lundi, juillet 03, 2006

Poulet à la Crème et aux Girolles, Lamb Biryani

Poulet aux Girolles

I have been a little demoralised lately being unable to download my photos to Blogger ever since I started using my new Sony Cybershot. My photography skills leave much to be desired but at least you'll be able to see the food I've been talking about.

Anyway, I've been really busy lately trying to clean up the house. The landlord is dropping by on Saturday afternoon to pay us a visit and we therefore have to at least clean the windows and shampoo the (formerly) white carpet in his honour. As it is, I really dislike doing housework, but to have the Hubby chicken out on me once the carpet-cleaning machine was rented was a pain : "I have to prepare a presentation for Monday..."

I spent the whole weekend shampooing the stupid carpet. And you've just finished one section when everybody turned up to leave black footprints on it. And it's really quite gross picking up spiders, dead flies and whatever here and there. It's a chore living in a house.

Not having much time, meals had to be simple. I made a Poulet à la Crème et aux Girolles one day and a Lamb Biryani on another. The Briyani on the evening France beat Brazil in the quarter finals of the World Cup :-).

In the pan

The chicken's really simple and very good. Just need a few chicken breasts (400g), 2-3 shallots (sliced), 1 garlic clove (bashed and sliced), 400g of Girolles (mushrooms) washed and sliced into 2, some white wine, 100ml of crème fraiche, salt, pepper (can use szechuan red peppercorns for deco), some herbs like thyme and estragon.

First, heat up some olive oil in a frying pan and grill the chicken breasts (that you have marinated in some salt, pepper, a pinch of ground turmeric and some lemon juice) till golden brown. Remove the chicken and set aside. In the same oil, fry the shallots. When they start turning translucent, add in the garlic. Add salt, pepper and the herbs. When garlic is fragrant but not brown (or it'll turn bitter), add in the girolles. Cook for 5 minutes, add in the wine and cover the pan and cook over medium heat for another 10 minutes. Uncover the pan, add in the grilled chicken breasts, stir in the crème fraiche and adjust the salt and pepper. Cover and let everything cook in its own steam for another 5 minutes. Before serving, squeeze in some lime or lemon juice if you like it a little more acidic. Serve hot with rice or pasta.

As for the Lamb Biryani, I had chosen to make the simple version as I had to get it out in under 1.5 hours so that hubby could eat it in front of the TV.

The important thing is to get the cubes of lamb well-marinated (at least 2 hours if not half a day) with a mixture of salt, pepper, ground ginger (2 Tsps), fresh garlic (minced, 5 cloves), mustard seeds (1 Tsp), yoghurt (1 cup), fresh green chillies, lime juice, fresh coriander and mint leaves.

I didn't want to risk my rice not being cooked so I washed it and then poured hot water over it and left it standing like that for about 30 minutes. Otherwise, half cook the rice.

In a heavy-bottomed pot, fry 5 sliced onions till they turn brown and then remove them from the oil and drain on some kitchen towel. Set aside. In the same oil, brown the meat with its marinade. Add in a cinnamon stick, a few whole cloves, some black cumin seeds, 1 Tsp of ground coriander, a pinch of nutmeg and a bay leaf. Then add in about 300ml of boiling water, half a cube of meat stock (optional), cover the pot and cook over medium heat till the meat is tender (about 30 minutes if it's young lamb).

When the meat is cooked, add in 1 Tbsp of Garam Masala and pour the rice over it. Add a few bashed cardamoms to the rice and dribble a milk and saffron mixture (just add saffron to about 50ml of milk) over it in such a way that only parts of the rice turn yellow. Cover and cook over low heat till rice is cooked (not overcooked or it'll become sticky). Add in a bit of butter, raisins and cashew nuts or sliced almonds, more fresh mint and coriander leaves and the fried onions and squeeze in some lemon juice before serving.

Mine wasn't very pretty as hubby doesn't like his rice dry and so I made a saucy Biryani. The better compromise could be the bryanis served in Singapore where they make the rice with the lamb and then a curry separately, laddling the latter onto the rice when serving it. And better still, think of layering the dish, making a rice-meat-rice-meat-rice combination topping it with the fresh herbs and almonds before you finish off the cooking.

4 commentaires:

last frontier a dit…

what is the problem on downloading the photos ? can I help you ? have you installed the camera software in your pc ? do you have photoshop pro ?
we need to see the food at least to feed our eyes...
By the way, I hope that your hubby's France loose Wednesday evening with my Portugal!! We're going to eat the poulets avec du champagne !

Beau Lotus a dit…

Only chicken from Bresse and Champagne from Champagne, please :-). Vive la France!

Well, they say that the ball is round, so both teams have an equal chance of making it to the Finals. The important thing is to have a fair match and not too many rough tackles. We hope to have Zidane finish his last World Cup in one piece :-).

I'll have to see with my good friend how he could help me with the pics. It's so depressing...

Kevin a dit…

gee nice recipes.. :)

see if i could do something for my wife ;)

Beau Lotus a dit…

Gee Kevin, that's one lucky wife you have out there :-).