Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Roasting chicken on a wood fire!

The son was bored. He had just finished his class XII exams but had the IIT entrance looming over his head, and judging from the fact that he gnashed his teeth and furrowed his brow every time he was reminded of it, he wasn't particularly looking forward to the prospect. There are chaps who will excitedly jump up and clap their hands in childlike joy when told that the IIT entrance exam is just a month away and there are chaps who will not. Younger son was resolutely among the latter.

"Play your guitar" I suggested. But his heart was not in that either. Apparently he had heard the guitar playing of one Joe Bonamassa and he despaired that he would never play anywhere remotely as well as him. "Look at Annie", consoled missus. Does the fact that he can't sing deter him from believing that he will one day be mistaken for Mallikarjun Mansur?"

That perked up the lad a bit. Slanderous libel, of course. I sing very very well indeed. But mother and son had a laugh and the missus, going all "awww" at my evident inability to see the humor in that, said "Lets grill some chicken"

"On the Berkely  Darfur stove?" I piped up excitedly

"Why not?"

So we marinaded a kg and a half in one cup dahi, 6 tbsps chilli powder, 3 tbsps salt (it did turn out to be a tad salty so you can consider making that 2 tbsps) and let it rest for an hour.

That done, it was time to light up the stove. This is easier said than done for city slickers but I luckily found that missus has a decent amount of experience. After laughing impolitely at my very scientific approach at initiating combustion, she rounded up some dried leaves and wood shavings and lit it up in a few minutes
I remembered an article written by my friend Madhu Menon, in my opinion one of this country's finest chefs, in the Mint newspaper. Dug it out surreptitiously on the phone and using his principles, grilled the chicken first on a hot flame for about two minutes (the Berkeley Darfur stove's capacity to deliver a very hot flame came in handy here) and then the second side for about 6 minutes on a side of the grate where the flames were not that intense

The result was chicken nicely charred on the outside and beautifully moist inside. Missus and son both loved the beautiful wood-smoked flavour!
I grilled a few potatoes and onions as well, and some cherry tomatoes plucked fresh from mom's terrace garden. Oh, and some fresh oregano leaves as well!
 Cheers, and hope you had a great Holi too.


parthicle said...

" 3 tbsps salt (it did turn out to be a tad salty so you can consider making that 2 tbsps) and let it rest for an hour."
...and guess you sample a few of Mallya's finest in that one hour while you waited?

sriks7 said...

What is Berkley Darfur ?