Saturday, January 31, 2009

curry chicken and friends

This is my godson J'vonte. He well love a curry chicken. So as I didn't get to lime with him for Christmas, I brought him up after the fact for a day of snacks, curry chicken and Wii battles.

This is a most important street if you're looking for something to eat curry chicken with. It's in El Socorro, and it's a secret. One that I'll tell more about in another entry. But this is the real stop for dahlpuri and paratha.

From the road, you walk down this driveway towards what could only be explained as a roti factory. Yeah, sounds like a scene. I know.

When you get to the yard, there are two buildings. In this one they make the paratha, and they also have cooked curry mango and channa/potato on sale.

This side is straight dahlpuri.

I was trying to capture the operation under low for you all, so I wasn't using flash. Didn't want to alarm de scene.

So the pics came out dark.

But doh worry. They saw my interest, and invited me to come back early when they were making the roti to get a proper documentation of the whole process.

So with that piece of good news in the bag, we got our roti and bounced. Now for my part.

We went up the road to bubble some curry chicken to deal with this roti. Took out the usual stocks. Doh worry. The Johnnie and Samboka was for J'von's father Evo and me. Daz muh boy since primary school. As in we literally pitch marbles together. But anyway...

First step... cut up the seasoned chicken pieces.

Then I bowled it all up to season it some more.

But first... who say flaming samboka shots?

Added some curry powder to coat it like a sorta rub.

Then I like to drop some lime juice in there. That lime juice in the bottle is a real handy thing in the kitchen when you like to lime things up like me.

While I let the curry soak into the meat, muh boy Evo (sous chef and photographer on this shoot) handled up some shadon beni, garlic and onion, then placed the two hot peppers in the shot for no reason. Colourful eh?

After a round of boxing with J'vonte, i thanked Evo for the help and scraped the fresh seasoning into the chicken.

Really rubbed it in. Ah mean, is curry. Seasoning is what it's all about.

Next, in went curry powder, massala, roasted geera, a little saffron powder and some salt in my trusty ice cream bowl. And just in case you're sayin' "Ice cream bowl? That's so cheap!". I'll have you know that saffron is said to be the world's most expensive spice by weight, so my cheap ice cream bowl is dealin' with some expensive spices.

The way I learned to make this mixture requires hot water. From what i remember, it dissolves the spices better.

Meanwhile, I engaged in a process called chonkayin'. I'm not sure I spelled that right, but I did it right though. It's not that hard.

It's basically burning garlic in oil. Really simple, but really important.

Next step... SHHEWAAAAH! Curry mixture goes into the pot.

I usually leave the burnt garlic in the mix while the curry burns. I don't know if it's a mind thing, but that helps with the flavour. Just before I put the meat in though, I take out the garlic and save it in my ice cream bowl for a little later.

Popped that chicken in and mixed it around in that curry. This is precisely the point at which neighbors begin to say things like "Mmmm... somebody cookin' a curry boy!". My advice, be very quiet and pretend that you're not at home.

Now I add a lot of coconut milk to this thing. AH LOVE IT! So i sprinkle from the pack.

Mix it in and let it cook up for a little while.

Then I put the remainder of the coconut milk powder into the ice cream bowl with the burnt garlic then added hot water. I don't use straight water to cook the meat down. So I add this in, plus one more thing that might be slightly uncommon...

Ketchup. When I heard it, I was like "What?". But the first time I tried it and realized that it gives the curry a sweetish undertone and a really nice, different flavour, was the last time I made a curry without including that little trick.

Mix that up and add peppers. I like to add a 2 peppers and play the "Well, ah hope de pepper doh burst in de pot" game.

Then I covered it down and proceeded to play multiple Wii games with J'vonte while it bubbled.

So a few tennis games and a good bit of "Uncle Quincy let me win dis one nah?" later, the pot was done. Got some good news and some bad news. The good news was that I found one of the peppers. The bad news was it burst.

Yeah so daz it dey. Now remember J'vonte likes curry chicken. Not potato, not mango, pumpkin and all dat... curry chicken. I could relate to dat. Like God father... like god son.

Truss mih... he like heself. And that was the main purpose of the day.

leh we bubble.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

chicken salad. a leftover story

I hate throwing food away. Hate it! Unless it's spoiled food of course. So from time to time I would end up with leftovers from last night or night before. This one time, this happened. True story people.

I was out havin a drink or somethin, when de hunger attacked. Now i knew that i had a lot of stuff home, but i didn't know what i was in the mood for. Actually, i was thinking about spinning a mac and cheese to post up on the blog... but really wasn't in the mode for it. Then it struck me... CHICKEN SALAD!! Quick, easy, tasty enough to have after some drinks and I could use up some of the leftovers in the fridge. So i went to the house and started at it.

Pulled out some Hormel cooked chicken breast. some smoked turkey. Chopped up some onion and celery, and placed some spices close by... well... just for the picture honestly.

I put a little mayo in a bowl and added to it the celery and the onion. Did it that way to make sure it mixed up properly and the mayo had the flavour in it all the way through.

Must add the Chief Brand All Purpose Seasoning. At least in my kitchen it is a must have. Love that in almost everything. You'll see.

Black pepper. Just because really.

Then, just a pinch of salt, because everything needs salt. Even salt needs salt.

Then I added the chicken and the smoked turkey. By the way, the smoked turkey I'm using here is slices cut off of an actual whole bird that was baked. If you've had it before, you'll know this has a ham-like flavour. A mild saltiness and a nice smoky taste. I thought in the context of a chicken salad it would be interesting.

Basically, that's it. All done. Next step...

Reach for the vital supply. It was kinda late, so Crix felt more appropriate. Not too heavy if yuh know what ah mean.

And BOOM! There it is. A nice little platter.

Had to try de lil vanity shot. Might drop it on facebook to promote. The downside to makin it look semi decent like that is that your little snack ends up attracting curious mouths, thus cutting down on yuh planned portion. But iz all good.

HOWEVER, ah not done yet. We didn't eat all the chicken salad, so the leftover creation became a leftover itself. Here's how I dealt with that.

I got a KFC chicken breast and took it off the bone.

Then chopped it up a little finer, but still quite rough. Skin and all by the way. This is no place for the health food enthusiast by the way.

Added the chicken to the remainder of the chicken salad.

Added a little more mayo and a little bit of mustard. Then mixed it into a paste just like the original creation.

This time, I made sandwiches. Whole wheat and white bread. Made one layer...

Then put two slices in the sandwich maker for that light toasty texture. That made the second layer.

Then BOYAKA!!! Triple Decker KFChicken Salad Sandwiches!! And this time I anticipated the extra curious mouth and made two.

And that's my left over story.

Leh we bubble.