Thursday, May 31, 2012

Lemony Chicken with Cilantro and Kale

And welcome back to foodforscot's Indian kitchen.

This is a delicious chicken dish.  Packed full of lemon, ginger and cilantro.  I added a bunch of kale and it was wonderful.

Also, have you ever tried brown Basmati rice?  Do.  It is my favorite.  I even prefer it to white rice.  I get mine in the bulk section at Whole Foods, so I don't have a brand to recommend.

NOTE:  With these saucy chicken dishes, bone-in skinless chicken will be most delicious, however, you can really use whatever chicken cut you want.  This time I used boneless, skinless chicken thighs (cut into smallish pieces) and it was still real good.

Lemony Chicken with Cilantro and Kale
by Madhur Jaffrey, “Indian Cooking” with modifications by foodforscot

1 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 cup water
6 tbsp vegetable oil
2 ½ lbs of chicken pieces, skinned (bone in or not)
5 cloves garlic, peeled and very finely chopped
1 bunch of cilantro, very finely chopped
½-1 fresh, hot green chili, very finely chopped
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
½ tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp kosher salt
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 bunch of kale, roughly chopped

Put the ginger and 4 tbsp water in the container of an electric blender.  Blend until you have a paste

Put the oil in a wide, heavy, preferably nonstick pan over medium-high heat.  When the oil is hot, put in as many chicken pieces as pan will hold in a single layer, and brown on both sides. Remove the chicken pieces with a slotted spoon and put them in a bowl. Brown all the chicken pieces this way.

Add the garlic to the hot oil. As soon as the pieces turn a medium-brown color, turn heat to medium and pour in the ginger paste. Stir-fry it for a minute. Now add the fresh coriander, jalapeno, cayenne, cumin, coriander, turmeric, and salt. Stir and cook for a minute.

Put in all the chicken pieces as well as any liquid that might have accumulated in the chicken bowl. Add 2/3 c. water and the lemon juice. Stir and bring to a boil. Cover tightly, turn heat to low, and cook for 15 minutes.

Turn the chicken pieces over and add the kale. Cover again and cook another 10 to 15 minutes or until the chicken is tender and kale has wilted. If the sauce is too thin, uncover the pan and boil some of it away over a slightly higher heat.  Serve with Spiced Brown Basmati Rice (recipe below).

(Servings:  6, Prep time;  20 min., Cook time:  40 min., Difficulty:  Easy) 

Spiced Brown Basmati Rice
by Madhur Jaffrey, “Indian Cooking” with modifications by foodforscot

2 cups brown basmati rice
5 cups water
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1/2 fresh, hot green chili, minced
1/2 tsp garlic, minced
1/2 tsp garam masala
1 tsp salt
2 2/3 cups chicken stock

Put the rice in a bowl. Wash it in several changes of water.  Drain.  Pour 5 cups of water over the rice and let it soak for 30 minutes. Let it drain in a strainer for 20 minutes.

Put the oil in a heavy-bottomed pot and set over medium heat. When hot, add the onion and fry, stirring often, until the onion has browned lightly. Add the rice, chili, garlic, garam masala and salt. Stir gently for about 4 minutes. If the rice begins to stick to the bottom of the pan, turn down the heat slightly. Pour in the stock and bring to a boil. Cover with a tight-fitting lid, turn the heat to very low and cook for 25 minutes.

Printable Version

foodforscot Ratings:

Shanon (taste):  9/10
Scot (taste):  8/10
Effort:  3/5
Dishwashing Effort:  3/5

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Royal Chicken Cooked in Yogurt

I made this twice.  The first time...I was SO confused.  This dish is bone in chicken cooked in yogurt, lots of spices with nuts and golden raisins.  It was back in curling season.  I made it while Scot was at curling.  I put the yogurt in and then I thought my life was over.  It seems like it curdled.  And I was so sad.  But I just forged ahead.  In other words, I finished adding everything and let it simmer on the stove for about 2 hours until Scot got home.  I just couldn't bear to look at it again.

He got home.  I served him his dinner like any house wife would do (at probably 11:30 pm).  Didn't mention my concerns (not that he would EVER notice...he doesn't hold much food judgement, fortunately and unfortunately).  And he loved it.  I guess that is judgement.  He does hold a lot of positive judgement.

So, I googled, "royal chicken does yogurt curdle?"  Because I did what she said.  And it seems like the yogurt separated.  But the thing was still completely delicious and not weird at all.  Especially after the sauce reduces a bit.

After some recovery time, I tried making it again.  Paying special attention to the yogurt curdling step.  Still seemed to curdle. Less bad this time.  It was still totally delicious and deserves to be called royal.  I served it with some Indian spiced roasted potatoes and sautéed kale.  I think I will officially announce that kale is my favorite winter (or non-summer) vegetable.

PS:  The most fun part of eating this is finding the many whole spices as you eat it.  And to not eat them.

Royal Chicken Cooked in Yogurt
by Madhur Jaffrey from Quick and Easy Indian Cooking

1 cup plain yogurt 
1 teaspoon salt 
Freshly ground black pepper 
1 teaspoon ground cumin 
1 teaspoon ground coriander 
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste 
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro (Chinese parsley, fresh green coriander) 
3-1/2 pounds chicken, cut into serving portions 
1/4 cup vegetable oil 
8 cardamom pods 
6 whole cloves 
2-inch stick cinnamon 
3 bay leaves 
2-1/2 tablespoons blanched, slivered almonds 
2-1/2 tablespoons golden raisins

Put the yogurt into a bowl. Beat it lightly until it is smooth and creamy. Add 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, some black pepper, the ground cumin, ground coriander, cayenne, and cilantro. Mix and set aside.

Using the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, season the chicken pieces on both sides and sprinkle on some freshly ground black pepper.

Put the oil in a wide, preferably nonstick pan and set over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, put in the cardamom pods, cloves, cinnamon, and bay leaves. Stir once and put in some of the chicken pieces, only as many as the pan will hold easily in a single layer. Brown on both sides and remove to a large bowl. Brown all the chicken pieces this way and transfer them to the bowl. Put the almonds and raisins into the same hot oil. Stir quickly. The almonds should turn golden and the raisins should plump up, which will happen very fast. Then put the chicken and its accumulated juices back into the pan. Add the seasoned yogurt. Stir to mix and bring to a simmer. Cover, turn the heat to low, and simmer gently for 20 minutes, stirring once or twice during this time. Remove the cover, turn the heat up a bit, and reduce the sauce until it is thick and just clings to the chicken pieces. Turn the chicken pieces over gently as you do this.

Note: The large, whole spices, cardamom pods, whole cloves, cinnamon stick, and bay leaves are not meant to be eaten.

(Servings:  4, Prep time:  15 min., Cook time:  1 hr., Difficulty:  Easy)  

Printable Version

foodforscot Ratings:

Shanon (taste):  9/10
Scot (taste):  10/10
Effort: 3/5
Dishwashing Effort:  3/5

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Broiled Fish over Warm Olive Tabbouleh


I am wondering if anyone else has been wondering about something.  The thing is: reusable baggage discounts.  I mean, thanks, grocery store, for giving me such a generous discount.  Every week I spend $150 on food and receive 40 cents back for bringing in my own bags.  Sometimes I wonder if they reallllly think I bring in those bags to receive this discount and not because if I don't bring in those bags, they force me to go home with 15 paper or plastic bags that are hardly sturdy enough  to carry more than three apples and a bag of spinach.

Yeah, it is definitely for the 40 cents.

In which case, is it really necessary to religiously count the number of bags?  From the produce bags, to the grain bags, to the grocery gets complicated.  But the worst for me, is my grocery store actually asks the bagger once they are done many bags they actually USED.  i.e. if I brought five bags and he only put food in 4, I only get 40 cents...not 50 cents.  IT IS A BIG DEAL!

It is just one more thing I miss about my Boulder Whole Foods.  They never even would mention the bags.  Once in a while, they would thank me for bringing bags.  But they just weren't so stingy.  And they repeatedly gave me free chocolate at the register.

This is by far the most interesting post I have ever written.  Honestly, the grocery store is a big part of my life.

This is another great recipe from The Food Matters Cookbook.  Warm olive tabbouleh was probably originally part of my soul in a previous life.  I have openly admitted on this blog that I am on the fence about mint in my food.  However, I continue to eat it and try it in different combinations.  There has never been an ingredient that I truly do not like in anything.  So, I figure if I keep eating it, I will eventually come around to it.  And it always works.  I particularly like mint in savory dishes when it is used in combination with another fresh herb like cilantro or parsley.

Also, the original recipe here was for grilled fish kebabs.  I made this under the broiler, but either would work fine.

Broiled Fish over Warm Olive Tabbouleh
adapted from The Food Matters Cookbook

½ cup bulgur
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more as needed
½ black olives, pitted and chopped (I used kalamata)
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and chopped
1 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 cup chopped fresh mint
3 lemons:  1 juiced and 2 cut into wedges
Black pepper
12 ounces of firm white fish, cut into 4 chunks
2 cups cherry tomatoes
1 small red onion, finely chopped

Preheat the broiler on high.  Place the rack about 4-6 inches from the heat source.

Put the bulgur in a small pot with a pinch of salt and water to cover by about 1 inch (no more).  Bring to a gentle boil and cook, without stirring, until the water boils off and the bulgur is tender, 5 to 10 minutes, depending on the grind.

On a large baking sheet covered with foil, toss the fish, tomatoes and red onions in some olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Put under the broiler and cook for about 10 minutes until fish is cooked through and tomatoes and red onions have some color.  (Alternatively, you can skewer tomatoes, onions and fish and grill kebabs). 

Put 2 tablespoons oil in a large, deep skillet over medium heat.  A minute later, add the olives and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the garlic beings to color, 3 to 5 minutes.  Add bulgur and mix to combine.  Take off heat and add the cucumber, parsley, mint, and lemon juice.  Toss to combine adding lots of pepper and enough oil to moisten everything.  Taste and adjust seasoning. 

Serve warm olive tabbouleh with fish and veggies.  Put bowl of lemon slices on table and use liberally. 

(Servings:  4, Prep time:  20 min., Cook time:  20 min., Difficulty:  Easy)

Printable Version

foodforscot Ratings:

Shanon (tastte):  8/10
Scot (taste):  8/10
Effort:  3/5
Dishwashing Effort:  2/5