Friday, July 3, 2009
Paper Chef #42 : Chicken with Almond Sauce with Gremolata & Crispy Corn Kernels
Well, here's my Paper Chef Entry for this month. The ingredients were chosen by the lovely blog owner of Former Chef and were: chicken, almonds, corn and fish sauce.
Despite my familiarity with all 4 ingredients I was at a loss as to to what to do with them and spent a few hours surfing the Internet and leafing through some cookbooks and then I knew what I was going to do....but not entirely. So I admit to changing a few things while I was cooking.
Chicken with Almond Sauce with Gremolata & Crispy Corn Kernels
The Almond Sauce - Adapted from 'Cooking in Spain' by Janet Mendel
25 Marcona Almonds (blanched and skinned)
1 Slice Bread (25 g)
2 Cloves Garlic
3 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
10 Black Peppercorns
2.5 g Saffron Powder
1/2 Tsp Salt
100 ml Dark Sweet Vintage Sherry
1/4 liter Water
2 Chicken Thighs
1 Bird's Eye Chili
Fish Sauce (sprinkle this onto the chicken when marinating)
1 Lemon (the juice goes into the marinade - the skin is used to make Gremolata)
Parsley (a bunch of it)
Maiz Frito (Crispy Corn Kernels aka Corn Nuts)*
Step 1: Marinate the chicken legs inside fish sauce, lemon juice, 1 bird's eye chili, rosemary, salt and pepper. Leave for about 30 minutes.
Step 2: Fry the blanched marcona almonds, bread and garlic in extra virgin olive until toasted, and then put them inside a food processor.
Step 3: Add the black peppercorns, saffron, clove and salt and pulverize everything.
Step 4: Add the sherry to make a smooth paste.
Step 5: Braise the chicken in a pan until golden brown and then lower the heat and make sure they're thoroughly cooked, then set aside. Use a strainer of some kind to remove some of the excess rosemary inside the pan because the sauce won't look pretty with too much rosemary in it. You also should remove the bits of chili in there.
Step 6: Add the almond mixture into the remnants of the juices and oils from braising the chicken along with the water and let it cook until it's nice and thick.
Step 7: Put the chicken back into the pan with the sauce and let it cook for 10 minutes or so and then serve.
Step 8: Make the Gremolata without the garlic - lemon peel and parsley only.
Step 9: Serve the chicken with rice. Sprinkle the plate with crispy corn kernels and sprinkle Gremolata all over to make it look pretty.
Note 1: I didn't make Maiz Frito but bought them. You can make them but my kitchen already looked like a war zone.
Note 2: This tasted good and I'd make it again except I'd roast the chicken next time. It was too much work frying it inside a pan. Then I'd use the juices from the casserole dish to make the sauce.
Note 3: You will have leftover almond sauce, because this part of the recipe is for 4-6 people. I've saved my lovely sauce in a container now and will use them with some meatballs that I'll be making later today. The sauce is absolutely lovely with rice.