Our weather this summer has left me California dreaming. It seems to me it is always a pleasure to visit my in-laws in California. Not only are they good company but they live in the midst of a tropical garden filled with a palm tree, flowers and fruit trees. There is a magic stone circle surrounded by flowers they call their front yard and a warm bubbling azure pool in the backyard to lounge in.
It seems to me their weather is always golden but when the air does grow chilly outside, or a shiver threatens while still damp from a dip in the pool, one can sit near their AGA cooker at the heart of the kitchen and warm themselves at its eternal hearth.
When we have soaked up the sun and taken a break from the many interesting things to do in the area there is still more waiting to delight the senses. It seems we are always being introduced to something new and delicious to eat. On our last visit they shared a delightful new recipe for a sort of Indian inspired jerk chicken that is quick to prepare and perfect for lots of summer occasions...no matter the weather.
Delicious Chicken Bits
from "Quick & Easy Indian Cooking" by Madhur Jaffrey
1¼ pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried thyme
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon bright red paprika
¾ teaspoon salt
3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cut chicken breasts into approximately 1 inch pieces.
In a medium mixing bowl stir together the black pepper, turmeric, cayenne, cumin, thyme, garlic powder, paprika and salt. Add the chicken and 1 Tablespoon of the oil mixing to thoroughly coat the chicken pieces with the spice mixture. Set aside for ten minutes or longer.
Heat the remaining 2 Tablespoons of oil in a wok or large frying pan over high heat. When the oil is hot transfer the chicken to the pan. Stir and fry quiickly until the chicken pieces are lightly browned on the outside. Place the cooked chicken in a baking dish and cover loosely with lightly oiled waxed paper. (This paper should sit inside the dish and directly on top of the chicken pieces).
Bake at 350 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes or until the chicken pieces are cooked through (opaque throughout).
Note: These are good hot, warm or cold. They can be served as an appetizer, as picnic nibbles or as an entree served with rice and a salad or vegetable.