Archive | April, 2012

Sweet Indian Chicken Stew

24 Apr

Chicken Breast simmered in coconut with spices and hearty vegetables.

  • one large chicken breast, cut into large chunks (or substitute with boneless skinless chicken thighs)
  • 2 small yellow potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and halved lengthwise, then sliced into 1/4 inches
  • 2 medium tomatoes, cut each into eights or so
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can of coconut milk
  • 1 can of chick peas, thoroughly rinsed and drained
  • 1 tsp each of cinnamon, curry, paprika, sea salt, sugar, black pepper
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Heat a large pot on high heat. Once hot, add in oil and then garlic, carrots, yellow potatoes, chicken, tomatoes and spices.  Mix well. Add in the coconut milk, sweet potatoes and chick peas.  Bring to a gentle simmer. Cover on medium low heat and cook for about one hour. Taste to see if more salt is needed. Serve with plain brown rice or a flat bread.

Empress of India

17 Apr

Empress of India, 103 King Street North, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. I believe the two carts along the back wall are for the lunch buffet.

I have frequented Empress of India a number of times and each time is always a positive experience. The restaurant has a romantic and intimate atmosphere. It is decorated in a variety of dark warm mahogany hues accented with a few traditional Indian ornaments scattered around the dining area.  A buffet lunch ($11.99) is available but I have only had dinner at the restaurant.

Every dinner meal begins with a complimentary plate of Indian style chips with two sauces (one is rich dark red and the other a bright pale green).  The taste of each is very complex and I imagine many exotic ingredients went into its preparation. The chips are delicately thin, glossy, crispy and has a subtle warm nutty flavour.

Complimentary Indian style chips with two different dips.

My favourite dish at Empress of India is the royal butter chicken. The sauce is creamy but not thick and a perfect balance of savoury flavours.  I usually order a tandoori naan to accompany the butter chicken.  The bottom of the naan is crispy while the top is buttery, chewy and soft. It goes so perfectly with the butter chicken. For a healthier option, whole wheat roti and Basmati rice are also available.

Royal Butter Chicken, $14.99.

Tandoori naan on the left ($2.49) and Tandoori whole wheat roti on the right ($2.49).

Empress of India is a cozy intimate restaurant with beautiful food and good service.  I would recommend trying their naan and, of course, butter chicken.

Baked Chicken with Garlic Dijon Marinade and Honey Glaze

10 Apr

Oven baked garlic honey dijon drumsticks served with garden salad.

The following marinade was inspired by a similar recipe from Astro.

  • 5 to 7 fresh chicken drumsticks, skin on (can easily substitute with thighs)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
  • juice of one lemon (the lemon juice will help tenderize the meat)
  • 1 cup of Balkan style yogurt
  • sea salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp honey for each drumstick (adjust amount of honey to your own preferences)

For easy clean up, make the marinade in a ziploc bag. To the bag add the garlic, worcestershire sauce, lemon juice and yogurt. Mix well.

Fold back the skin on the chicken so that the meat is exposed. Folding the skin back, allows direct contact between the meat and marinade which will help the marinade soak into the chicken. Season with salt and pepper. Add the chicken to the bag with marinade. Mix well to ensure each drumstick is coated with marinade. Refrigerate for at least two hours (or up to overnight).

Drumsticks after marinating for three hours.

Drumsticks in a yogurt based marinade waiting for the oven.

Pour contents of bag into an oven safe baking dish. Discard bag. Unfold the chicken skin. Bake in a preheated 400º oven covered for 30 minutes. Turn drumsticks over and then drizzle each drumstick with honey. Continue baking at 350º uncovered for another 25 to 30 minutes or until chicken becomes golden brown. Let cool for 3 to 5 minutes before serving.

Drumsticks straight out of the oven.

I had a salad with these marinated chicken drumsticks and used the sauce from the baking dish as the salad dressing.

French Toast

3 Apr

Two slices of french toast with maple syrup.

  • 2 to 3 slices of whole wheat bread cut into 3/4 inch thick (I used bread from Angie’s.)   
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 cup skim milk (or substitute with kefir)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon 
  • 1 tsp real vanilla extract
  • a tiny pinch of salt
  • 2 tbsps unsalted butter
  • white sugar
  • maple syrup

In a shallow bowl, mix the eggs, milk, cinnamon, salt and vanilla extract. Combine well.  Thoroughly soak each slice of bread into the batter.

Add the butter to a frying pan. Heat the pan on high. Once the butter has melted, add in the soaked slices of bread. Turn down heat if the pan is getting too hot. Cook for about 2 to 3 minutes on each side.  Right before flipping, sprinkle a light layer of sugar onto the bread. Right after flipping, sprinkle a light layer of sugar onto the bread slices.

Serve hot with maple syrup.

For a twist on the classic French Toast, try making Banana French Toast.