Monday, April 23, 2007

"Madhur Jaffrey's A Taste of the Far East" by Madhur Jaffrey - Chicken Roasted with Gingered Soy Sauce

Madhur Jaffrey’s A Taste of the Far East by Madhur Jaffrey (Cookbook of the Year – The James Bear Awards)
Published by: Carol Southern Books New York
ISBN: 0-517-59548-6

Recipe: Chicken Roasted with Gingered Soy Sauce – p. 90

Okay, here’s my story and I’m sticking to it: The other day a friend and I ate lunch at a local Indian restaurant.

Okay, that’s only part of the story. When I got home that day, my craving for Indian food continued but alas, I only had one Indian cookbook in my collection – Curries and Bugles – A Cookbook of the British Raj and the recipes in there just didn’t satisfy my craving, quite possibly because half the recipes were British in nature, left over from the British occupation days. (I mean really people, does a recipe for "Bloody Mary shellfish mould" scream “Indian food” to you? I thought not.)

Anyway, what I did have was one of Madhur Jaffrey’s cookbooks. For those who don’t know, Madhur Jaffrey is the doyenne of Indian cooking. She’s written tons of cookbooks about Indian cooking, owns Dawat, an Indian restaurant in Manhattan which I’ve eaten at (well, okay, it was a catered buffet luncheon, but still...), and was on NPR’s The Splendid Table radio broadcast a few weeks ago.

And yet, the cookbook that I owned was her cookbook about Far East cooking – go figure.

My husband and I have made the roasted chicken recipe several times now and it’s delicious. The chicken is really moist and the flavors blend nicely for a rich, but not overpowering, flavor.

Madhur says this recipe hails from Malaysia which has nothing in common with India except that they both end in “ia” but if you’re trying to feed a yen for Indian food without actually having a recipe at your disposal (details, details) this isn’t a bad way to go.

Chicken Roasted with Gingered Soy Sauce – Serves 4
1 medium-sized onion, peeled and coarsely chopped (85g/3 oz)
3 cloves garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 ½ inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped (4 cm)
3 ½ lb chicken (1.5 kg)
6 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar – use a mild vinegar, such as Japanese vinegar (or cider vinegar)
3 tablespoons Chinese dark soy sauce
2 ½ tablespoons sugar
¾ teaspoon salt

Put the onion, garlic and ginger into the container of an electric blender. (We used our Cuisinart). Blend, adding just as much water as you need to make the machine do its work. Put the chicken in a roasting pan. Rub half of the onion-garlic-ginger mixture all over the chicken, inside and out, and leave for 1 hour. Put the remaining paste in a bowl. Add the oil, vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, salt and 6 tablespoons water. Mix.

Preheat the oven to 350 Fahrenheit, 180 Celsius. Pour as much of the soy sauce mixture into the cavity of the chicken as it will hold easily. (Madhur notes that she raises the tail end of the chicken slightly by putting the neck under it so that the liquid will stay in but I have no recollection of whether we did that or not). Bake the chicken for 25 minutes, basting it every now and then with the sauce in the bowl. Now put all the remaining sauce around the chicken. Keep basting it for another 50 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. If the sauce in the pan begins to dry out and get scorched, add 1 tablespoon or so of water to the pan and scrape it quickly.

No comments: