Sunday, February 13, 2005

Cold Chicken Curry

What goes into Cold Chicken Curry, I asked?

The recipe's on file, you want me to get it for you?

Naw, I just want the general overview. I don't want to publish a clinical recipe, I want it to be from the heart.

Which will clog up if you eat it.

Ah, so.

The Story of Cold Chicken Curry (cue Oriental flute music)

Many years ago, in a land far, far away...

Hey, I promised to make Cold Chicken Curry tonight for the student's House Night, but I have to spend the day in lab. Would you be a sweetie and roast the chickens for me?

Yeah, sure, but I've never roasted a chicken before. What do I do?

It's nothing fancy. Just pop 'em in the oven for an hour and a half. You can tell when they're done 'cause they look done. Pull 'em out and put the next one in. I'll be back around 7:30 and they should all be cool by then. Thanks much, sweetie!

And with a peck on the cheek, a slam of the door, I found myself alone with four dead chickens, a roasting pan and a small oven barely large enough for the pan.

I got to work.

Bird out of package. Take out all the stuff, neck and parts. Plop him in the pan, into the oven and hang around for 90 minutes. I decided Tale of Two Cities would be a good diversion.

No sooner had the French Revolution started than the dinger dinged and the first bird was done. To perfection, I might add. Golden brown with a crispy skin I was quite enamoured with my first cooked chicken. I should have had it framed or, at the very least, bronzed.

Bird Number 2 slid into the tanning booth, and I was back in France living large with love and honor. Ding! Bird 3 and the revolution was in full swing, how will it end? Ding! Bird 4 roasts as France burns. Let them eat cake! We're having Cold Chicken Curry! Ding! It is a far, far better thing that I do than I've ever done. It is a far, far better bird than I've ever roasted. Four golden birds lined up before my eyes. Sydney Carton would have been proud.

Helen returned on time and we set to work assembling the dish. First, pick the chicken from the bones and chop coarsely. Then add mayonnaise, cream, a teaspoon of sherry, curry powder and a couple of tablespoons of Major Grey's Chutney. Adjust all to the amount of chicken you have so the resulting mixture is well coated. Four chickens requires a small jar of mayonnaise, a pint of cream, a couple of teaspoons of sherry and a small jar of chutney. Chill until served. That's the cold part of Cold Chicken Curry.

Return to the present

So, the essence of Cold Chicken Curry is this:

Chicken
mayonnaise
cream
sherry
curry powder
Major Grey's Chutney
Chill, baby, chill

Rich and slightly sweet (that's the chutney) but spicy if you use hot curry powder or kick it up a notch with ground jalapeno powder. Mayonnaise adds a tang and cream makes it smooth and saucy. Except for roasting the chicken, no further cooking is required. Way cool!

Serve with rice, Chinese noodles or pasta. My favorite.

1 comment:

Bill Fogle said...

Tried this today. Excellent! I added a large vidalia onion that had sauteed slowly for a long period (and was still white/clear).