Pan-Fried Chicken in Plum Sauce

Today's the 15th of August...as I write this my country celebrates her 68th year of independence from the British yoke. But I'm not going to make this post a speech championing freedom or debating whether or not we really are free. Instead, I'm going to dot this post with the memories I have of this day since I've started understanding its significance.
Throughout my school life, the morning of this day was spent attending the flag hoisting ceremony. But what really got us excited was the March Past that followed. Lined in neat rows the four houses, one after the other would start their march, their flags (denoting the colours of their house) fluttering high at the same level as the tricolour. The sight of the red, blue, yellow and green flags gracing the waves of saffron, white and green would fill my heart with a bliss and pleasure hitherto unknown. Our most dreaded anticipation, which came true in almost all my years in senior school, would be the fear of rains. The downpour would mean that we had to vacate the field and jostle ourselves in the garage (where otherwise the school buses would be parked) and carry out the ceremony. But the weather would never be able to dampen our spirits, and soon after the march past was over we would rush to the school auditorium, change into our performance outfits and get on the stage for the day's cultural programmes, which would include dance recitals, music and drama. Since school would get over before the usual time, on many occasions some of us would plan a lunch or movie outside. In those days of no coffee shops and no mobile phones, these long-planned get-together or outings were precious, trust me!
The last flag-hoisting ceremony I attended was back in 2009 when I was in journalism school. And since then, 15th August has boiled down to any other working day, sans any march past, any functions or even the sight of any flag. It is now restricted to only deshatmabodhok gaan (patriotic songs) played on the radio and microphones blasting in the neighbourhood.
But what still remains from the practice harboured in our family for as long as I can remember is the customary Independence Day lunch. During the heydays of my grandparents it would typically be rice and mutton which the whole family would sit around and savour. But since we had this mutton dish barely a couple of days back, I chose to do something with its leaner counterpart. I had a few plums left from my trip to Kashmir, and this is how I made good use of them. A delicious sweet and sour plum sauce that bathed the chicken pieces in its smooth lusciousness. The recipe might appear long but it requires very little work and if you notice, the same ingredients and used over and over again. You can make the plum sauce more than required and have it as a dip with your fried stuff as well. I would totally, if I had any left!
Serves: 4

Ingredients:

Chicken, cut into pieces: 500 gm (I used legs and thighs, you can even use boneless bite-size pieces)
Garlic, chopped finely: 1 tbsp
Onion, chopped finely: 1
Capsicum, chopped finely: 1 medium
Green Onions, chopped finely: 1/2 cup + for garnish
Green chillies, chopped finely: 2
Red wine: 1/4 cup
Olive: 2 tbsp
Salt to taste

Marination:

Garlic paste: 1 tbsp
Ginger paste: 1 tsp
Balsamic vinegar: 1 tbsp
Red wine: 1/4 cup
Cornflour: 1 tsp
Salt

For Plum Sauce:

Plums, roughly chopped: 7-8 medium
Garlic. chopped finely: 1 tbsp
Honey: 3-4 tbsp
Balsamic vinegar: 1 tbsp
Soy sauce; 1 tsp
Red wine: 1/4 cup
Olive oil: 1 tbsp
Water: 1/4 water
Sugar: 1 tbsp
Salt, to taste
Pepper powder: 1/2 tsp

Method:

1. Marinade the chicken pieces with the given ingredients and refrigerate for 3-4 hours or overnight.

2. For the plum sauce: In a deep-bottomed non-stick pan, heat 1 tbsp oil and add chopped garlic and saute for a minute or so till it releases fragrance. Add the chopped plums and continue to saute till semi soft and pulpy. Add honey, sugar, pepper powder and the water and reduce till thick-ish but still runny. Splash balsamic, soy sauce and red wine and season with salt. Stir and once syrupy, set aside and let it cool. Once cooled, blend that in the mixer into a smooth puree.

3. In another deep-bottomed non-stick pan, heat 2 tbsp oil (or as required) and lightly fry the chicken pieces till soft and golden brown. Make sure to turn it once a while so that all the sides get seared equally. Take off from heat and set aside.

4. In the same oil, add onions and stir in medium high heat vigorously till soft and translucent. Add garlic and continue to stir. After a minute add the capsicum and after another 2 minutes of stirring the green onions.

5. Add the fried chicken pieces along with the marinade and cook on medium high for 2 minutes.

6. Add the plum sauce and coat the chicken pieces well with it. Add the remaining red wine and a dash of water (if you want a runnier gravy). Check for seasoning and add salt if required and coo for a further 2 minutes or till the gravy reaches the desired consistency.

7. Take off from heat and serve with fried rice or noodles.

Comments

  1. You brought back fond memories :) :) Do you remember the drama we performed in Class IX? Such difference of opinion we had about the script ;) ;)

    I am enjoying the intro you give before each recipe - gives it an extra flavour :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How can I forget? I played Yousuf bhai and died in the climax. Annie had died a couple of scenes back. We even had our "martyr" pictures displayed on the mantelpiece that formed a part of the set. :P

      And thank you. Coming from a seasoned writer/blogger/author like you, it really means a lot. :)

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