Creating a blog was out of the question for a long time for me, as measuring everything in the kitchen was like biting into an eggshell. I enjoy cooking and don’t want to waste even a slightest bit of enjoyment in that small world of mine. But little did I know that everything will change, when my husband came home with the Oscar nominated film ‘Julie and Julia’( a real life story) where Julie Powell (part played by Amy Adams) challenged herself to make all the 524 recipes from Julia Child's cook book ‘Mastering the Art of French Cooking’ and blogging all her experiences (The Julie/Julia Project). It was an inspiring movie. A few days later when we were discussing this casually with a friend of ours over tea…everything changed dramatically…..” How about you making at least half of it in one year? Not French but your own. 262 recipes that will inspire others and present it as a blog?” For a minute my mind traveled faster than light… With an experience as a helper in my mother in laws kitchen for 6 years followed by a three year everyday struggle to satisfy the palate of my foodie husband, if I cannot do it then why should I cook? But on the other side with an experience in English literature extending no more than expanding outline stories in English grammar class when I was 18 and two small kids that come in handy at times, will a commitment for the next one year work? Anyway my ‘cook's ego’ didn’t allow me to say no...

So my friends …here I am opening my recipe book, trying to perfect and present 262 recipes in the coming 365 days….A Challenge that will of course tastes good. Come.. Have a walk with me along my journey.. Cheering and inspiring….Forgiving and tolerating…Testing and tasting….for ‘A Tasty Challenge’

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Saturday, September 18, 2010

Chicken Roast

Recipe No: 78
        Back in the days, before the catering companies taking over the wedding feasts, it was a custom to prepare all the food at home itself. I had only very vague memories of this but still it is there. The cook will come home and will start preparations for the wedding feast a couple of days before. On the previous day of the wedding  most of the relatives will be gathered in the house  and cooking will be intensive… making Cutlets, Chicken roast, Red Fish Curry, Beef Veyichathu, Dry shrimp thoran …..and the list goes on…

Let’s come to the making of Chicken Roast… Mostly the Chickens will be slaughtered, skinned, cut into big pieces on the previous day and by noon everything will be ready. All the big pieces  with flesh will be taken for the roast  and the rest like the neck, the back bone, the ribs and the internal organs like the Liver and Gizzard will be left behind.  All these will be made into a fry and it’s a treat for the relatives on the previous day, who took their precious time to join the happiness of the family.

I still remember me as a kid, getting out of the bus in front of my grand fathers house for my Uncles marriage, with a big present …which I guess was an Oven; sitting for the feast beside my mother….eating Cutlet and waiting for the Roast… secretly wishing for a drumstick and envying the person sitting next to me for getting one instead of me…. the elders distributing  the barely eaten  big 3 tired cake to people around there…and the memories goes on…Seems like somewhere in the near past…but his daughter is now married and possibly reading this post without recognizing that it was about her fathers marriage!!!!!!!!!!!

Coming back to the subject, roasts are prepared in a million different ways…But most of them have a dark color with very thick gravy and an appetizing taste. Here is my take on the great ‘Chicken Roast’ which is very much close to ‘the real deal’… This is the common roasting procedure that I follow with most of the meats (like the Lamp Shank Roast that I posted earlier) with some changes in the quantity of the ingredients to match the flavor of the meat used.
Ingredients                                           Serves 5-6
  • Chicken Cut into big pieces...1 Kg (make it into 10 pieces) Clean, wash and dry
To Grind
  • Shallots sliced…………………...1/2 Cup
  • Ginger-Garlic Paste………...….2 Tablespoons (or use 2 big piece of Ginger and
                                                          12 big cloves of Garlic
  • Turmeric Powder……………….1/2 Teaspoon
  • Coriander Powder…………...…1 ½ Tablespoons
  • Red Chilly Powder…………..…2 Teaspoons
  • Pepper Powder…………………..3/4 Teaspoon
  • Garam Masala Powder………..2 Teaspoons
  • Lemon Juice or Vinegar……...3 Tablespoons
  • Salt…………………………..………As Per Taste
    To Saute
    • Coconut Oil………………….……5 Tablespoons
    • Onion Sliced thin…………...…..3 1/2 Cups
    • Curry Leaves………………..…….3 Sprigs
    • Coconut Milk………………….….1/2 Cup
    • A sprig of Curry leaf, ½ Teaspoon of Garam Masala and a Teaspoon of Coconut Oil to sprinkle on top towards the end
    Method of Preparation
    1. Combine and grind all the ingredients in the ‘to grind’ section to a course paste. Take half of this paste and marinate the Chicken and keep aside for 30 minutes. Keep the rest of the paste for later use.
    2. Heat 3 Tablespoons of Oil in a nonstick pan and shallow fry the Chicken pieces. Transfer them to a Pressure cooker. Doesn't have to fry too much. Slight brown color on both of the sides is enough.
    3. To the same pan add the rest of the Oil and saute Onion and Curry leaves till lightly brown on medium high heat. (If not browned the roast will be sweet)
    4. Once browned, lower the heat to medium low; add the left over ground paste and saute for at least 5 minutes. This stage is very important as it decides the color of the roast. Be patient and let the paste get rid of the raw smell and taste and become brownish black in color. But take care not to burn it. So I will recommend stirring constantly at this stage.
    5. Once it reached a brownish black color add this to the Chicken in the Pressure Cooker together with 2 cups of water. Let the Chicken and the onion mixture cook in the pressure cooker till 3 whistles. Let it cool.
    6. Once cooled, dump all the contents from the cooker into the pan on medium high heat and let the extra water evaporate. Stir now and then, taking care not to break the Chicken pieces.
    7. Once almost dry add the Coconut milk and let it attain the consistency you need. Sprinkle some Curry Leaves, Garam Masala and Coconut oil on top; switch off the flame; close the lid and let it rest for at least 30 minutes before serving.
    • The resting period in the pan is kind of important as per the elders as they call it ‘Pathrapakam’ meaning that it should sit in the same vessel it cooks for some time to attain the perfect taste.
    • Back in the days this Chicken is cooked for a long time. In order to make it short I like to Pressure cook this which gives it a nice texture and makes the bones soft… making it perfect to chew….if you have a habit of doing it!!!!! 
    • If you don't want the extra fat in the roast, please follow this. Once the Chicken is cooked in the cooker; take the meat out and leave the gravy in the fridge for 45 minutes or in the freezer for 15 minutes. All the fat will solidify on top of the vessel. You can easily discard this and then follow the rest of the procedure. You will get all the taste of the dish without any extra fat.
    • This goes well with most of the Rice dishes, Chappathi, Roti, Bread, and the most classic of all...Appam. 

    Make it, enjoy the deliciousness and
    serve it to your family with love…


    Nitha said...

    Asha, thank you very much for this blog. Nowadays every Friday is a cook something from asha's blog for our family.

    Aravind and Nitha

    Unknown said...

    Tried it...gud👍

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