Sunday, February 7, 2010

Over Excited

Sometimes I get so excited about making a new recipe that I neglect to thoroughly read it, jump in head first and then realize I'm short a few ingredients and have to improvise. I hate doing that on a first try, and have been pretty good lately. That was until Friday. You see, I'm having some structural work done in my dining room which is connected to my kitchen and hadn't done any creative cooking all week. I wanted to make Bashian chicken with the six thighs I had frozen two weeks ago. Mid week I took the chicken out to defrost, went to the market to get the ingredients and Friday, with workmen gone for the weekend I was ready to rock and roll.

And then I gave the recipe a closer look. First of all it was hand written by me, I haven't a clue when, on a scrap of paper that was stuffed in my little recipe box (from the 70's) that I still use for odd little tid-bits I pick up here and there. Well, the recipe was incomplete. It was for a marinade for Bashian/Caribbean chicken and had no cooking instructions. Okay. I wanted to create, and now was my chance.

You'll need a blender for this.

Bashian Chicken:

2 red peppers diced
1/2 large onion diced-original recipe called for 1, but it seemed like a lot to me
4 scallions diced-original recipe said greens only. What the heck I used the bulbs too
oil- original recipe had no amount, so I started with 1 T and added a tsp more as the mixture was blending
1 Scotch Bonnet pepper diced- I used 3 Serano chilis since I was afraid the Scotch Bonnet would be too hot for even my palate. I left the seeds in
3 cloves of garlic chopped
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon- no specific amount was given so I guessed at the 1/2 tsp
1/4 tsp ground allspice- same with the allspice, a guess
1/4 tsp black pepper
3/4 tsp salt- this wasn't in the ingredient list at all, but it needs to be included
6 bone in chicken thighs, skin removed
1 can 14.5 oz fat free, low sodium chicken broth

Put all ingredients in a blender except chicken and chicken broth and buzz until liquified. I have issues with blenders since I seem to blow out or ignite their motors, so I now use the "ice crush" button for things like this, and so far I've been safe. When liquified you'll still see bits of peppers and onions and the color is a nice shade of coral. At this point taste the marinade. It was here that I realized it really needed salt. Also, the mixture was so spicey I had second thoughts about continuing. But I did. Place chicken and marinade in a large plastic re-sealable bag and refrigerate. There's no acid in the marinade so I imagine you could leave the chicken for a day or two if necessary. I got back to mine the next afternoon. Put chicken and all the marinade into a large pot and add the broth. Bring mixture to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer for 40 minutes.

I must say, the aroma in the house while this was cooking was heavenly. Cinnamon, allspice, black pepper and chicken broth are a delightful combination and captured the Caribbean vibe I was looking for. And when I tasted the sauce, the once overwhelming spiciness from the chilis had mellowed and I was a little sorry I hadn't used the Scotch Bonnet.
For the next stage of my Caribbean adventure I decided to make rice. I poured the cooked marinade and broth into a large measuring cup, skimmed off the fat (there was very little) and used it as my cooking liquid for the rice. Oh mon! It was all so good.


*Juliette* said...

This looks absolutely yummy! I've been trying to cut carbs and I love how you rework recipes to make them healthier here.

Linda said...

Thanks Juliette. I love taking high calorie/fat/carb loaded dishes and reworking them so I can (of course) EAT MORE. If you'd like something re-mixed let me know. It's a challenge I'm always up for. As you must know, I love your blog.

DeeDee2012 said...

Linda I am absolutely LOVING you recipes!! This is on my list to do! Love every thing about it!!

Linda said...

Diane, I really think you will like this because it's so flavorful and you can calorie-wise enjoy the rice with it because there's nothing but veggies in the broth. And cooking the rice in the broth is pretty flavorful too, a nice treat. Keep me posted!