Who writes the rules in cooking, who writes the Do’s and Dont’s ? In baking sweets yes I agree you need to follow a recipe to a certain extent. Baking needs that perfection, the right quantities the right temperature to achieve the perfect result, but with general cooking, you can just about do anything. We all own so many cookbooks, there are zillions of recipes out there … stuff we browse through, when we’re in book stores, books we order online. This one time I got some really good books from this site  OLX Classifieds. And all these books showcase the authors and cooks style, recipes they created … they followed some rules, and made some of their own. Each one of us have that in us. We can all create … play a little God in the kitchen. And then pray to the real one up there that it turns out okay. As long as all the flavours come together, there is a balance of ingredients and everyone is smacking their lips n licking their fingers at the table, I guess everything is allowed.  So all this start up is for a reason. Brother in law over in town, the whole family was eating together … Saturday lunch … scratching my head as to what I should make … leafed around a couple of magazines, but didn’t quite like anything .You know how we all go through, “I want to make something different today” days.’ Started faffing around my pantry looking for something new to add to my chicken … pulled out some spices, then some veg, n then I thought, why not add lentils? We Indian’s only use our lentils in Dal’s so this would be new … and then that extra something to turn the dish around, I thought Pomegranate molasses would be just perfect. But I just couldn’t find that bottle, instead I spotted a bottle of Vimto Cordial. And suddenly I thought why not ? Vimto is concentrated juice blend of grapes, raspberries, blackcurrants, herbs and spices. Not sure of how it might go on the table I added a tiny bit first, and it didn’t taste so bad. So then one more tablespoon, and it was just right. I knew that with the blend of all the spices, veg and lentils, this would end up being a delightfully different dish. And delightfully different it was ! How everyone fell on top of that chicken and polished off ! After lunch, when everyone couldn’t stop praising the chicken, I asked if anyone could guess the secret ingredient. They came up with all sorts of things, but no one could guess it. When I revealed it … no one could believe that Vimto in chicken could taste so good. I sat back and smiled …

Ingredients

  • 1 full chicken – cut into 8 pieces with skin on
  • 2 tsp cinnamon pd
  • 2 tsp cumin pd
  • 1 tsp crushed black pepper
  • 4 star anise ground in a motar and pestle
  • 1 tbsp ginger paste
  • 1 tbsp garlic paste
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • 2 tbsp fresh oregano
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 cup puy lentils
  • 1 big carrot
  • 2 small potatoes
  • 6 red chillis ( the not so spicy variety ) slit and deseeded
  • 1 stalk celery
  • 2 tbsps Vimto
  • salt to taste

Start with marinating the chicken. 1 hour  is sufficient. In a mortar and pestle, crush the star anise  to a fine powder and add to it the cinnamon, cumin, black pepper, fresh oregano, chilli flakes, salt, ginger , garlic, lime juice and give it a good stir. Rub this marinade on the chicken massaging it well for about 5 mins. Take 2 table spoons of the Vimto cordial and pour it over the chicken and give it one more good mix. Please do not hesitate to use your hands. Your meat needs that tender loving care from you. Let it sit outside for an hour. Meanwhile chop up the potatoes, carrots and celery. Boil the lentils in a sauce pan with plenty of salted water. When just about half done turn of the heat and pour off the excess water leaving behind some. Will need that while baking the chicken. Preheat the oven to 240 C . Taking a baking dish, and spread a layer of the lentils first along with some of the water. Then place the chicken pieces and squeeze in the veg evenly. Now sprinkle over the remaining lentils and bake for 20 mins on 240 C and then cover with foil and further bake at 160 C for another 20 mins or till the veg is soft and chicken cooked through. Garnish with the chopped up leaves of the celery stalk and fresh oregano. Serve with some extra lime and hot steamed rice.


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Comment :

That is how I cook… I improvise a lot and search for ideas in my pantry. That is one lovely dish!

Cheers,

Rosa

First of Gorgeous photography and styling….:)

It is always fun to add different ingredients and even more satisfying when it comes out great…:)

Hi Kajal,
The Vimto chicken is looking Gorgeous…. !!! Loved the combo of new ingredients added and am sure it must be sumptuous. Its always fun to see your creative recipes. have a great day !

Kajal

Rosa, and I love all your recipes … they are all so unique

Ann 😀 Thank You .

Sonia, yes I was quite shocked myself …. lol
Wishing you a great day ahead too babe …. xx

This dish looks so festive!

The assortment of colors in this dish is wonderful. I’m so impressed by your ability to put together such a unique meal with only the resources at your fingertips!

The assortment of colors in this dish is wonderful. I’m so impressed by your ability to put together such a unique meal with only the resources at your fingertips!

That looks gorgeous! And love the innovative and unusual idea 🙂

The dish looks really great. Somewhat unique and twisted but in a good way.

What a unique recipe! Thanks for breaking a few of the “rules” and coming up with something like this! Did you think about adding some sort of cheese to the recipe? Something like a feta or bleu cheese could add to the flavor! What else have you used with Vimto? I’ve never used it before

Yum – this looks tasty. I had to look up Vimto though (I guess it’s a British thing? I’m in Brooklyn…). I might try improvising w/ an American soft drink!

What a Beautiful dish…and the photography is out of this world! great job.

This looks fantastic and the use of all those spices… I can almost smell it from the photos.. 🙂 I’d never heard of Vimto before… Interesting!

This vimto chicken sounds (and looks) great! Thanks for the recipe.

Did you think about adding some sort of cheese to the recipe? Something like a feta or bleu cheese could add to the flavor! What else have you used with Vimto? I’ve never used it before

Kajal

Well honestly, I haven’t tried it with cheese … you could try a mild cheese, as Vimto has quite a strong flavour itself

[…] During my search, I also stumbled upon the best usage of Vimto yet: Vimto Chicken! […]

That is how I cook… I improvise a lot and search for ideas in my pantry. That is one lovely dish!

This dish looks so festive!

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