Sunday, September 21, 2008

Grilled Chicken With Curried Celery & Mushroom Sauce

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Was playing badminton while at the same time trying to figure out what to eat for dinner and had a sudden urge to cook up a surprise for Bao Yi. Some time back I bought some meatballs and she didn't like them so I buried them in a curry gravy which she said made the meatballs palatable. Well... not just palatable... she said they tasted great... :-) I then experimented further... Bao Yi (like a few other people I know) didn't like celery. Well, she would eat them but she doesn't like them.

Thing is, I don't have any like or dislike for celery but it's basically a base ingredient for a lot of sauce/ stock base due to its fragrance so I do use them. Anyway, I chopped the celery finely and threw them with some garlic & shallots then sautéd them till they were soft then threw in the same meatballs, some seasoning and again the curry powder. Voilà, she was eating the celery like they were chocolate… Ha Ha.. ok… ok… that’s an exaggeration but anyway, was thinking of a curry gravy of some sort with grilled chicken so dropped by Cold Storage on my way back so here goes…

Group 1 – The Meat
2 Chicken Breasts
Cajun Seasoning
Garlic Salt
Olive Oil
Black Pepper
Fresh Thyme
5 Spice Powder
Port Wine/ Red Wine (To deglaze the grill)
Group 2 – The Sauce
1 tsp Curry Powder
Shitake Mushrooms (Sliced)
Shallots (Chopped Fine)
1 Garlic (Chopped Fine)
2 Celery Stalks (Use as much of the stems with leaves)
Low Fat Milk
Group 3 – Potatoes
2 Potatoes
Dried Rosemary
Bolognaise Seasoning

Alright, firstly wash the potatoes then cut them into small little cubes. This is to help them cook faster. You want them bigger, that’s fine. These potatoes will eventually be stirred into the sauce but you can either fry them or steam them first… The latter would probably be healthier. The seasoning’s there because I was watching Chef at Home and he actually dumped some herbs into the water used for steaming the potatoes so I tried that as well… Damn fragrant the air after that… Didn’t do much for the potatoes though… Maybe all buried within the curry gravy as well. Anyway, just chuck all the dried herbs into the water and let them boil. I actually steam the potatoes so the nutrients don’t get leached out into the water (which happens when you boil the potatoes).

While the potatoes are steaming, season the chicken breasts. Where the chicken’s concerned, you want to leave the skin on cos’ that’s the best part. (The heck with cholesterol) but remove as much of the fat as possible then pat dry. Sprinkle some olive oil and basically chuck all the seasoning, herbs & spices in and rub well. Chuck the thyme under the skin and rub the spices underneath that as well. When the remaining fat renders on the grill it’s going to absorb the flavours.

The potatoes should be done by now so take them out and brown them in the oven with some olive oil while you heat up the grill. I use a grilling pan instead of an actual grill.

Once the meat is done, scoop them out then deglaze the grilling pan with some Port wine. I love this cos’ it actually absorbs the flavour seared onto the grill into the wine so the flavour doesn’t go to waste. Add some water then let it reduce for about 3 mins.

In the meantime, sauté the shallots & garlic till soft then chuck in the celery. Sauté for about 3 mins then pour in the reduced meat liquid then let it simmer for about 3 mins then chuck in the mushrooms. Mix well then chuck in the potatoes and again, mix well. Sprinkle some black pepper, Cajun seasoning and curry powder. Mix well then pour in the low fat milk (this is a substitute for coconut milk/ cream) then chuck in the potatoes. You can add some fish sauce/ salt to your taste.

You’re done. It looks like a long process but all it took me was about 30 – 45 mins and it didn’t really create a big mess. The cost for two persons? Only about RM 30 and I have lots of celery to spare. You can actually add more milk so you get more gravy in which case you need more curry powder as well and trust me… Get some garlic toast and dip ‘em in. Have fun.

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