Sunday, June 13, 2010

Food Revolution: Salmon Tikka to Chipotle Chicken

Jamie's Food Revolution: Rediscover How to Cook Simple, Delicious, Affordable MealsLast week, my sister, Libby, invited me over for amazingly yummy Chicken Tikka Masala. She purchased Jamie Oliver's Jamie's Food Revolution, and wanted to try out one of the curries while her less-adventurous-foodwise hubby is out of town. It's hard to say for certain, but I think that chicken might be among the five best things I've ever eaten. I'm sure it was at least in part my sister's touch, but that recipe was amazing, so I bought my own copy of the book.

Part of the goal of the book is to get the people reading it to get their friends and family to cook, thus the "Revolution" part of the title. I'm stealing Libby's idea of using my blog to serve as part of that part of the process, but putting a bit of my own spin on it. Each time I make a recipe from the book, I'm going to try to also make my own dish inspired by that recipe. Hopefully by the end of this post that'll make more sense.

Since I loved the Chicken Tikka Masala so much, I decided to try the Quick Salmon Tikka with Cucumber Yogurt (that recipe is very close to the same, but the one in this book uses cilantro rather than coriander leaves) first. But before I could try that, I had to find some curry paste. Jamie mentions a specific brand, Patak's, as particularly good curry paste, but really any would have been fine... if Libby hadn't told me that her grocery store had the specific one he recommended. I tried four grocery stores (including the awesome MT Supermarket, "Central Texas's Premier Asian Grocery") with no luck, and was about to drive out to Libby's grocery (about a 20-minute drive) when I decided to try one more grocery store... which I happened to be near when I started my quest, but had assumed wouldn't have it. For the record, HEB at Parmer and Mopac currently has a special on Patak's Curry Pastes, while the HEB at Parmer and I35, the Hancock HEB, and the Far West HEB didn't have it as of yesterday.

When I finally made it home with the Patak's and the other ingredients, I started a timer. The book said the  would take 17 minutes, and it did have "Quick" right there in the name, "Quick Salmon Tikka with Cucumber Yogurt." My attempt didn't go quite that fast. Still, 33 minutes didn't seem too bad, especially since a good part of that was spent scaling the salmon that I thought was scale-less but turned out not to be. I'm pretty sure I could get it down to 17 minutes if I made it a few more times, so strong work there, Jamie. I somehow managed to forget the lemon juice, but it was still fantastic. It wasn't quite as good as the Chicken Tikka Masala, but, given the reduced prep time, it definitely passes. And, holy crap, it even turned out pretty (except for that piece of I think skin falling off on the left, I'm not sure why I allowed that in the photo)!

I had half a cucumber, half a lemon, and a ton of cilantro leftover from that recipe, and I purposefully got a bit extra plain yogurt with the intention of making more things with it... so I decided to try something, which is where I get to the whole point of this series. Each time I try one of Jamie's recipes, I'm going to try to also make something similar but not quite the same. To add to the leftover ingredients, I grabbed a jalapeƱo, a red bell pepper, and some chicken. Importantly, I already had some Tabasco Brand Chipotle Pepper Sauce (because that stuff is awesome and I try to always have at least one bottle of it around). This is what came out when all of that turned together in my head. It serves a little more than one but probably not quite two (I have leftovers, but I don't think it's quite a full meal's worth of leftovers). Add a chicken breast and make more of the Tabasco/cumin mix to coat it if you want to fully serve two:
  • 1 chicken breast
  • ~2 tbsp Tabasco Brand Chipotle Pepper Sauce
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 cucumber seeded and chopped
  • 1/2 cup nonfat plain yogurt
  • ~2 tbsp finely chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 jalapeno seeded and deribbed, finely chopped
  • ~2 tbsp chopped red pepper
  • 2 pieces flatbread
Heat the flatbread in your oven at 225 °F (just so it's warm when you put everything else on top of it). It can keep heating while you make everything else.

Combine everything but the chicken, Tabasco, and cumin in a bowl (although you should keep back a bit of each of the veggies to add to the top to make it pretty).

Heat a frying pan, and add just a little olive oil to the heated pan. As that heats, cut the chicken into strips. Combine the Tabasco and cumin in a bowl. Lightly coat the chicken in this mixture. Cook the chicken in the oil for about a minute and a half a side. I ended up cooking that covered on low for a while as I sorted out the other half, but, with the thin strips, it shouldn't take much longer than that to cook it completely. It stayed plenty moist for me, though, so it doesn't seem to hurt to throw a lid on the chicken, turn down the heat, and let it go for a bit as you sort everything else out..

Serve on the flatbreak (flatbread, yogurt mix, chicken, bits of veggies for pretty).

BTW, I had the flatbread from the Salmon (because I didn't feel like going on another hunt for naan, as much as it probably would have been worth it). If I didn't, I would definitely have used a tortilla of some sort to properly fully southwesternize this.

If you try it, please let me know... especially if you adapt the general idea into another variation.

1 comment:

Libby Hickson said...

I want to try both of these immediately!