Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Ginger Curried Fried Chicken -- Perfect for Picnics



You must know that feeling. When you are horrified right down to your toes, I mean mortified, at the actions of your family. Somehow they have taken it as their personal hobby to embarrass you and you are suffering for their thoughtless actions. This embarrassment is a condition that peaks in middle school, though you might find you have short breakouts at important milestones like graduations, weddings, and births.

Families are at their most embarrassing when they are just being themselves. You know, when your dad hugs you before you drop your backpack in the front seat and slink into the car. When your mom calls you sweetheart at the top of her lungs in front of your sixth grade classroom. Or, when your whole family camps out on the waterfront in Monterey, and pulls out their tiffins of stinky, boring Indian food. Not only do they dig into their poha bhaji and butter and chutney sandwiches with unrepentant gusto, but they actually offer you a plate. As if. Ugh, could they be lamer?


Be warned, it gets worse. You might work as hard as you can to create a delicious picnic. You stay up late to make homemade pita and your child’s favorite masoor dal/ canellini bean hummus. You make ginger/ chilli fried chicken. You pack it all up in a lovely, festive pink lunchbox. And, then when you take out the lunchbox at the picnic site, asking your “sweet baby” if she would like some chicken, she turns and looks at you. I don’t mean a casual look. I mean she stops you with a stare, one that looks eerily like your own. Her eyes have a mature aspect that surprises you. She looks at you without a smile, in fact, her little lips curl down ever so slightly. All of sudden you realize its true, families are embarrassing—even you.


Ginger Curried Fried Chicken:

For two whole chicken cut into pieces…
In a large bowl combine, marinate chicken in:
2 1/2 cups buttermilk
2 T Malaysian curry powder
1 t ginger powder
1 t turmeric
2 t kosher salt
1 t chili powder
2 t coriander seeds crushed
2 1.5 inches ginger cubed large, don’t worry about peeling
3-5 cloves garlic crushed, don’t worry about peeling
1 small onion chopped

Marinate the chicken overnight (at least). Turn chicken at least once.

Make the coating. In a deep plate or shallow bowl combine:
1 cup white flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup chickpea flour (roasted in a dry skillet)
1 T paprika
1 t ginger power
1 t cumin flour
1/2 t chili powder

Dredge the chicken in the flour. Let rest on a rack. Shake the chicken slightly to remove excess. Let rest. And, then dredge in the flour again.

Par-fry in 2 inches of oil in a cast iron skillet. Use shortening. I know that there are those who would use lard. I support that, but I didn’t grow up with lard, and then taste doesn’t work for me. Fry 4-5 minutes on each side or until golden brown.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes.

Serve warm, cool, or standing right next to the oven.


Anonymous said...

great tale! totally true, sadly. we're all lame in our own respects, and i think we should just come to terms with it. i for one would love to have picnics with tiffins full of indian food -- especially this fried chicken. i'll have to remember this idea.

cheers and thanks,


Joanne said...

So ironic, I'm currently reading the memoirs of Madhur Jaffrey and she describes a similar experience...going on a picnic with her family while they're pulling out all of their homemade Indian food and she just wants to be eating street food. I guess not so similar but your story reminded me of her story.

I think it's probably just a phase. You get embarrassed for a while and then all of a sudden you realize you're not anymore. And who could be embarrassed of such a delicious chicken recipe, really?

Sarah said...

Great photos, your picnic looked wonderful :) Indian food is anything but boring to me. My family still till this day eats from a relatively short list of german/american favorites.

Maybelle is such a beautiful girl, and growing so quickly! It was interesting to see your family portrait on your blog next to the picnic pic of her.

Where can you get Malaysian curry powder? I'm going to forward the chicken recipe to Ben, sounds like a flavorful twist on an old favorite.

Heather S-G said...

LOL, what can ya do!? She'll look back on it with love (just remember that, lol)...whether she knows it now or not. This chicken sounds amazing!

mary said...

I really really want the chicken. However, I have homemade pita and hummus for lunch, at least.

Unknown said...

Aw, heartbreaking! But I guess it's something that everyone goes through... I know that I wasn't easy on my parents, but thankfully I grew out of it and appreciate everything that they do for me. I can only wish that my mother would make me hummus!!
But see, now that the embarassment thing has started, you have to do everything possible to embarass her... I think it must classify as one of the perks of parenthood. ;)

Unknown said...

Lovely post, the last shot is super cool!

FOODalogue said...

She'll change her tune one day. Meantime, if there's any leftover... Looks delicious.

lisaiscooking said...

She's growing up! This picnic doesn't sound embarrassing at all though. Your chicken looks delicious!

Thistlemoon said...

Looks delicious! I love the flavors and I will come to your picnic any day!

Marisa said...

Yup, families will always be embarrassing I think. Or at least until you're out of school. At which time you prepare to start becoming an embarrassment to your children.

Ben said...

We had this for dinner tonight (Malaysian curry powder ground up from a recipe) and it was really, really good. The chicken was flavored all the way though, and everything was floral and spicy. Our son, rather than thumbing his nose at it, ate more than he usually does of fried chicken and even said "I really like the outside." We served it with green beans cooked with ginger and garlic, topped with fresh mint.

Ann said...

Oh yum - that chicken looks scrumptious. Just found your blog via Marisa's and an indian potato salad ;-). You did make me laugh when you mentioned Indian people pulling out tins of bhaji when on the beach. Wait, there's even a movie about that!

Unknown said...

Lovely photos and the chicken sounds amazing!