Madhur Jaffery’s cookbook: Food for family and friends, 192pp.
by Madhur Jaffery
Pan Books, United Kingdom, 1989
Cooking on page 32
I’m travelling in India for two months, so I’m delighted to present another guest recipe by Jan (of Jan and Russ). You might remember the amazing papaya salad she contributed in 2012 and the sensational fish dish we cooked together at their home in Warnambool.
Jaffery says this is one of her family’s favourite recipes and a dish her daughters prepare when they entertain their friends.
Here’s the recipe and what Jan had to say.
I was in a charity shop looking for books a couple of weeks ago and bought a Madhur Jaffrey one. Took it home then thought to check page 32. This is what I found.
5 cloves garlic, peeled and mashed to a pulp
2 teaspoons/10ml peeled and very finely grated fresh ginger
1/4–1/2 teaspoon/1.25–2.5ml cayenne pepper (optional)
1 tablespoon/15ml ground cumin seeds
1 1/2 teaspoons/7.5ml salt
freshly ground pepper
2 1/2 tablespoons/37ml distilled white vinegar
3 whole chicken breast, separated into 6 halves, skinned, boned and flattened (the butcher can do this), each about 1/2in/1.5cm thick
3 tablespoons/45ml olive or other vegetable oil
2 tablespoons/30ml finely chopped chives or chopped parsley
Put the garlic, ginger, cayenne, cumin, salt, pepper and vinegar in a small bowl. Mix well. This is the marinade.
Put the chicken in a larger bowl. Empty the marinade over it and mix well. Prod all pieces lightly with a fork, so the marinade goes inside a bit. (Do not let the pieces break; handle them gently.) Set aside for half an hour.
Heat 2 tablespoons/30ml of the oil in a non-stick frying pan over a medium-high flame. When hot, pat the chicken pieces with paper towels and put in as many as the pan will hold in a single layer. Cook for 2–3 minutes or until nicely browned. Turn over and brown the second side for another 2–3 minutes. The chicken should be just cooked through.
Put on a warm serving plate. Do the other chicken pieces the same way, adding the extra tablespoon of oil to the pan as and when you need it.
Garnish with the chives or parsley and serve hot.
How it played out
I made a few changes to the recipe due to what we had on hand here or could buy.
I used chicken thighs (my preference), a seeded medium-heat chilli (instead of the optional cayenne pepper), a teaspoon of freshly ground pepper. I intended to garnish with chopped fresh coriander, but had to use the parsley as written as there was no fresh coriander in Bowness!
I’d use the parsley again as it looked good but didn’t overpower the other flavours.
I used enough chicken for the two of us, but stayed with the same amounts for marinade.
Without any paper towels, the chicken was a bit moist and didn’t really brown, but the juices that created were fantastic over our rice.
This was quick to put together and cooked in the time our boil in the bag rice did (10 minutes).
I’ve found a winner and made it again the night before last. It was really easy and really, really delicious so I’ll be making it again.
More to enjoy
Thank you Jan for your wonderful contribution. It’s especially appreciated because Poor John and I are travelling. So it’s not that easy to make new recipes.
Food and travel lovers should check out Russ and Jan’s amazing blog. It’s loaded with tales of their jaunts as well as their delicious recipes.
Check out my travel blog too and see what we’re up to in India.