Monday, June 23, 2014

Alka's Fried Chicken




"I watch what I eat everyday. I mean, who actually eats with their eyes closed?"
(~Brian Celio)

No, I never eat with my eyes closed Mr Brian Celio, but when temptation comes along, sometimes I succumb and eat with my mind closed and my eyes wide shut. At least I used to. Sadly things have changed now; I've become wiser, and temptations have lost their devilish enticement! Enough of this and let's move on to the obvious question on your mind: "Who on earth is Alka?"

Once upon a time, quite some years ago, we lived in the city of Udaipur. Here we met Alka. One of the delicious dishes she made was this chicken dish. I asked her what it was called and she was at a loss. She didn't know! As it turned out she had eaten it at someone's place and the lady didn't give her the recipe or Alka didn't ask for it, I forget the reason, but it isn't important. Like me, she too enjoyed guessing the ingredients and procedure of preparation by eating a particular food, as a result she got this chicken dish. However, she hadn't given it any name.

As all of us liked it a lot that was enough for me to include it in our daily home recipes. I have been cooking Alka's chicken for over two decades now. I make it almost the same way but as is my wont, I have tweaked it just a teeny-weeny bit. However, not enough to take away from the original and make it my own. And in honour of the girl who passed it on to me I called it Alka's chicken. So many years down the line, our family still calls it Alka's or Alka didi's chicken. And that's how I give it to you: Alka's Fried Chicken.


Ingredients:

Chicken legs (big).....................................2, each cut to get 3 pieces. Separate the thigh and drumstick. Cut thigh in half - yield= 6 pcs. This is optional, you could keep it whole

Sesame oil or peanut oil for frying (you can use any refined oil too!)
Onion..............................................1 medium, sliced fine.

For the sauce:

Tomato ketchup................................1 cup
Hot and sweet sauce........................1/4 cup, I use a Thai sauce and an Indian hot n sweet one
Soya.................................................1/4 cup or less if you prefer that
Chilli vinegar(optional)..................1 tbsp
Red wine vinegar.............................1-2 tbs
Red chilli powder (optional)...........a pinch, or acc to desired piquancy
Star anise.......................................1 small one or 1/2 a big one. (If you don't have star anise you could use a small stick of cinnamon)
Pepper corns.................................12-15
Onion............................................1/4, cut into thick slices or quarter
Garlic...........................................4-5 cloves, peeled and bruised
Ginger..........................................1" pc bruised or cut into big pieces
Green chilli..................................1-2, whole
Salt to taste
Water...........................................2-3 cups, or enough to cover the chicken
A bit of brown sugar or white, acc to taste

NOTE: Adjust quantities according to amount of chicken you use.


The salad I made:

Carrots
Artichoke (if you have some already cooked and edible parts separated)....fleshy bits from the leaves, and a couple of hearts chopped
Celery sticks.............................cut into thin strips
Cabbage...................................cut small or grated (Don't forget to wash the cabbage well)
Iceberg lettuce.........................cut small
Capers.....................................drained
Gherkins.................................sliced or chopped. I used a German brand which has a sweeter flavour to balance the sour.
Walnuts..................................chopped
Mayonaisse with olive oil......just a little, or you could just  drizzle olive oil on the salad. (This is optional. I don't smother my salads with mayo and don't suggest you do either!)
Lemon juice
Sea Salt 


Wash chicken pieces and make two diagonal cuts on both sides of the drumsticks, and the thighs if you are keeping them whole.

Mix all the items for the sauce except sugar and water. Stir to blend. (If you don't want it too chilli hot you should not add the whole green chilies at this point)

Now add 2 cups of water and stir well. Check for balance of all the flavours. Put to boil.

Hold back on increasing heat right now. Add more of whatever you think is required.

Add the chicken and put on the fire. If the water covers the chicken only half-way, add another cup. The chicken should be almost covered.

Cook on high until it begins to boil, then lower to medium high. Drop in whole green chillies now.

Cover and cook until the flesh is tender to a knife thrust, and not falling off the bone.

When done, pick out chicken from sauce.


While the chicken is cooking, heat about 3-4 tbsps of oil in a non-stick pan and brown the sliced onions.
When done, spread them at the bottom of a flat dish. Keep the pan aside to use for the chicken.



Check the chicken. If it is done remove from fire and gently pick out the chicken from the sauce. If it isn't done cook longer. In case it seems like the liquid content is less you may add a wee bit of water and cook covered a little longer.

Once the chicken is removed strain the sauce to separate the whole spices. The sauce should be thickish but not as thick as ketchup! If it isn't, return to fire and cook on low heat until it reaches the right consistency.

In the same fry pan, that you browned the onions in, heat about 2 tbsps of oil. Place the pieces of boiled chicken, with enough space between the pieces.

Turn over twice to get a mild browning on both sides.

Turn over twice to get a mild browning on both sides.


Now drizzle some sauce on the chicken and turn over. Then drizzle some more on the other side and turn over. When the chicken is done remove and place on the bed of fried onions.

Drizzle sauce on one side, cook., turn and drizzle some on the other side.


Pour the rest of the thick sauce liberally over all the chicken in the dish. garnish with green coriander or sliced onions.



Serve with a salad. You could also eat it with rice or bread.

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4 comments:

  1. Hi Alka, Thanks for inviting me to your food blog. This chicken looks tasty. Many blessings to you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Deborah, thank you for visiting. My name isn't Alka. My name is Joy! The dish 'Alka's Fried Chicken' has been named after the girl who passed the recipe on to me. Looking forward to seeing you here more often.

      Delete
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    1. Thank you Ewan zak. I did browse through your websites and found them interesting. I'll be there more often.

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