTTER CHICKEN / CHICKEN MAKHANI.  This recipe serves 2. And takes about 45 minutes to make if you multitask making the curry and the chicken. The curry itself takes about 30 minutes to prepare and the chicken about 30 minutes in the oven. You will need to marinate the chicken for a minimum of 2 hours or overnight if time permits.

Ingredients:

  1. 2 medium sized chicken breasts (8-10 large chicken pieces)
  2. 2 tbsp cream
  3. 2 tbsp butter
  4. 1/4 tsp nutmeg powder
  5. 4-5 green cardamoms
  6. 4 tomatoes (chopped into large chunks)
  7. 1 inch piece of ginger (julienned)
  8. 2 green chilis (de-seeded and chopped fine)
  9. 2 cloves garlic (chopped)
  10. 1/2 – 3/4 tsp red chili powder
  11. 1/2 tsp dried fenugreek leaves
  12. 2 tbsp oil
  13. salt to taste

For the marinade:

  1. 1/2 cup yogurt
  2. 2 tbsp cream
  3. 1/2 tsp black pepper powder
  4. 2 tsp red chili powder
  5. 2 tsp cumin powder
  6. 1 tsp coriander powder
  7. 1/4 tsp garam masala
  8. 1/2 tsp dried fenugreek leaves
  9. 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  10. salt to taste

Directions:

  • Cut the chicken into large chunks.
  • Marinate the chicken in the marinade for atleast a couple of hours.
  • Roast the chicken in the oven till cooked throughly.
  • Heat half the oil and butter. Once hot add the green cardamoms and nutmeg.
  • Add the chopped tomatoes after about 15 seconds.
  • Once the tomatoes are cooked thoroughly and mushy set it aside to cool.
  • Once the tomatoes are cooled grind it to a fine paste and strain it to remove any large chunks.
  • Next heat the rest of the oil and butter and add the garlic, ginger and green chilies to the hot oil.
  • Once they have browned add the strained tomato paste.
  • Let this mixture cook for about 2-3 minutes then add the red chili powder and salt.
  • Bring to a simmer and add the cooked chicken to the tomato gravy.
  • Bring to a simmer and add the dried fenugreek leaves and honey.
  • Mix the butter chicken thoroughly and add the cream and let the butter chicken come to a slow simmer.
  • Remove from heat and serve with naan, paratha or any other form of bread.

One of the main problems when I have made anything close to butter chicken in the past has been the color of the dish. It was never orange enough. But well this time it was perfect and no added colors. Secondly, though I had to add some butter and cream, I did not have to add cups of it to make it delicious. So when I served it Amit was speechless. In his own words – “This is the best butter chicken I have ever had!!!”. The gravy is mindblowing and if you follow my recipe to the tee, I guarantee you with the same great results. And the gravy is versatile enough to either add chicken, paneer or mixed vegetables to it. Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we did and thanks for reading…

Shilpa

A Light and Spicy Delight!!!

After a simple yet quite a heavy lunch yesterday, I really wanted something light to eat for dinner but Amit wanted something spicy yet light. Now that’s a tough combination. But well a chicken salad with a spicy and tangy dressing sounded just about perfect.

I looked up this recipe online and found this very interesting looking recipe. I just had to try it. I made a few changes to the recipe, but in essence it’s the same. I have added a link to the original recipe at the end of this post.

This serves 2-3 persons and takes about 30 minutes from start to finish. I cooked the chicken in a saucepan but the broiler or grill would be a preferred choice. It would cut the calories from the oil you would otherwise have to use, and if you use the broiler, it’s quicker and less messier.

Ingredients:

  1. 8 chicken thigh tenders (cut into small chunks or strips)
  2. 1 large bowl salad greens

Marinade for Chicken:

  1. 3 tbsp fish sauce
  2. 6 garlic cloves (crushed)
  3. 1.5 tbsp soy sauce (low sodium)
  4. 2 tbsp lime juice
  5. 1 teaspoon sesame seeds

For Salad Dressing:

  1. 1/2 cup water
  2. 1.5 stalk lemongrass (cut into pieces)
  3. 1 tbsp fish sauce
  4. 3 tbsp soy sauce
  5. 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  6. 1.5 tbsp brown sugar
  7. 2 tbsp lime juice
  8. 3 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
  9. 1 red chilli (chopped fine) – if you don’t want it spicy, you can avoid this chilli and reduce the brown sugar by 1/2 tbsp

Directions:

  • Mix the marinade ingredients together in a large bowl. Add the chicken and make sure that the marinade completely covers the chicken.
  • Then sprinkle the sesame seeds over the chicken pieces on both sides.
  • Leave the chicken marinade aside for about 15 minutes.
  • Pre-heat the oven at the broiler setting.
  • While the chicken is marinating, complete the first step of the salad dressing.
  • Add the water to a saucepan and add the lemongrass to it. Bring to a boil and let it simmer for 5 minutes. Now strain the lemongrass out of the water and add the rest of the salad dressing ingredients to the saucepan.
  • Now put the pan with the chicken in the broiler. Turn over the chicken every 5 minutes. You will need to turn it over 3 times.
  • Once the dressing ingredients come to a simmer, take the saucepan off the heat.
  • Cool the salad dressing in the refrigerator. Once the chicken is cooked, toss the salad greens with the dressing.
  • Add the chicken on top and serve while the chicken is still warm.

You may want to taste test the salad dressing, and add more spice, lime or sugar to adjust the dressing to your taste. This is a very light salad, but very filling thanks to the chicken. The greens, the tangy spicy dressing and the chicken flavors come together very well. ANd it’s a pretty easy to make and quick chicken salad with a twist. You can find the original recipe at this link http://thaifood.about.com/od/thaisnacks/r/thaichickensala.htm. Hope you enjoy this light, spicy and tangy salad as much as we did.


An American Thai fusion

I had seen this cooking show by a French chef on a PBS channel a while back and I never managed to find out the name of the cook. He was making a chocolate souffle, the day I was watching the show. I have so wanted to make it but never managed to find the recipe or remember the name of the cook. A couple of days back I remembered the souffle again and was determined to locate the recipe somehow. So I embarked on an internet search like no other. Ultimately success was mine and it did not actually take too long. The name of the cook is Hubert Keller and he is a noted French Chef who is known for this signature restaurants Fleur de Lys in Las Vegas and San Francisco.

He hosted two seasons of a cooking show on the PBS channel and his recipes are available at the website. I managed to find the souffle recipe which I shall try someday soon, once all the sweet eating frenzy of christmas and new year’s has settled down. Another recipe that caught my eye while I was browsing his website, was a Thai chicken burger recipe. It looked easy to make and I love Thai flavors. So here’s the recipe for Thai chicken burgers. I make smaller sized burgers therefore with half the quantities listed in the recipe, I was able to make about 4-5 burgers. So if you like huge burgers you would get about 3 burgers from the ingredient quantities listed below.

Ingredients:

For the Burgers

  1. 7-ounce coconut milk (1/2 can)
  2. 1/2 lime, zest grated
  3. 1/2 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  4. 1/2 teaspoon Thai red curry paste (You could increase the amount if you want more spice in your burger)
  5. 1 pound raw chicken thigh meat
  6. 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves (chopped)
  7. 1/4 cup bread crumbs
  8. 1 teaspoon salt
  9. 4-5  hamburger buns, split
  10. lettuce or any greens
  11. tomato slices

For the Pesto

  1. 1/4 cup peanuts roasted & salted
  2. 1/4 cup fresh basil
  3. 1/8  cup cilantro leaves
  4. 1/2 tablespoon coconut, unsweetened and shredded
  5. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  6. 1/8 teaspoon salt (to taste)

Directions:

  • In a saucepan bring the coconut milk to a boil and then add the lime juice and the lime zest. Simmer the mixture till it has thickened and reduced to about 1/3 it’s original quantity.
  • In the meanwhile put the basil with the bread crumbs in a food processor and process it until the basil leaves are finely chopped.
  • Cool the coconut milk and add the coconut milk, the raw chicken (chopped into smaller pieces) and salt to the bread crumbs and basil and process the mixture till all the ingredients are mixed together completely.
  • Form 4-5 patties from the meat mixture and cool it in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.
  • While the patties are firming, make the pesto in a food processor by grinding together all the ingredients, listed under pesto and a couple of teaspoons of water, to a coarse paste.
  • Cook the patties on a medium flame (about 3-4 minutes on each side) till the chicken has cooked.
  • Serve the burger by spreading the pesto on one side of the hamburger bun and placing the tomatoes, burger and greens and then the other half of the bun. (I like to slightly toast the bun in the oven to a light brown.)

The entire recipe took about 45 minutes from start to finish. You can easily make the patties and freeze them to use at a later time. The burgers are absolutely delicious. They have a very distinct Thai flavor to it (which I love). And it is also my first try at making burgers are home. Freshly made burgers are really delicious. I think I am going to experiment with grilling these burgers the next time around. The link to the original recipe is here: http://www.fleurdelyssf.com/recipes/207_3.html. Hope you enjoy the Thai Chicken burger.

And to all my friends, family and to all the readers of my blog, A Very Happy New Year to each one of you. May the new year usher in many more days of joy and happiness.

My love affair with Greek food

Amit will tell you how much he hates it when I decide where to go for lunch, when at school. I decide on My Big Fat Greek restaurant 2 out of 3 times. I so love the food there. Ever since they added the healthier version of their pitas, I love it even more. So obviously I had to try to make one of the dishes I love, Chicken Souvlaki. So I went about the usual internet search for that perfect recipe. I happened to read this recipe by Joelen in her blog called ‘What’s Cookin, Chicago?’. I adapted the recipe a little bit to suit my culinary requirements. This recipe makes about 5-6 servings of the chicken souvlaki pita. It takes about 20 minutes of preparation time and 30 minutes of cooking time. I usually marinate the chicken the previous night so dinner is ready in about 30 mins the next day.

Ingredients:

For Chicken Marinade

  1. 4 chicken breasts (cleaned and cut into bite size pieces)
  2. 3 cloves garlic
  3. 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  4. 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  5. 3 tbsp lemon juice
  6. 1 tbsp dried oregano
  7. 1/4 tsp dried thyme
  8. 1/2 cup chopped fresh coriander
  9. 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
  10. 1/2 tsp salt

For the tzatziki sauce

  1. 1 cup plain yogurt
  2. 1/2 cucumber (peeled)
  3. 2 cloves garlic
  4. pinch of freshly ground pepper
  5. salt to taste
  6. 1 tsp lemon juice

For the Pita and Filling

  1. 1/2 onion sliced
  2. 1 tomato sliced
  3. Greens (lettuce different kinds)
  4. Hummus (store bought)
  5. 5-6 pita pocket halves

Directions:

  • Marinate the chicken overnight in the “For Chicken Marinade” ingredients.
  • About half hour before the chicken souvlaki is to be served, place the chicken pieces in an broiling dish without the excess marinade. Broil the chicken on both sides for about 5-7 minutes each.
  • Meanwhile put all the tzatziki sauce ingredients in a food processor and blend to a smooth sauce.
  • Chop the onions and tomatoes and mix a couple of teaspoons of the tzatziki sauce with this and set aside.
  • Once the chicken is broiled, heat the pita pockets in the oven for a couple of minutes.

  • Spread a couple of teaspoons of hummus inside the pita pocket.
  • Fill the pita pocket half way up with the onions, tomatoes and the greens.
  • Add about 4-5 pieces of the chicken making sure to press it into the pita pocket.
  • Top it off with some more onions, tomatoes and greens.
  • Serve with the tzatziki sauce on the side. (You could also drizzle the sauce into the pita pocket if you like).

Two of these pita pockets are a complete meal. These are quick and easy to make and was also one of the dishes we used to make during our very busy exam schedule. If you want to make a more original tzatziki sauce, you must hang the curd in the refrigerator for a couple of hours so that the sauce is a thicker consistency. You would also need to drain the water out of the cucumber before tossing it into the food processor. But both Amit and I like the thinner consistency of the sauce so I did not have to do the extra couple of steps.

Hope you enjoy the recipe and here’s the link for Joelen’s recipe http://joelens.blogspot.com/2010/07/chicken-souvlaki.html.

A lip smacking, juicy wonder

I think I made these chicken wings for a party about a year back… and then another and another. Well this is such a fail proof recipe that I just can’t skip it at any dinner party. And add to that the fact that once your friends and family eat it, they will ask you to keep making it.

I got this recipe online at Deeba’s blog (I have given the link at the end). And she mentions, this recipe is from the cookbook – Modern Spice by Monica Bhide. I give 5 stars to the recipe. Trust me on this, you have to try this recipe. And for all the vegetarians out there, just toss out the chicken and toss in some potatoes, beans, carrots, etc. This serves about 3-4 persons.

Ingredients:

  1. 1 cup heavy cream
  2. 1 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste
  3. ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  4. ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  5. 1 ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  6. 2 teaspoons red chili flakes
  7. 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  8. 1 ½ teaspoons dried fenugreek leaves, crushed
  9. 1 teaspoon dried mango powder
  10. 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  11. 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  12. ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  13. 10-12 chicken wings

Directions:

  • Mix the cream with all the ingredients except the wings.
  • Marinate the wings in this mixture for about 3 hours (I have made this recipe after marinating for about 1 hour as well and it turns out absolutely delicious).
  • Turn on the broiler and preheat the oven to 500 deg F.
  • On a baking dish line the wings in a single layer and pour the marinade over the chicken. (Keep about half  aside for later).
  • Broil the wings till they are brown on one side, turn it and let it brown on the other side as well. (This takes about 10-12 minutes)
  • Turn over one last time and let it cook for another 5 mins.
  • Cook the left over marinade on the stovetop for a delicious dipping sauce.

This recipe takes about 10-15 minutes of prep time, 1-3 hrs marination time and 20 minutes if cooking time. I have made this dish with shrimp or vegetables instead of chicken wings and they turn out to be absolutely delicious as well. The only change I have made to the original recipe from http://www.passionateaboutbaking.com/2009/06/indian-chicken-wings-the-monica-bhide-way.html is to reduce the number of wings to marinade proportion.

I love chicken wings but the original american version is half the time deep fried and are not as flavorful as these. These chicken wings are easy to make, less messy and heavenly!!!