Monthly Archives: November 2012

Thai Spiced Cold Poached Chicken

For the past few weeks I have been craving the Khao Man Gai that I had from a food truck in Portland.  When I went food shopping this weekend I decided I was going to attempt to replicate it (yes I’m a trekkie) with my own spin. And so began dinner tonight.  I went from this………



To this………

 
 
So I poached the chicken breast in a water solution of salt, Thai red curry paste, sliced ginger, sliced red bell pepper, lime slices, & cilantro.  I started it in cold water on low heat and brought it to a simmer and let it simmer until cooked.  I served it with Jasmine rice cooked with grated ginger & cilantro and Tondlee (Indian vegetable called Tindora in Hindi; Ivy gourd in English).  Tondlee is what we call it in Marathi.  They look like this…………..
 
 
I slice them lengthwise and cook them in a bit of oil with mustard seeds, chopped onion, salt, red pepper, turmeric and cumin-coriander powder sauteing them on medium heat until cooked to desired doneness.
 
Overall the meal was really good and my little 10 year old man scarfed it down in no time.  It helps that I starve him for several hours before an experiment meal.  But seriously he commented that it smelled good while doing homework upstairs and then asked that I remember the recipe so I could make it again.  Always a compliment from my mini food critic.  Personally I thought it could use the following improvements:
  1. More heat and more salt in the poaching liquid.  Perhaps some chopped green chilis will do the trick in addition to more red curry paste.
  2. More ginger & cilantro in the rice.  I could hardly taste either.
  3. Grate the ginger in the poaching liquid for more even distribution of flavor.  Particularly since I boiled the poaching liquid after removing the chicken and used it as a sauce to serve over the chicken and rice.
  4. Cook the chicken for about 5 – 10 minutes less.  It was a bit tough for me….and I really dislike tough or stringy chicken.  Might also want to try it with skinless, boneless thighs instead of breast.
The above 4 items are the reason I didn’t bother posting the recipe.  In my mind it has not yet been perfected.  I also want to try this with a little coconut milk in the cooking of the rice.  Once perfected I will post but I’m looking for suggestions to improve my efforts.  This was my first attempt at poaching chicken so if you’ve found the best way to do it, please let us know.
 
I can’t wait to try this again and improve upon it.  I will have my very own version of Khao Man Gai!!!
 
Happy experimenting!!
 

 


Recipe: Cranberry Chutney

It has been some time since my last post as it has taken a few weeks to recover from the effects of the storm.  Thanksgiving has arrived suddenly and I’m sure you are all getting ready to prepare your meals and give thanks for so many good things this year.  I will post a full blog about our family Thanksgiving meal but for now I wanted to post the Cranberry Chutney recipe I promised on my Facebook page yesterday.

Ingredients

1 pkg cranberries
Juice & zest of one orange
1 pear or apple peeled, cored and diced finely
1 Tbsp Honey
1/2 Cup Sugar
1/2 Tsp Salt
1/2 Tsp Pepper
1/4 Tsp Red Pepper (ground) Optional
Pinch ground cloves
1 Tbsp grated fresh ginger

Combine all ingredients in a heavy bottom pot and cook on medium heat until cranberries pop.  Lower heat and simmer for 20 – 30 minutes until thickened stirring frequently to ensure it does not stick.  Store overnight and serve with your turkey.  Sugar can be adjusted depending on the level of tartness desired.  This recipe will yield approximately 3 cups of chutney.  I used pear this time but the apple variation tastes great too.

If you make it, please add your feedback in comments.  Would love to hear if you varied it and what you thought of it.

Happy Thanksgiving to you all!

Swati

Hurricane Food Survival Tips

The Persnickety Palate has been busy gathering material for the next post throughout this Hurricane Sandy experience and aftermath.  It has been a good lesson in how food & wine really do bring people together; particularly during tough times and put some brightness in our days.  Hope all those who have been affected are staying strong and warm!! 

If you need anything that doesn’t need me to drive (no gas in the car) please let me know.  Venting in allowed.

My Tips

I have spent the past few days emptying out my mother’s freezer, marinating chicken, fish, etc and cooking whatever we could salvage.  She keeps her freezer stocked for an army at all times and I just couldn’t bear to see all that food go to waste.  I have two large coolers set up on my back porch with ice since Tuesday morning to hold milk, cheese, eggs, butter and all the other perishable necessities.  With the cool weather and the addition of some ice from my mother’s freezer, everything has stayed cold till now.  Hoping to get more ice today to prepare for the long haul just in case.

Curries and stews last the longest and taste good as leftovers.  Just remember to reheat them daily.  Use the trunk of your car as storage since it’s fairly cold out there making refrigerator not necessary.  Your car may smell for a few days but heck it’s a small price to pay for some good homemade food.
Use leftover vegetables and meats to add to the canned chicken broth and make soups.  They will keep you warm and use up the food before it goes bad.


I have been lucky enough to store my frozen items at a generous friend’s house with power.  She has also taken us in each night for dinner and a few hours of heat.  I am also lucky enough to have down comforters and extra blankets to keep me warm at night and hot water for showers in the morning.  Walking everywhere due to the gas situation has allowed me to get a great workout in and lose some weight and also incented me to do my crunches, push ups and strength training with weights.

So while I am most definitely starting to get quite cranky, I am trying to look at this whole experience as positively as possible.  I find it helps me realize what the really important things are.  There are people out there who lost their homes and some even lost loved ones.  I am most definitely lucky & thankful.

Please stay warm, positive & cook some food if you can!!!  And don’t forget to pair it with a nice wine.

Swati

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