“Slow cooked meat
With condiments, tangy & sweet,
A game night dinner and
Elation, even if you’re beat.
A make-ahead for parties
With flavors slightly new,
Your guests ooh & aah
And sing praises in lieu.
And while they devour
Keep a stash few,
Greed waits for no one
As the host has to eat too!”
I hate change. As I reluctantly accept that we're in the midst of winter, I needed something to look forward to as we inch towards spring. For me, food is the answer. In fact, food is the answer to most questions. So as we move from one season to the next, I adapt by immersing in new discoveries, relentless failures and as a result, highly acclimatised taste buds. For few can match the warmth & comfort of a pretty plate of food.
I make roast chicken ever so often, but had been wanting to try my hand at a slightly 'indianised' pulled chicken. And chicken, unlike me, adapts easily to new flavors. So I slow cooked it with a mix of spices and thoroughly enjoyed tearing it apart - I suppose the child in me still loves to destroy things. In the end, it was a happy mess. I had a variety chutneys in the fridge that I had made ahead (I always keep some in stock for emergencies) and mixed batches of the pulled chicken with tamarind chutney, mint chutney, yogurt and mayo dip and tomato chutney - Taste test! After several fun mouthfuls, I decided to go with the tangy tomato chutney - it tasted different and the whole point was to be experimental. Thus, that day for dinner we had a plate full of Indian sliders.
So gather those friends, put your best game face on, and enjoy a plateful of these spicy messy mouthfuls while relishing those Superbowl ads - after all, isn't that why we watch the game in the first place?!
page to see how you can taste one of my creations!
For the masala chicken rub
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
2 tablespoons fresh coriander/cilantro, finely chopped
1 green chili, finely chopped
½ teaspoon coriander powder
½ teaspoon garam masala
A sneaky dash of cinnamon powder
1 teaspoon peri-peri spice mix
(optional, replace with a little mix of paprika + chili flakes instead)
1 tablespoon full ft yogurt
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt & pepper to taste
1 pound chicken breast, slightly flattened using a rolling pin
(you can also use dark meat / thigh pieces)
5-6 multigrain slider buns or rolls
A few lettuce or baby spinach leaves
1 red onion, sliced into rings
a great recipe from Nashira of the food blog, Plateful!)
2 tablespoons butter
Mix all the ingredients for the rub. Toss the chicken breast evenly in this mixture in an ovenproof dish. Add a few tablespoons of water and cover with aluminium foil to bake at 350 F for 1.5-2 hours. Do not take a peek during this time, as you want the chicken to cook slowly and retain all the moisture.
Remove from the oven and leave covered for another 15 minutes. Uncover and tear the chicken using a fork. It should fall apart quite easily. If there is any excess liquid in the dish, cover and put it back in the oven for 5-8 minutes. Let it sit after and the chicken will absorb the extra liquid. Cool to room temperature and then mix in the tomato chutney. Keep aside.
Slice each roll into half. Butter each side and toast slightly. Add a lettuce/spinach leaf, some onion and a generous dollop of the chicken-chutney mixture. Your easy-peasy sliders are ready for the table!