Chicken with fragrant rubbings

OK so this is a total adaptation from a Persian recipe book my sister Liz gave me for Xmas and it’s an adapt in that I didn’t have all the necessary ingredients to hand so I invented. I’m writing this as it’s cooking away in the oven so I’ll do a verdict to let y’all know how it tasted and if it’ll make  return to our table in the future.

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Ingredients:
4 chicken legs on the bone, dead cheap and better flavour than breasts
4 cloves of garlic, crushed
1/2* tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp sumac
1 1/2 cups water
1 lemon juiced
oil

*actually I didn’t measure any of the half teaspoons, I just guessed. That’s the way I roll.

Method:
Slash the chicken legs a few times, certainly through the skin but maybe not all the way to the bone. Stick them in a pan and fry on both sides for 7 minutes each, till golden brown. Meanwhile mix the spices together, juice the lemon and crush the garlic. Pour the water into an ovenproof/flameproof dish along with the garlic and lemon juice and bring it to a gentle boil. When the legs have finished frying, place them into the dish and sprinkle the spices on top. I chucked in the juiced halves of the lemons for the craic as well. Bake in a moderate oven for about 40 minutes. When the cooking is over, remove the legs to a warmed serving plate, discard the lemon halves and bring the juices to the boil, reducing them a little. Serve the chicken with boiled rice and pour the reduced cooking juices over.

Verdict:
Tastes great, actually tastes really good. Apart from the fact that I can’t take pictures of food for the life of me (really hard to make it not look like roadkill), the flavour is turmericy, which is a good thing because so often you can’t taste it in dishes and it seems to work well with lemon. Generally it could do with more sauce, so maybe I’d try it next time with more water. Don’t know if I can detect the sumac at all …

 

Will be making it again.

the return of the curry paste

Back in the kitchen again today, got a rush of blood to the head and decided on a curry. For curry, you need curry paste (which I’ve blogged about before) but this time I toasted the seeds before crushing them and fiddled with the proportions a little too.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup coriander seed
4 tbsp cumin seed
2 tbsp fennel seed
2 tbsp fenugreek seed
4 dried red chillies
5 curry leaves
1 tbsp chilli powder
1 tbsp turmeric
2/3 cup wine vinegar
1 cup vegetable oil

Method:

Toast the whole seeds gently for five minutes or so to release their aroma, making sure not to burn them. The kitchen will be filled with an amazing assault on your nose, although my youngest kid finds it a bit overpowering. It’s an indication of what’s to come though, because this paste imparts a great flavour and is something which develops with age.

Grind the whole spices to a powder in a spice mill, or grinder. Transfer to a bowl and add the remaining spices. Add the wine vinegar and mix into a paste. Add about 5 tbsp water to the mixture to loosen it a bit. Heat the oil in a heavy frying pan, and stir fry the paste for about 10 minutes. Allow to cool a bit before putting it into airtight jars and then refrigerating. It should last three to four weeks in an airtight jar.

curry paste

In my search for the benefits of turmeric, I found this recipe for making a curry paste and decided I must try it! Turmeric can be used as an alternative to curry powder. It is the basis of a lot of Indian cooking, so it’s handy to have some in the fridge.

This stuff is delicious, pungent, aromatic and can be heat-regulated by increasing or decreasing the amount of chilli powder or chillies. It keeps for a month in an airtight jar in the fridge.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup coriander seed
4 tbsp cumin seed
2 tbsp fennel seed
2 tbsp fenugreek seed
4 dried red chillies
5 curry leaves
1 tbsl chilli powder
1 tbsp turmeric
2/3 cup wine vinegar
1 cup vegetable oil

Method:

Grind the whole spices to a powder in a spice mill, or grinder. Transfer to a bowl and add the remaining spices. Add the wine vinegar and mix into a paste. Add about 5 tbsp water to the mixture tp loosen it a bit. Heat the oil in a heavy frying pan, and stir fry the paste for about 10 minutes. Allow to cool a bit before putting it into airtight jars and then refrigerating. I used a lot less oil than the prescribed cup. If the mixture looks a bit too dry after stir frying, you can always add a bit more later.

If you want to make a curry powder instead of the paste, just follow the deviation above and don’t add any oil, water or vinegar.

Note:

Turmeric tends to stain everything yellow, so don’t use anything too porous when you’re making it.