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Thursday, February 01, 2007

Pepper Chicken


Boneless skinless chicken breasts marinated and cooked with spices, along with veggies, seems to be D's favorite meals. While I don't care much for chicken (or beef, or pork or seafood), I do try to cook just chicken breast for him on and off.

This pepper chicken recipe surprisingly came out pretty close to Chettinad flavor that D seems to enjoy a lot. A side of bok choy bites, inspired by the recipe in Emi Kazuko's book is an interesting accompaniment.

Instead of chicken, substitute chopped veggies and cook them in the black pepper sauce to keep the meal free of meat.
for the pepper sauce:
2 Tbsp whole black pepper
4-5 dry red chilies
1 Tbsp coriander seeds
1 bay leaf
1 1"-piece Indian cinnamon (dalchini)
2-3 Tbsp light soy sauce
2-3 Tbsp lime juice
2-3 garlic cloves, minced (optional)
1 medium shallot, diced finely
1 tsp brown sugar
1 boneless skinless chicken breast, thawed, diced

  1. Black pepper chicken: toast the dry ingredients for the pepper sauce, then, combine all the ingredients for black pepper sauce (except lime juice) in a blender and grind to a fine paste
  2. marinate the chicken breast pieces in some of the black pepper sauce for about 10-15 minutes; reserve the remaining sauce for cooking
  3. heat oil in a pan, drain the marinated chicken and throw them into the hot pan, toss them around till all sides brown a little; add the black pepper sauce, some water, cover and cook till chicken is done (about 170 °F or so in the middle of the thickest piece); adjust flavor if needed

Alternately, use veggies like eggplant, bell pepper, squash etc., - even the stalks left over from making bok choy bites can be cleaned and used here - cook as above in pepper sauce and serve hot with sticky rice.

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