Welcome to the next post in my series on my holiday in Scotland. This one is different from most of the others as it does not feature photos. The theme is Thursday’s supper, which was my signature dish.
LEMONY CHICKEN AND CORIANDER
Although the version of the dish that I am describing differs from the original by enough to count as my own, it developed from a recipe created by Madhur Jaffrey (hence the reference to cultural appropriation). Courtesy of the Fort William branch of Morrisons and a little forethought I had the following ingredients at my disposal:
- 1 large ginger root
- 1 head of garlic
- eight chicken thighs
- 70g of fresh coriander
- 4 lemons
- ground coriander
- ground cumin
- 500g pasta
To start my mother grated half of the ginger, which I then mixed with a tiny amount of water to form the necessary paste. I assembled my mix of salt and dried spices (2 teaspoons ground cumin, 1 teaspoon ground coriander and 1 and a half teaspoons of salt mixed together in a cup). Having consulted with my mother as to how much butter would be necessary to equate to a tablespoon of olive oil I melted the appropriate quantity in the largest available pan and having removed the skin from the chicken thighs put them on to cook. This done I squeezed the lemons, and commenced chopping the garlic. I had initially envisaged using the whole head of garlic, but by the time I had chopped half of it as finely as I am capable of I reckoned based on experience that I had sufficient chopped garlic for my purposed. Removing the chicken from the pan I added the garlic and stirred continuously for about one minute, until it picked up some colour (the stirring is because I did not want it in direct contact with the base of the pan, when it would have burned). Now it was time to add the ginger paste and stir thoroughly. Roughly chopping the fresh coriander that went in next along with the ground cumin, ground coriander and salt mix. Then the chicken went back in, followed by the addition of the lemon juice and a tiny amount of water. Then once this mixture had started to bubble I put the lid on, turned the heat right down and had a fifteen minute lull, which I used to attend to some of the cleaning. Having tested the mixture at that point and found it good it was time to attend to the pasta. 15 minutes later the meal was ready. I started by serving each person two thighs and some pasta, over which I drizzled some of the juices (more generously for my father who is not that keen on pasta than for the rest of us).
Everything got eaten, including the two bonus thighs.
The reason for the imprecision in the description of the cooking is that I know from experience when I have enough of any given ingredient. The biggest difference between my version and the Jaffrey original in that that one incliudes chili and cayenne, neither of which I use, because while I like strongly flavoured food, as this was, I do not like to blow the roof off my mouth. Also she recommends much more oil than I use.