Sunday, July 17, 2005

Cooking Chicken :

Spent a week poring over 500 odd chicken recipes. Most of them fall under the Marinate- cook category. The rich variety of marinades and the different cooking methods ( Deep frying/sauteeing, steaming, simmering/Broiling/Poaching/Spit or pot roasting/Grilling/Barbecueing/Stewing) etc makes each dish unique.

A few general comments

1. Chicken flesh can be flattened, and treated like a wrap, with other goodies stuffed into it and cooked.
2. Chicken can be made crunchier by dipping it in flour/batter/ egg/bread crumbs/cornflakes/rava and then deep fried.
3. In an oven chicken is cooked for around 30 mins at around 180 degrees.
4. Chicken can be boiled, shredded and treated like any other vegetable.
5. Simmering in a small amount of liquid makes chicken juicy and tender
6. A combination of cooking methods can add complexity. For example chicken can be first sauteed and then poached. Or chicken can be half fried, marinated and then baked or dry tandoori chicken can be further cooked in a gravy.
7. Chicken can be encased in a variety of batter/dough and then cooked in a variety of ways.
8. While grilling/baking under high heat, chicken dries out and so regular basting with butter/oil/marinade liquid is necessary.
9. Set oven at highest temperature to recreate the dry intense heat of a tandoor. Chicken with high fat content cooks well in a tandoor. Live coals inside a oven also recreates a tandoor.
10. One interesting cooking method is to put marinated chicken in an earthern pot, arranged so that it sits on a bead of sticks, never touching the pot. The pot is covered, sealed with dough and surrounded by lit cowdung/coals for 2 hours.
11. Chicken liver soaked in milk and cooked with roast sesame seeds/Onions/Ginger loses its strong odour.

A variety of chicken recipes follow in the next post...

1 comment:

Mina said...

Groovy.. so simple yet so tasty. Love 'em...

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Okay, let me start from the very beginning. 1500 crore years ago, with a Big Bang, the Universe is born. It expands dramatically. Hydrogen forms, contracts under gravity and lights up, forming stars. Some stars explode, dusting space with the building blocks of life. These condense into planets, one of which is Earth. Over time, self replicating molecules appear, multiply and become more complex. They create elaborate survival machines (cells, plants, animals). A variety of lifeforms evolve. Soon, humans arise, discover fire, invent language, agriculture and religion. Civilisations rise and fall. Alexander marches into India. Moguls establish an empire. Britain follows. Independence. Partition. Bloodshed. The license raj is in full sway. I'm born. India struggles to find its place. Liberalisation. The Internet arrives! I move from Tirupur to Chennai. Start a company. Expand into Malaysia, Singapore and the Middle East. Poof! Dot com bust. Funding dries up. Struggle. Retire. Discover the joy of cooking, giving, friendships and the pleasures of a simple life. Life seems less complicated. Pizza Republic, Pita Bite and Bhojan Express bloom !

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