Sunday, November 4, 2012

Supposedly spicy

I decided to make myself an Edmonds dinner this evening. The first recipe I chose was spicy chicken (p142). For the rest of the meal, I figured I'd make a pasta salad and dress it with one of the remaining salad dressing recipes. I had it in mind to make an uncooked condensed milk dressing, but when I got home from the supermarket and realised I'd forgotten to get condensed milk, I abandoned that idea and selected cooked salad dressing (p183) insead.

The first thing I did was pull the skin off some chicken drumsticks. Then I mixed up the marinade - a combination of yoghurt, garlic, curry powder, chilli and coriander. There should have been some lemon zest in there too, but I accidentally left that bit out. Even so, it seemed like I was on the right track towards getting some decent flavour into the chicken.

I poured the yoghurt mixture over the chicken drums, and made sure they were evenly coated before putting them in the fridge for a couple of hours. When it was time to put the chicken in the oven, I placed the drums on a roasting tray and put them under the grill.

While the chicken was cooking, I made my salad dressing. Oddly, it starts with creaming butter and sugar, then you add mustard powder and salt, before beating in egg and slowly stirring through malt vinegar. I have to say, I wasn't too impressed with the result - the mixture was not well combined, in fact it looked sort of split.

But it still had to be heated. As I slowly brought the dressing mixture to the boil, the butter melted and the dressing took on a much smoother consistency. It quickly thickened up until it was almost a paste. I took it off the heat, stirred through a little milk to thin it down, and used it to dress my pasta salad.

I was a bit anxious about the chicken - I don't much like grilling drumsticks, because I'm never quite sure if they're entirely cooked through. Finally, I was satisfied that they were cooked.

For a dish entitled 'spicy chicken', it doesn't really have a lot of flavour. It's certainly not spicy, and the flavouring from the marinade is only on the surface. The actual meat of the chicken is - though moist and juicy - fairly bland.

So what does the cooked salad dressing taste like? Actually, with the mustard powder and all that malt vinegar, the flavour is almost identical to mustard sauce. You know, the stuff you have with corned beef? That said, it went perfectly well in my pasta salad, and I'd happily eat it again.

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