I should apologize for the lack of a picture, because it is so beautifully orange, but I don’t have a camera that would show it.
Tonight I was preparing chicken so I would have something to make lunches with. I wanted flavor and simplicity of preparation (my two favorite things in a non-recipe) I decided to go with tandoori chicken with garlic and basil. That sounds fancy. How did I do that? Well, actually it’s the opposite of fancy and was very easy.
At some point I acquired a little tin of tandoori seasoning. I think it came from T.J. Maxx. Anyway, it’s a nice thing to have for when I want to make my rice bright corally orange, or add an interesting twist to dinner.
Surya, the best Indian restaurant EVER, which is located in my semi-hometown of Worcester, MA, makes deep red tandoori chicken. No other restaurant has ever made it half as good. So I tend to get something else. At other restaurants, the tandoori chicken just barely has a dusting of orange on it, and I wonder why it doesn’t stick.
I discovered, most likely by accident (but I can’t remember now), that if I stir it in with a little bit of cream (half and half is usually what I have available) the seasoning will stick to the chicken and make it nice and colorful. Raise your hand if you knew this trick. …Yeah, I didn’t think so.
So, anyway, if you’re interested in how I prepared tonight’s no-recipe chicken, it’s very basically like this:
Slice or chop two cloves of garlic and toss into vegetable/canola/olive oil, cook on a low-medium heat. If your stove is anything like mine, watch out for a spitting pan and you should probably wear pants, or you’ll end up with hot oil sprayed on your leg. It wasn’t scalding, so I’m ok.
Prepare boneless chicken meat to your preference. I like to cut it into strips, usually, as it cooks faster that way. Put chicken in oil, watching out for spitting again. I mean, really. Is it that the pan doesn’t like me?
Add cream. You don’t need much. I’d approximate three tablespoons or so. If you’re into the no-measuring style, just pour a small amount in, but enough that it can get around the whole pan.
Add tandoori! This is really don’t measure at all. maybe 1/2 tablespoon? It depends how strong you want it. And you can always add a little more if it’s not orange enough…
So, once you’ve put the cream and seasoning in the pan, mix that stuff up stir-fry style. Make sure all the chicken gets coated. Then let it simmer for a little while.
Last minute addition: if you suddenly get a desire to add a little more flavor, find an herb or something to toss in and mix that around at the end of the cooking. If your extra thing is onions, you might want to cook them a little more first. Just saying… my extra bit was dried basil.
Note: This anti-recipe would probably have best results with fresh basil and garlic that was purchased more recently than six months ago. I’m serious, I think that’s how long it was. Can you tell how often I cook with garlic?
Even though this was a dish I was making for later, I had to try a bite. It turned out great, if I do say so myself.
Posted on August 1, 2012, in Food and Drink, Non-recipes, Restaurants and tagged chicken, cooking, Food and Drink, Indian, recipe, recipeless, spices, tandoori. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.