I don’t know about you, but January always poses somewhat of a cooking-block for me. After all the food and sweets we ate over the holidays I am generally uninspired to cook. But there is this husband I have to feed, and he really likes to eat, so we must cook.
So I’m looking for inspiration, old standards, new experiments, exciting new tastes. I’m going to start posting my favorites old recipes and the best new ones. I’ll try to be really good about categorizing them so you (and I) can find them again later.
To start out, here’s one I was thinking about the other day. I’ve made it a few times, and if you like Indian food, it is really great. Kinda different from anything I had when we were there, but I love love love it. And it has cilantro.
I’m of the opinion that you can never have too much cilantro.
At any rate, here’s the first of (hopefully) many recipes to be catalogued here.
(OH! And may I suggest you do your mis en place with this one? Some of the ingredients are added in quick succession, so just do all your prep before you get started cooking. You’ll thank me later.)
Lemony Chicken with Cilantro
– serves 6 –Adapted from Indian Cooking by Madhur Jaffrey.
2 to 3 large chunks of ginger, at least 1-inch square, peeled and coarsley chopped
1 cup water
6 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 1/2 pounds chicken pieces, preferably legs and thighs, skin removed
5 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
7 ounces chopped cilantro (about 3 cups, from 3 to 4 bunches)
1 fresh green chile, deseeded and minced
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
2 tablespoons lemon juice, more to taste
1. In a small food processor or blender, blend the ginger pieces with 4 tablespoons water to make a paste. Measure out the spices and other ingredients so they’re ready.
2. Heat the oil in a wide, heavy pot over medium-high heat. Brown the chicken pieces in a single layer, cooking in batches if necessary, on both sides. Remove with a slotted spoon to a bowl.
3. Put the garlic into the hot oil, and after a minute when it turns golden, add the ginger paste. Fry for an additional minute, then add the green chili, cayenne, cumin, coriander, turmeric, and salt. When the spices have cooked together for a few moments and the flavors begin to marry, add the cilantro.
4. As the cilantro begins to wilt, continue to stir, then add the chicken pieces, any accumulated juice in the bowl, and 2/3 cup water with the lemon juice. Cover, lower the heat to a simmer, and cook for 25-30 minutes, turning once, until the chicken is tender. Uncover and cook further to thicken the sauce, if necessary, and taste for salt and lemon juice. Serve with rice.