March 27, 2007

SMOTHERED CHICKEN


Smothered Chicken flavored with Allspice is my contribution this week's "Weekend Herb Blogging" hosted by Kalyn herself this time around.My choice of spice this week for WHB is Allspice berries and powder.Thanks for hosting Kalyn:)


Allspice berries and Powder:

Allspice -(Pimento) is a the "dried unripe berry" of the Pimenta dioica which belongs to the family Myrtaceae. It is also know as Jamaica pepper.Spanish explorers chanced on to the Allspice plant in Jamaica in the beginning of the 16th century. The Spaniards thought the fruits look like pepper so they gave it the name of Jamaican Pepper and pimento from the word "pimienta", Spanish for peppercorn. The English name "Allspice" was given because the spice is said to have the aroma of several spices including cloves, pepper and even cinnamon and nutmeg and used often in Jamaican cuisine, specillay Jerk chicken.I love the mild flavor and taste of Allspice.(Info; Gourmetsleuth)

Some of us Indians tend to think of Allspice as "Garam Masala", which is a Indian spice powder made of several aromatic spices,also completely different from Allspice berries.The beauty of Allspice berries is they do look like Garam masala when powdered and smells great somewhat like Garam masala with mild flavor but they are NOT interchangeable in the dishes.You can't beat the flavor and the aroma our own Indian Garam masala!!;D


Southern Smothered Chicken:



You usually don't get this dish in any regular restaurant on the main street but might get it in one of those "Soul food" Mama's kitchen restaurants as I have seen in some southern towns. I love the simplicity and the great taste of this dish with a confetti of vegetables and a thickish gravy with simple spices.I added Allspice powder which gives it a wonderful flavor which may not be the traditional spice for Smothered Chicken but hey, anything to enhance the flavor if you ask me!

That said let's smother some Chicken, shall we?!:)

You Need:

2 chicken breasts,slice across to make it thinner and made into 4 slices.In a plate,mix 1/2 cup plain flour,salt,pepper,1/8 tsp cayenne pd,1 tsp Allspice powder,1/2 tsp Garlic and Onion pd, and 1 tbsp dried Parsley.1 cup Celery, 1/2 cup Onion,1/2 cup carrots,all chopped to similar size,1 garlic minced, 1-2 cups Chicken stock, 1/2 tsp Allspice pd for the gravy.Cook 2 cups of rice to go with it!


How to make it:


Heat a non-stick pan with 1 tbsp butter.Mix the flour well,save about 1-2 tbsp flour for Roux and keep it aside.coat chicken fillets well and shake off excess flour and place them in the pan until reddish on both sides.Take them off on a plate.To the pan,add all the chopped veggies and Garlic,saute until cooked and little brown on the edges.



Add salt,pepper, 1/2 tsp Allspice pd,saved 1 tbsp flour,stir for a while and add 1 cup or more chicken stock.Mix well,add in sauteed chicken pieces in to the sauce and let it simmer until chicken is cooked and sauce is thicker but not very thick.Add more stock if it's too thick.Garnish with Parsley and serve with a bowl of rice.That's all, a wonderful meal is ready!



Vegetarians: Skip the chicken and add thick sliced and sauteed Potatoes!! Tastes great too.


Here is a bowl of ultimate southern comfort food; Smothered Chicken with rice:




Enjoy!:))

26 comments:

Sig said...

Asha, I had no idea there was an actual fruit(?) called Allspice berry... I always thought all-spice powder was garam masala... :) I learn something new every time you post a recipe... Smothered chicken looks so yummy...

Asha said...

See!! That's why I wanted to post these!I knew it Sig!:D

YUP! They look like pepper corns,green at first and when they dry,they turn brown.It's amazingly very similar to Garam masala to look at as pd but milder flavor and all in one small berry.Isn't that amazing?!
Hope you try and get it in the groceries.Chicken was yummy.

Maheswari said...

Asha...oh...smothered...i literally wanted to just jump thru the monitor.All spice berry...now that's new.I will try to get it on my stop at grocery.

Meeta said...

I love the flavor Allspice gives to food. I recently made muffins with Allspice. Great info Asha! And that chicken looks really good. Will have to give it a go.

Asha said...

YAY!! I am so happy for Mahesh!:) I wish I was near too,I would help you to eat all that you wanted!!!Good luck and enjoy your ..!;D
Get that Allspice next time and try.Just one more spice to try:)Chicken was so good,hope you make it.it's very easy.

Hi Meeta,this spice is so mild flavored,you can use muffins too!:)I love it.Hope you try the soul food,it really is!:D

Kalyn said...

This is a spice I haven't cooked with very much. I'm intrigued with the idea of using it on chicken. I didn't know it's used a lot in Jamaican food. Sounds very tasty.

USHA said...

Hi Ashaji,

The anothe new spices :))berry...huh!!

Smothered chicken looks really soothing to my tastebuds:))I am also palnning to post few Non-Veg dishes in short.

Sharmi said...

That was a great info to me regarding the allspice. Never would have known how to use it. Thanks

sharmi

Asha said...

Hi Kalyn,yes it lends a beautiful flavor to the dishes.It looks and called Jamaican pepper but it's not very hot like peppers.Hope you try the new flavor!:))

Hi Usha,yup! One more spice for you to try!Enjoy:))
I can't wait to to see your non-veg dishes! Veg dishes little boring to me now!;D

Asha said...

You are welcome Sharmi:)) Glad you all get to new spice,hope you try.

Jyothsna said...

All spice berry? Thats news! I thought all spice pwd some special mix of spices :)
Also want to ask... do you ever repeat your recipes? Looking at the spread you create, the turn of recipe 1 will come after 365 days only at the earliest!:)

Sushma said...

Asha, are you gonna turn me into a non vegeterian ...You are postly simple delicous chicken recipes and my mouth starts watering... :-)

Also like Sig, I was wondering if AllSpice is english name of Garam Masala ..LOL

Deepa Hari said...

Hi Asha,
You always come up with something different...chicken looks delicious...my hubby likes different varities of chicken...will try it...

Thanks for the info abt. All spice...i thought it was a combination of different spices...

Asha said...

Hi J! Try Allspice ,it's great ,not very spicy either.No, I don't repeat the recipes but you know you are right!There must be at least 200 recipes to cook one a day!!;D

Hi Sush,most think that.That's why I thought of this post.Great,lot of you know now:)
You can always add veggies to any gravy even it's non-veg.Improvise!!:)

Hope you try this dish,it's something different for us than the usual ginger-garlic paste,right? I bet your hubby loves it:)

Linda said...

Hi Asha,

I used to have neighbors from Lebanon and they made some awesome things with allspice too. Looks yummy as usual! :)

Asha said...

You are right Linda.Allspice is not sweet or very spicy,perfect for Desserts and savory dishes as well.I love it in the gravy.Hope you try:)

Gattina said...

next time when I want comforting southern food, I know where I tune to :D Your chicken is beautiful!
Allspice is a name that said it all but actually saying nothing, the name is too general! It always mistaken as other Asian mixed spices too.

sunita's world said...

I must say,this dish is really going to appease my soul...looks great...can't wait to give it a try.

Asha said...

I know ,right? Allspice but one spice!;D
I like the mild flavor in the dishes unlike powerful Garam masala.Thanks Gattina,hope you try.

Asha said...

Hope you do Sunita!:))
Not much labor required and very soothing taste indeed.Thanks girl.

Helene said...

Your dish looks thrilling, thanks for the info about allspice. I have to check what it´s called here. :)

Asha said...

Hi Helene,Smothered Chicken is a southern comfort food,tastes so good.Hope you try.
Allspice is mild and has a wonderful flavor:)

Kribha said...

Asha,
Since I had only "Foodie's hope" in my blogroll I kept missing your latest posts. smothered chicken looks comforting. Wish I could eat it just like that.Thanks for the recipe.

Asha said...

You are welcome K!
I know most don't know about this Aroma!Good that you found it now.Make this dish it's easy and delicious:)

notyet100 said...

hi...nice and inspirational blog,,me new into food blogging ,,can learn lotza from you

Asha said...

Hi, welcome to blog world. We all learn new things everyday, blogging is fun. Enjoy!:)