Saturday, October 18, 2008

An Interlude-Coconut and Coriander Chicken

Due to an uncotrollable desire for the spicy and creamy (winter colds will do that to a man), I decided to abandon the tome of Mr. Peterson (I will thank the reader not to oppress me with references to the purpose of this blog!) and cook a quick curry. Inspiration (read "recipe") was drawn from my favourite cookbook writer, Nigel Slater, he of "Toast" fame. However, the decision was made at about 6pm with no curry essentials on hand, so a quick trip to Safeway (alas!) ensued. Nothing like having your tummy grumbling to speed up the shopping process!

Anyway, this recipe is from Mr. Slater's "The 30 Minute Cook", which I have sadly negelected up to now, this may change..... First cumin, mustard and coriander seeds are cooked in a dry pan for a minute. I had no whole cumin so had to add preground cumin at the next step (it may be nasty, but remember that no Maharajahs were being cooked for), when the roasted seeds are ground in a mortar and pestle. This (toasty!) powder was then mixed with a chopped chilli, grated ginger, crushed garlic and heavy cream (a meal without bacon and/or cream is hardly a meal worth looking at, in Mr. Slater's book). The resulting marinade was poured over 4 chicken thighs on the bone, in a shallow dish. At this point I think I should have removed the skin (before dunking the chicken) but the instructions weren't clear, and I didn't. I also used WAY too much cream. Hey ho- but see below!

Next, onions were cooked until soft and golden (as is often their way) and then the chicken and marinade were added to the pan. At this point I had a relevation about the likely fate of the skin (ie soggy and slimy and keeping the flavour OFF the chicken) and so I renounced the skin, which somehow found its way into the maw of Mottled-Grey-Dog. Fuzzy Grey Cat was unamused by this development. After a few minutes coconut milk was also added (to the curry, not Mottled-Grey-Dog), because there is no such thing as "too creamy", right?

Finally, dish was simmered gently for 25 minutes, rice was cooked and a curry was devoured. It was tasty, but next time I will either reduce the cream or up the spices a bit as the flavour was a little subtle when the rice entered the equation.