Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Homemade KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken)


Well, here is something I relish when we have friends come over to our place. Its super easy, and the taste just keeps your hands hooked to the plate it is served on :D ...

Though I could not post this during the Superbowl season, I would definitly want to share it with you so that you can get ready to prepare it to cheer up the Red Sox :) (Yes I am from Boston, hence I am for the Red Sox :)


V was very happy and loved it lots. So I am looking forward to fry this soon another time as now we are on a vegetarian diet as of now (lets see till when it will last :D ) .

I learned quiet a lot of tips from the Food Network guys. Some of them I have incorporated in this recipe, such as the method of coating the chicken with the bread crumbs, flour and a very nice way to drop the chicken in the oil without having the chicken stick to the bottom of the vessel initially when it is dropped. Here is the recipe:

Ingredients:

Chicken breast (or thighs) (skinless and boneless) cut into bite size pieces : As per your requirement

Marinade:
Chilli powder
Coriander powder
Garam masala powder
Freshly cracked pepper (Try not to substitute this with the store bought powdered pepper, it just takes away a lot of taste)
Ginger-garlic paste
Lemon juice (or extract) : a little to coat all pieces

Coating:

Wet coating: Egg wash or a loose paste formed with all purpose flour and water

Dry coating: 1 cup bread crumbs + 1/2 cup all purpose flour + (optional)2 tablespoons freshly cracked pepper
Method:

Clean the chicken pieces. Marinate the chicken for an hour. Prepare the dry coating by all the dry ingredients and transferring them into a Ziploc bag. I got this tip and many others from watching the Food Network people. The Ziploc bag is a good idea to store a lot of things which gets perished if not stored properly.

Take each chicken piece and cover it with wet coating and then and drop it in the Ziploc bag. After you put two or three pieces, zip the bag and shake it to coat the pieces. Then unzip the bag and transfer the rest of the chicken into the bag.
If you have too many chicken pieces, prepare the dry ingredients in the second zip lock bag and add the rest of the chicken pieces into the second bag.

Properly zip the bag start shaking it to coat all the chicken pieces, (believe me you don't need a bag full of dry coating to coat many chicken pieces because when you zip the bag and start shaking it hard (you can even shake it upside down without fearing any mess in the kitchen. Just make sure that the Ziploc bag is properly zipped). I guess you can do this even in a air tight container. I haven't tried it though. Store the Ziploc bag in the refrigerator to marinate the chicken pieces overnight with a good dry coating.


The next day, you find that the chicken pieces have got a really good coating. Don't try to shake off the excess bread crumb coating , off the chicken pieces too much. Remember that it was stored in the refrigerator to get a nice thick coating. Heat oil for frying in a deep frying pan. Now the next step is yet another tip I got, and that is when the oil is heated, hold the chicken piece to be fried with a fork, slowly dip the chicken piece into the hot oil, when the chicken is half way into the oil, with a knife slowly pull off the chicken from the fork to drop it in the oil. This sounds too many steps to just fry a chicken :) but believe me it makes things easier to clean and take care of later.


Fry the chicken evenly. It might take approximately 5 to 10 minutes minutes to fry a piece if you have not put too many chicken pieces in the oil at once. Also, smaller pieces tend to fry faster than bigger ones.


Once chicken is fried, drain them on paper towels or cotton cloth. Serve it with onion and tomato sauce. Tadaa ..you are ready for that fun evening with friends coming over or just enjoy it on your own :)

Beetroot - Cucumber Raita

Hi friends, these days I am trying to incorporate a lot of veggies and maintain a well balanced diet. I had some beetroot and cucumber. I was tired of making the same beetroot curry which goes along with roti. I wanted to try something different. Long back, I had been to a friend's place where she had prepared a delicious raita with grated veggies and it tasted out of the world with roti and rice. Moreover, V likes curd with anything and if anything is made out of curd, he would just gobble the whole thing :) I decided to use the Beetroot and Cucumber to make this raita and let me tell you it came out really well. I also used thinly sliced onions in this. I will give a tip I learned from my mother, to incorporate the Onions in the raita. Though is really simple, it makes a good difference in the taste. Let me tell you that this raita also served as a wonderful dip with potato wafers.
Ingredients:

Beetroot : 1/2 is enough to make a bowl (as in picture) of raita
Cucumber: 1
Onion: 1/2 thinly sliced
Curd: 3-4 tablespoons or as needed (do not add water to the raita to make it thin)
Salt: as needed

Method:

Let me start with the tip I was telling about. Apply a little salt to the thinly sliced onion and mix it well and keep it aside. This takes that raw acid like taste you get when you bite the onion. Grate the Beetroot and Cucumber in the same bowl used for making raita.
Now squeeze the water from the salted onions (try to squeeze the maximum water with your hand. You will see that the onions become very tender and soft and fragile(not exactly the word I wanted to use (:D (i hope this word would help describe the look and feel of the onion) and discard that water and add the onions to the grated Beetroot and Cucumber. Add the curd to this and mix it well with a fork. You will see that a small amount of curd is sufficient for this raita. If needed add a little more salt to taste. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves. Serve it as a side dish with roti or as a dip with wafers.

Left over Lentil Instant Dosa

I had a lot of leftover lentils in my pantry. I decided to go wild and use all of it to make this adai-like dosa. I cant call it adai because it has more variety of lentils than the adai recipe would call for :D

Ingredients:

Rajma (Kidney Beans), Garbanzo (kadala, chana), Toor dal, Urad dal, Moong dal,Green gram : Together 2 cups (or you can vary the cups according to your needs. It doesn't matter because you grind it together to make the dosa).

Whole Red Chilly : to taste

Water: To soak all the above ingredients together

Salt: to taste

Oil: to make dosa

Method:

Soak all the ingredients together in lots of water along with whole red chilly overnight. The next day separate the chilly from the water and grind the lentils and whole red chilly together in batches if necessary (don't over load the blender or mixer), with enough water to grind it like you would grind for dosa batter.
Add salt to the batter and mix it well. Add a little dry mango powder or some tamarind pulp (not too much as it would make it very sour). Mix it well. Start making dosas. Add a little oil when the middle of the dosas turns brown (as shown above). Flip over and let it cook for a few more seconds and take it off the pan. Serve it with hot sambar, or chutney . Store the leftover batter in a airtight container in the refrigerator.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Some self tried tips

a) To clean your counter top in kitchen when it has stubborn grease and mess using baking soda. First wipe the counter top with a wet towel and then sprinkle baking soda all over to. Then after a minute using a wet paper napkin ( preferably) , start scrubbing the counter top, you will immedietly see that the some of the stubborn grease starts coming off. Rinse the paper napkin and again repeat (It might take a while if the cleaning has not been done for a long time). But be patient.

b) Freshly crushed pepper is much better than ground pepper. Just add it to your daily omelete or scrambled egg to start with to know the difference:)

c) The dried leaves of a plant act as good manure to the plant. I tried it on my rose plant.

d) If you have problems or restrictions owning a pet (even an aquarium) and you are so fond of owning something, own a plant:) its like taking care of a kid:) water it, nourish it (all this can be done with less cost than owning a pet) , and it will smile at you with its new leaves, and budding flowers, even better if you grow vegetables, you get your own home grown veggies:) You can even buy a pot from your local "stop n shop" store .

e) If you feel hungry and very tempted to snack on chips, sweets, just calm down and go to the fridge and grab the whole bunch of fruits, cereals, nuts, milk (just do that without thinking that you are going to eat them). Then start hogging with these, dont even grab a plate, just hog on this:) ....you might think I have completly lost my mind, believe me, it works mostly.

f) I read it somewhere in Internet: To avoid unnessesary stress in life:

- There is no need to make your home look like those in movies or soaps or even cookery shows
- Think baby steps: It works not only when you are on the mission to learn something new, but also when you want to adjust with difficult people.
- Just thank God for what he is given you till now, not just keep asking for more. Its always a "ThanksGiving Day" (or night) when it comes to God ;)

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