It was one lazy Sunday evening when Mother decided to get very experimental in the kitchen. The man of the house was ordered to bring forth the required ingredients to give shape to the culinary aspiration that had taken birth in Mother’s heart.
Moments passed while she kept repeating the process aloud and narrated how brilliantly the chef had taught the dish on TV. She named the dish Grilled Chicken in Honey Mustard Sauce.
Braving the disturbing and untimely Bombay rains and even more disturbing Bombay traffic, the man of the house reached home with the ingredients for our gala evening dinner.
Mother, in the grand avatar of Nigella Lawson, (oh okay if that’s too much, she is my MOM after all), Julia Child, took over the charge of the kitchen, with all the ingredients at her bay.
Step 1. Chicken marination was done with oil, pepper, salt and lemon juice.
Well, Mother believes that cooking is an art form so giving a strict measurement count of each and every ingredient is not particularly necessary. However, I was successful in coaxing out that piece of information from her. 500 gms chicken (boneless breast pieces slit all over lightly with a knife), 1 tea spoon salt, ¾ tea spoon pepper, juice from 1 and ½ lemons (well, it mostly depends on the quality of your lemon). Once everything was properly mixed, she put it in the fridge for 3 to 4 hours.
All this while, the man of the house grew very desperate and impatient. “Couldn’t the marination period be shortened in any which way?” he implored.
Mother could just roll her eyes at him.
Dinner time was mostly ready and the rains outside had become even more persistent. The mood was all set for the grand dinner.
Step 2: The non stick grill pan was taken out from a remote kitchen corner and promptly set on fire. After adding a generous amount of butter, Mother grated garlic over the entire pan. As the smell of garlic over molten butter wafted all over the house, we got even more desperate as to when the dish will be finally ready to be served.
The marinated chicken breast pieces were put on the pan for a shallow fry. From time to time they were oil brushed and turned on both sides so that they get decently grilled and fried.
Step 3: As the chicken was being made, Mother set about to prepare the sauce. The base of the sauce was orange or mosambi juice. On that Mother added mustard sauce (3 table spoons), tomato sauce (3 table spoons), honey (5 table spoons) and salt (as per individual taste). She kept stirring till the mixture started to boil.
Step 4: Well, by this time the chicken was almost grilled. Well you realise it’s done when the chicken has turned brown and slightly crispy from outside and tender from inside. The delicious smell made me enter the kitchen once more. I poked the chicken breast with a fork to find out if the meat had become tender enough to be consumed. Well, the chicken had been on the grilling pan for nearly 25 minutes and naturally did not disappoint me.
Step 5: Well the stage had come when the meal was all set to be served. The chicken was taken out in individual plates and the sauce was added over it in generous quantity. Mother had prepared mashed potatoes and brown bread fried in olive oil along with it in order to make it one complete wholesome meal. The feast was all ready to be gorged by us and that we did with immense joy.
Every day passes running for survival. And in this mad rush we often miss out on some special nuances of life, fail to see the magic in things that can be truly special. If we want to we can find out the most fascinating elements in the most mundane things of this world. Why not put in that effort to discover these hidden treasures of life?
I try in my way to make every day special - make every day beautiful.
View all posts by Alolika