Sunday, September 28, 2008

Sizzlin' chicken

There was, probably is, a place called Zamu's in Pune which introduced me to the absolute goodness of Sizzlers. A cast iron plate, overflowing with tender chicken pieces, mounds of gooey mashed potatoes, sauteed sweet peas, and other assorted veggies came to the table magician style...in a cloud of smoke, making the beautiful sizzling sound butter makes when it hits a hot pan (I guess, hence the name). Zamu's quickly became my favorite haunt for a Dhansak meal (Sundays only) their famous drunken chicken sizzlers, the tree shaded courtyard, friendly service and the memory of my first wine cooler with a friend.
I love the idea of cooking with alcohol, sometimes I even put it in my food! (Stolen from a fridge magnet, lets not say stolen, lets say inspired!)
So this Sunday, I decided to recreate Zamu ishtyle Drunken Chicken Sizzler. All my searches for drunken chicken yielded a gross looking recipe that involved sticking a can of beer up a chicken's ass or something and while I'm sure the result, judging from the enthusiastic words about it, must have been pretty good, lets just say I wanted to eat what I cooked.
Warning, the process is a little labour intensive. Well, you are chopping something up or sauteing or skewering something, preferably of the food variety. But it can be cut down to the bare minimum...chicken, some type of noodle or rice and whatever veggies you can handle.
Since I couldn't find any recipes for the sizzler I wanted, I just made something on my own. The result was nowhere close to the bone sucking quality of Zamu's but it wasn't bad. There, that's my sales pitch for you. It wasn't bad. :)
I marinated the chicken for about 4 hours in a combination of beer and vodka along with some ginger-garlic paste and jalapeno sauce and served it with oven fried potatoes, peas, corn, spinach, sugar snap peas, mushrooms, onions and peppers. Oh, and I made tomatoes a new way, oven baked them with garlic and that recipe is a winner. Beautiful in its simplicity, the juicy tomato and the almost sweet garlic made a great addition to the plate.

So here goes my Zamu inspired chicken sizzler.

Chicken
2 boneless chicken breasts or thighs, cut into big cubes

Marinade
2 teaspoons garlic paste
2 teaspoons ginger paste
2-3 teaspoons jalapeno sauce
3 tsp cumin powder
1/2 cup mixed beer and vodka
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
salt-pepper to taste

Vegetables
2-3 plum tomatoes, cut into halves
4-6 garlic pods
2 potatoes cut into wedges
1/2 cup peas and corn
1/2 cup baby spinach leaves
1 medium onion, cut into large pieces
1 medium bell pepper, cut into large pieces
4-5 large mushrooms
1/2 cup olive oil
salt, pepper to taste
Italian seasoning
chili flakes

Sauce
1/2 cup chicken broth
2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp grated ginger
1 garlic pod smashed
1/2 tsp cornflour
1/2 cup parsley, chopped fine


Chop the chicken in big cubes and rub in the marinade given above. Cover and keep in the fridge for 4-5 hours. When done marinating, put on skewers and cook in the oven or a grill. Since potatoes take the second place for longest to cook, chop up the potatoes next, mix with some of the olive oil, Italian seasoning, salt-pepper and cook in an oven on 350 till done. Turn them over once while cooking.
I found this way for cooking tomatoes in my new cookbook and it absolutely rocks! Just halve the tomatoes, take the garlic pods, stick them in the tomatoes, brush with olive oil, sprinkle salt-pepper and cook in the oven.
Next chop the mushrooms, onions, bell pepper, brush with olive oil, seasoning and put that on skewers in the oven. Cook the peas and corn with a little bit of salt and add little butter to it(optional).
Saute the spinach with more garlic, if you are not on a date :). Saute the sugar snap peas very quickly too.
Boil everything for the sauce together and add parsley right before pulling off the flame.
Now take your cast iron plate. Heat it properly and pile on your chicken and veggies. Pour on the sauce for the sizzle and smoke. You can put any dipping sauce over it, or just put some butter or vinegar.
Appear magically in a cloud of smoke and serve immediately to delighted customers.



I made it just under the fence for Sri's Chicken Event of Me and My kitchen, who was nice enough to remind me about it. Do people already know about my procrastinating habits?




15 comments:

Divya Vikram

Platter looks too good..Sounds yummy

Priti

Difficult to say whether am enjoying your writeup for the pic of the dish. But both are fab. Sizzler looking absoluate delicious...nice recipe

Madhavi

Hummm my DH loves chicken and this is looks tempting. Nice platter!!

Manasi

Thanks DV
Priti, I can't say what I enjoy more, writing the blog or your compliments :)
Madhavi, Try it and let me know if DH liked it.

Laavanya

I don't eat chicken but that looks so colorful and interesting.

Manasi

laavanya, you could substitute the chicken with paneer. i bet paneer shashlik would be wonderful here, maybe that should be my next post?

Kitchen Flavours

Wow looks welcoming. I like the color. Awesome.

Manasi

thanks kitchen flavors, we always eat with out eyes first, right?

Sheetal Kiran

Zamus!!! Oh, the memories :D This is such a spectacular looking re-creation Manasi!! Love it! AM is a huge fan of the bird, I think I am going to surprise him with it.

I tried your stuffing for aloo paratha .. and it turned out spectacularly good. Some was left over, so added a couple of slices of bread and made patties. Even more spectacular :D

Manasi

sheetal! where wuz you? tujhya standards ni hi comment khup late ahe

Priti

hey where are you dear these days?

Priti

Where are you ?? Long time no see ? Hope everything fine with you...there is a award waiting for you in my blog http://indiankhanna.blogspot.com/2008/10/mix-veggie-curry-with-sambar-and-award.html

Sudeshna

hi Manasi,
The Sizzlin chicken looks real yummy.
Happy diwali in advance. There is a little surprise waiting for you on my blog, so do check that out
http://bengalicuisine.wordpress.com/awards/
Also check out the new event hosted by me and hope I would get some great recipes from you.

Sudeshna

Hi dear,
Happy Diwali to you and your family. There is a small Diwali gift for you on my blog, check this link for more http://bengalicuisine.wordpress.com/awards/
Wish to get some recipe for my blog event, check this link for more details http://bengalicuisine.wordpress.com/2008/10/13/event-of-the-month-satisfy-your-sweet-tooth/

Shama Nagarajan

yummy chicken........

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