Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Chicken Saag With Makki di Roti

I previously explained how I'd cooked sarson ka saag (a spicy, garlicky dish of pureed greens) and makki di roti (corn roti).

And then there were leftovers! Here was my first variation:

I marinated (see my primer on marination) a couple pounds of chicken breast tenders in milk (sorry, ancestors), onion, saffron, cumin, and jalapeƱo for 45 minutes, then broiled until just barely brown on both sides. I chopped the chicken into bite sized chunks, added them to rewarmed sarson ka saag, and immediately served with leftover makki di roti, which I'd heated gently on the same cast iron griddle (no oil, just heat and a very watchful eye).

Using my surprisingly non-ditzy system for rating foods on a scale of 1 to 10, the previous night's efforts had rated a "7": Soulless but good (hey, it was my first time; I never expected to nail "good"!). Adding chicken (plus refrigeration's salubrious effect on the stew) bumped it up to an 8 ("Elicits vocal expression of pleasure. Appreciated with gusto").

As the French say, walla:

Since I'd used very little ghee, it was even healthy!

A note about chicken cutting. While I like vegetables cut professionally and evenly, I prefer bite-sized meat chunks cut more raggedly. I dislike the fibrous face of smoothly-cut cooked meats...there's a reason "pulled pork" (pulled everything these days) is so popular. Many creative triumphs stem from a willingness to try the wrong way!

Have a close look at the frontmost poultry in that photo, and I think you'll understand why I opted to hack it haphazardly with a dull butter knife. Same goes for the chicken in my very proud 5 minute taco recipe. You get better texture, mouthfeel diversity, and sauce-clingability with rough cutting.

Other postings in this series:
Part 1 (previous)
Part 3
Part 4

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