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Sunday, February 22, 2009

A Curry Odyssey Episode 3: Curried Lemon Chicken

OK, before I get onto whether or not this recipe is breaking the rules of the Curry Odyssey, I have a more worrying issue to address. Part of the reason why I was so keen to get right into making curries this year was because I had discovered, just across the road from where I work, a little Indian Food Grocer, who carried all sorts of obscure ingredients for authentic Indian cooking.

In particular, they sold jasmine rice in bulk, at about half the cost of getting it at the supermarket, as well as things like whole cardamons, fengureek seed, and a whole raft of uncommon spices and flours. Now, they're closing the doors.

This recession bites, and not in a good way.

So, can anyone in the Wellington area direct me to another good supplier of the raw ingredients I need to make my Curry Odyssey something worth writing about? Because a year of variations on a theme of "2T Curry Powder" will get boring pretty quickly.

But on the more serious side of this issue, I think we all need to ponder, at least briefly, how we treat our small local businesses, and ask ourselves whether we care for them like they deserve.

Because if we find that the only place we can go to buy food in ten year's time is a giant supermarket, and we all end up eating the same bland mass-produced meals, because all of the little stores that catered to the business end of our taste-buds have closed down, who will we have to blame?

Moving on, were there any rules to the Curry Odyssey? For example, could I only make curries that were recognised as classics and had a proper Indian name, or can I still make stuff up? Experience would suggest that I am not really enough of an expert in the field to fudge it, but when has experience ever taught anyone anything useful?

Also, am I allowed to post stuff that I actually cooked and photographed before I even made the decision to begin the Great Curry Odyssey? Well, the best thing about playing your own game is that you can make up the rules as you go.

I therefore decree, that YES, I can make stuff up if I want to, and YES, I can post in whatever temporal order I feel appropriate. And since the impending death of my local Indian supplier has left me somewhat bereft of inspiration right now, I present for your eating pleasure...

Mysterious Curried Lemon Chicken

(Serves 3)

Lemon chicken might be a Chinese thing, but I have a lemon tree, so as far as I'm concerned, Lemon can go with anything.

Even Chicken.

And Curry.



6 x Scored Chicken Drumsticks (ie, duplicate this recipe once for every 500g of Chicken Pieces you might want to cook), marinaded as below;

For the Marinade:
4T Soy Sauce
Zest and Juice of 1/2 Lemon
1T Garam Masala
2T Olive Oil
1T Minced Garlic
1T Honey
Freshly Ground Pepper

Marinate the chicken for at least 1 hour, preferably 6, in an oven dish that fits the pieces snugly.
Bake, uncovered, @ 220C for 45 mins to 1 hr, until the chicken juices run clear. Switch the oven over to grill for the last 10 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the sauce, and boil a pot of jasmine rice.

Lemon Sauce Ingredients:
Juice of 1 Lemon
Shaved Lemon Zest
1/2 Cup of Water
2T Malt Vinegar
1 Cinnamon Quill
6T Brown Sugar
1t Vanilla essence, or the scrapings from 1 Vanilla Pod

Put all the ingredients in a small pot. Bring to the boil and turn down to a simmer, gradually reducing the sauce until it thickens. Remove the cinnamon quill after about 5 minutes of simmering. When the sauce is ready, scoop out the solids.
Dish the chicken over the rice and drizzle the sauce over everything. Serve with a nice crisp green salad.


Patrice Farmer said...

Do you use Garam marsala?

Dan said...

The Garam Masala I'm using now is from the above-lamented Indian Grocer, though I'm aware that there are as many versions of it as there are Indian cooks out there.

I'd like to have a go at making my own at some stage, but at the moment, the pre-made ones are fine.

Le laquet said...

Shisho (My Sikh friend) who taught me to make curry starts all her curries the same way with what she calls a turkha (spelling??) - cumin seed, onion, fresh ginger, coriander, tumeric, garam masala ... you can then addd whatever you want. Hence Simon and I eating potato, carrot and minced lamb curry on Saturday night. Experiment away! The chicken looks gorgeous.

Sophie said...

WOW (impressed look). Your Lemon Chicken looks so yummy.

Here I bought a sauce pack for Lemon Chicken so as to skip all the seasonings! and i will try this friday after work.