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Category: Chicken

Beer braised chicken- drink it and eat it

I am just not into beer, could never understand the fascination for it, give me any kind draught, ale or dark, it all tastes meh to me. Give me a glass of wine any day, that’s my poison. We all are also familiar with cooking with wine, but what about beer, how does one make the best of this beverage in recipes. While you might enjoy your beer with chicken drumsticks, what if those drumsticks are cooked in beer? Sounds interesting, well then you have landed on the right page, as today we are cooking beer braised chicken. This is when, I love my beer.

Firstly and fore mostly before you pop out any bottle of beer, please remember you cannot just cook with any bottle of beer, for this particular recipe you will have to use dark beer, as they are relatively  sweeter and malty, any lighter beer would probably be too bitter. I have cooked this dish twice and each time I have used a different beer, the first time I used an Irish stout (can’t recall the brand now) and the second time I made it with a dark Belgian beer of Chimay brand.

This is one of the simplest chicken recipes you will come across; the only thing it takes is a lot of time. So I recommend making it on the weekend, pop a bottle of beer open, half goes in the dish and rest you can enjoy while the chicken gets braised on the burner, a complete win-win in my book. So let’s cook.

Ingredients

1 tbsp butter

1 kg chicken drumsticks

6 medium sized onions sliced

1 tbsp raw sugar

Bay leaf

2 tsps dried thyme

2 tbsp Dijon mustard

1& ½ cup dark beer

1 cup chicken stock

Salt & pepper as per taste

Method

In a big pan melt the butter, add salt to the chicken and brown both sides in the pan. Once the chicken is done, remove and add the onions to the pan. Add the sugar to the onions and brown them well; this can take you a good 20 to 30 minutes.

Add the bay leaves, thyme, mustard and the beer to the pan; add the chicken and the chicken stock back to the pan. Cook till you bring the pot to a simmer, cover and cook covered for 45 minutes. Uncover and cook it for another 45 minutes to 1 hour till most of the liquid has almost evaporated and the meat is falling off the bones. Season with salt and pepper as per taste; the dish can be served with rice or potatoes.

Beer braised chicken

Beer braised chicken

P.S. don’t get dissuaded by the length of the time to prepare this dish, it’s actually a very simple dish, and you can just put it on the gas and do your chores at home. The end result is totally worth it. When you can’t drink it, eat it. Cheers!

 

 

Sausage Rolls|British in my kitchen

I love London, and can travel to the city every year and never get tired of the place. I love the food, the weather, the people just about everything about the city, and of course the London tube, omnipresent and so convenient. Having just been to the city recently in February, the memories are still fresh. This time while I was exploring London on my own, (the husband was working) I discovered the sausage roll. When I say discovered I mean, of course they were always there, but, it kind of became my go to food in London, whenever I wanted a small bite. I fell in love with them and ate them everywhere, bought them from supermarkets, ate them in cafes, bakeries and even in the airport the last day while leaving London.

Sausage roll is essentially a British savoury pastry snack; basic composition is bits of meat in sheets of puff pastry. While eaten in other European countries, it’s as much a part of the British food scene as much as Jamie Oliver!! Now considered a part of Boxing Day celebrations they are my favourite British snack. And I plan to recreate this in my kitchen, my ode to all things British.

I had a lot of fun making them in the kitchen, and eating them was even more fun. Since I was making them for the first time, I did not attempt making puff pastry from scratch and got store bought puff pastry. I hope you have as much fun in the kitchen making these, as I had.

Here what you need to do.

Ingredients

One egg yolk

500 gm chicken mince (you can use any kind of meat you want)

One onion chopped

One egg

Mustard powder-1 tsp

Fresh chopped parsley

1 tsp garlic mince

Salt and pepper

Onion seeds

Puff pastry

Method

Beat the egg well and add the chicken mince, the onion, garlic, parsley and mustard. Mix until thoroughly combined. Add the salt and pepper; you can fry a little bit of the mixture and taste it to check the seasoning.

Unwrap the pastry dough and roll them into balls and then using a rolling pin flatten them out in the desired shape. Cut them into small squares, put a little bit of the mixture in the centre, fold pastry and then press seam to seal the edges.

Cover your baking tray with parchment paper and place them on the tray. Beat the egg yolk and use it a as an egg wash, brush all the rolls with the same. Mine looked something like this, pardon the shapes, geometry was never my forte.

Sausage Rolls

Sausage Rolls-before popping in the oven

Now traditionally the rolls are then topped with fennel seeds or sesame seeds, I have instead used onion seeds. I prefer them as they add another dimension to the dish and you will just love the smell of onion seeds toasting in your kitchen, and they taste much better too.

Bake in a preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes at about 200 degree Celsius.  I will just go and dig into my sausage rolls.

 

 

 

 

Goan Sausage Fry

Goa … evokes beaches, sun, sand and food……..gorgeous, tasty food. First time I went to Goa, I tasted the local food and I was hooked. It was unlike anything I had eaten before, and the inspite of the countless times I have travelled to Goa, I  never tire of sampling the local cuisine. I had earlier shared with all of you in the blog the recipe for Goan Sausage pulao. Today I will share another quickie recipe that you can make with Goan sausages; Goan Sausage Fry served with pav.

People in Mumbai are familiar with the ever ubiquitous “Pav” bread. Mostly found in the western part of India like Maharashtra, Gujarat and Goa, very few people know that the origin of the Pav is Portuguese. And it is from Goa that Pav travelled to Mumbai and became a staple of the city’s food scene. When the Portuguese landed in India, they needed bread for their Holy Communion and since yeast wasn’t easily available a few drops of toddy was used to ferment the dough. We might as well thank the portuguese for this dish!!

The dish is easy to make, and a few ingredients is all you need. Goa sausages are very spicy, and the potatoes in the dish are the perfect counterfoil to it to absorb the oil and spice and balance the dish.

Ingredients

Goan Sausages 250 gms (I use the Zorabian Goan Chicken sausages)

Two medium sized potatoes

Two onions sliced

One red capsicum sliced lengthwise finely

2 green chillies split lengthwise

One tablespoon vinegar

Salt and black pepper for taste

Garlic two to three cloves finely chopped

Olive oil

Method

First remove the sausage casings and take out the meat from inside and set aside. Heat the olive oil in a skillet and add the garlic and green chillies fry till fragrant.

Add the onions and fry till they start losing their colour, then add the set aside sausage. Fry for some time, the oil which is released from the sausage is where the flavour is and it will ensure that the dish with minimum ingredients will still taste divine; hence it is advisable to start with maybe one tsp of oil in the beginning. Meanwhile dice the potatoes in cubes and add to the mixture. Fry the potatoes for some time, then add some water so the potatoes get cooked well. Add the salt and pepper and the vinegar.

Cover the pan and when the potatoes are half done add the capsicum. Let the water evaporate mostly, so that you are left with a semi dry mixture. Serve with pav bread.

Goan Suasage Fry

Goan Suasage Fry

 

 

 

Why Gondhoraj Lebu will change your life

To the uninitiated the brouhaha about a lemon (gondhoraj lebu) will seem like typical Bengali idiosyncrasy. But if you haven’t tasted it, you don’t know what you are missing; the closest cousin I can think of is the Thai Kaffir lime. Originating in a place called Rangpur in Bangladesh; I doubt this lemon grows anywhere else apart from West Bengal or Assam in India. Today I see this citrus fruit making an appearance in quite a few restaurant menus, and it makes me happy that people outside the Bengali community are now becoming familiar with this. And justifiably so after all its name literally translates to the king of fragrance and the fragrance is something to die for.

When we were kids I remember, lunch would always be served with a slice of gondhoraj on the side on the plate, and anything with a few drops of the lemon, would taste sublime. Growing up I never knew that this lemon is not available in the rest of the country and now the more I have stayed away from Kolkata, more I have learned to love Bengali cuisine, and more I miss this quintessential Bengali lemon. So this time when I went to Kolkata for my annual sojourn I came back with a few of these precious gondhoraj lemons. And apart from just enjoying them like that; I was in search for a recipe to incorporate the brilliance of these lemons.

I remember watching a you tube video of somebody cooking a chicken dish using gondhoraj, this dish is inspired from there, my version of the gondhoraj chicken. It’s a light summery chicken with lots of lemony acidic broth and tastes amazing with steamed rice. So here’s the recipe:

Ingredients:

Chicken 500 Gms

Juice of one onion, inch of ginger, two green chilies and 5 cloves of garlic

1 cup of curd

½ tsp coriander powder

Half regular lemon

1 gondhoraj lemon

Few gondhoraj lemon leaves (I didn’t have the leaves so used kaffir lime leaves)

2-3 cardamom pods

Refined oil-1 tbsp

Salt & sugar as per taste

Clarified butter or ghee for cooking

Method
First marinate the chicken, add half a cup of the curd to the chicken. Make a paste of the onion, garlic, ginger and the chilies in the grinder and strain them in a strainer to take out the juices. You can add a little water to help strain. Add this juice to the chicken.

Gondhoraj Lebu Chicken

Gondhoraj Lebu Chicken

Also add the regular lemon and the gondhoraj lemon juice to the marinate. Before juicing the gondhoraj, scrap some zest from the gondhoraj, put half in the marinated mixture, save the rest for later. Then add the coriander powder, salt and the oil; mix everything together, and let the same marinate for an hour.

Heat the ghee in a wok, add the cardamom, and once it crackles add the chicken. Brown the chicken well on both sides. Add the gondhoraj leaves/kaffir lime leaves along with the marinade mixture. Add half a cup of water for the gravy. Add the remaining curd and the lemon zest. Put salt and sugar as per taste. Bengali cuisine we add usually a bit of sugar, in this case probably a quarter of teaspoon will be enough, to balance the taste. It creates a sense of balance between the flavours and is not really to sweeten the dish.

Fold everything together, and cook covered till the chicken is cooked. You can increase or decrease the water depending on the amount of gravy you want in the dish.

Gondhoraj Lebu Chicken

Gondhoraj Lebu Chicken

P.S. Just found out a seller in http://www.ebay.in who will deliver gondhoraj lemons in Mumbai, yippee!!

 

 

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