Tuesday, January 11, 2005
Cheat's Coronation Chicken
Here is one of the recipes I've been promising. This cooks up in about 30-40 minutes with relatively small mess. I personally think it tastes best after sitting overnight.
The recipe comes from the book The Ultimate 4 Ingredient Cookbook. I've provided two Amazon links at the bottom as the newest edition was not available at the time I posted this and the older edition (which I use) had some availability.
This first picture shows everything needed except the mixing bowls. You will need a graduated mixing bowl into which to measure the mayonnaise, a bowl to hold the pineapple juice, and finally a container to hold the finished entree.
The ingredients as listed on page 185 of the book:
1 tablespoon garam masala or curry powderNote: I was going to put the conversions for the measurements above but I'm not sure what a tablespoon should convert to. Instead I offer you a link to onlineconversion.com's volume conversions: http://www.onlineconversion.com/volume.htm
14 ounce can pineapple chunks in natural juice, drained and juice reserved
1 ¼ cups mayonnaise
3 cups cold cooked chicken, cut into bite-sized chucks
I use the recipe as a guide and make adjustments for my needs. My first step is to prepare the chicken. I use 1 ½ lbs of boneless chicken breast. I lightly season it with some seasoning salt or greek seasoning and some Worcestershire sauce then broil about 6 minutes per side.
My next steps include draining the pineapple juice into its own bowl. I usually use 20 ounces of chunked pineapple instead of the 14 ounces called for in the recipe. (what should ounces convert to?)
Next I measure out roughly 1 ½ to 2 cups of mayonnaise.
The instructions from the book are:
Heat a dry heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat. Add spice mix and heat for 1-2 minutes, stirring. Blend in 1-2 tablespoons reserved pineapple juice and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Add another tablespoon or so of juice and cook again for 1 minute. Add one more tablespoon and cook again. Leave to cool. Stir cooled paste into mayonnaise. Toss with pineapple and chicken. Season to taste. 4 servings.
I do not vary from their instruction much other than increased portions.
I use curry instead of garam masala. Remember Curries may prevent Alzheimers
Scientists have found that curcumin stops the accumulation of destructive beta amyloids that build up in the brains of sufferers.
The results, published in the Journal Of Biological Chemistry, suggest that curcumin would not only prevent the build-up of plaques in patients with the degenerative brain disease, but would block the plaques developing in the first place.
There are two tricks to making the curry paste. The first is in finding the correct skillet. And the second is finding the correct amount of heat (which may vary depending on your skillet). If you are turning your curry black and making your house smell like a campfire then you have one of those two things, or both, wrong. Your curry as it cooks should darken but not burn. It can become pasty like the consistency of a cheap toothpaste and still be used in your recipe. In my example, my paste was more liquid than I've every achieved before.
I have had great success with my Calphalon 10-Inch Omelet Pan where my stainless steel skillets have burned my curry and been a nightmare to clean. I believe the success is in the heavy thickness of the Calphalon and the way it heats slowly but retains the heat evenly.
I like to start with 2 tablespoons of curry and heat that with no liquid for 1-2 minutes depending on the temperature of the skillet. If you don't give your pan a chance to heat then you aren't really cooking the curry. I then put in 1 tablespoon of pineapple juice and again cook for 1 minute. As the recipe indicates we repeat this two more times then set aside to cool.
A better presentation:
- Heat 1-2 tablespoons curry for 1-2 minutes
- Blend in 1-2 tablespoons pineapple juice
- Cook for 1 minute
- Add 1 tablespoon pineapple juice.
- Cook for 1 minute
- Add 1 final tablespoon pineapple juice
- Cook for 1 minute
- Set pan aside to cool
The book adds this "Cook's Know-how":
As with all ground spices, buy curry powder or garam masala in small quantities because it loses its freshness if kept for longer than 6 months. Store in a cool, dry, dark place. Try making your own blend by combining and grinding whole spices.While my paste cools, I cube my chicken. Mix the cubed chicken and pineapple in a bowl. Mix the cooled curry paste and mayonnaise in the mixing bowl then add the curry mayonnaise mixture to the chicken and pineapple. Stir together.
The final product can be seen to the right. While spicy (tasty), this dish is not hot and should be appealing to most palates. This dish is ready to be eatten immediately. As I noted at the beginning, I find it a bit more flavorful the following day but it so tasty I have never been able to put it off that long. The dish stores well and can be prepared ahead of time to provide lunches and dinners throughout the week.