Monday, 14 March 2016

Chicken Lollipops


A Song to the Months

January, the sovereign of new beginnings,
Winter has still you clutched in its hands.
Fairer of months you are, frail February!
I see you pass with a melancholic glance.

March on March, your tenderness feigned,
A wicked snare beneath your sunny veil.
April! You scorch, you stab, you pierce -
The relentless heat of summer steadfast.

O to have weather that seethes no longer,
And the kinder warmth of mellowed May!
How anxiously anticipated you are, June
Your harshest downpours affably cheered.
July, O July! Your sorrows are my delight
Gentler you showers, a welcome respite!
August are your days August, befittingly;
You pass over with panache and dignity.

I will dance joyfully with you September,
Your charm reminiscent of days of spring.
Chaotic October, You know not whether -
to drizzle, to thunder or to just be grouchy

November you bestow produce abundant;
So cordial, so gentle and poised, you are!
Bleak, ruthless, dispassionate December,
One after the other, you slay all the years!
The weather has turned harsher and I just couldn't write anything except the set of the ragged lines above last night when I sat down to write this post. The more I'm reading, the less I'm liking it, I hope I didn't frighten you all away.

PS: The seasons are depicted as they parade where I live and will quite obviously be at variance with other regions.

Chicken Lollipops

This is a mild version of Chicken Lollipops. (The Chicken 65 like version has an entirely different marinade.) I get the chicken wings prepared this way from the store and find it easier to use that. You can of course, make Lollipops starting from the wings. (Cut each wing into three – that is, drumette, wingette and tip. Discard the tip. For the drumette, start with cutting through the meat at the thinner end with a small, sharp knife. Push the meat down (scraping if necessary with the small knife) towards the other end. Finish by pulling the meat over that end; taking care not to detach the meat altogether from the bone. The wingette can be done the same way – but you have to pull the smaller bone out first– pull it from the side at which the tip was attached and then push the meat towards the other end.) – It is a bit time consuming, though doable task.
(Serves 2 to 4)

Ingredients:
  1. Chicken Lollipops - 1/2 kg. I had 16 pieces.
  2. Garlic Paste - 3/4 tbsp.
  3. Kashmiri Red Chilli Powder – 2 heaped to 3 tsp.
  4. Black Pepper Powder - 1/2 to 1 tsp.
  5. Dark Soy Sauce - 3/4 tbsp. 
  6. Tomato Sauce - 3/4 tbsp.
  7. Red Chilli Sauce - 1 tsp.
  8. All Purpose Flour - 2 tbsp.
  9. Corn Starch - 2 tbsp.
  10. Salt - As needed
  11. Oil - To fry
Directions:

Marinate the lollipops with Garlic Paste, Kashmiri Red Chilli Powder, Black Pepper Powder, Dark Soy Sauce, Tomato Sauce, Red Chilli Sauce and a little salt. Keep aside for half an hour to a couple of hours in the refrigerator.

Once marinated, take out the lollipops and add the flours. Mix very well. (There should be no dry flour left.)

To fry the lollipops, heat up some oil in a pan. Once the oil gets sufficiently hot, carefully drop the pieces one by one. (Test by dropping a small bit of the marinade into the oil - It should begin to sizzle immediately. However, if it browns in a flash, the oil is too hot.) Fry over a medium-low heat till they get done and browned, but not burnt on the outside – about 7 to 8 minutes. (If the temperature of the oil is too hot, the outside will brown quickly and the meat will not cook properly.)
Drain off excess oil and serve immediately on its own or a sauce of your choice. (A lighter/thinner Soy-Chilli sauce would be better than the one in the shots. I used this one as I had it already on hand.)

Notes:
  1. You can add a teaspoon of ginger paste to the marinade - but I like the version without it.
  2. I find the sourness from the sauces enough for this recipe - but you can add a teaspoon of natural vinegar if needed. If you are using store bought tomato sauce and chilli sauce, you will hardly need the added vinegar as they have enough vinegar or other sour elements in them.
  3. Depending on how you used the pepper and chilli powders - there will be a mild sweetness from the caramelization of sugars involved in the sauces. If you would rather have the sweetness masked, add the ginger and use the higher ends for chilli and pepper powders. You can also take a mix of a hotter chilli powder and Kashmiri chilli powder if you want it spicy, I suppose. 

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