I don’t know if I’ve mentioned that I love Sushi. But I’m sure that I’ve mentioned AK’s allergy to seafood. Put them together and PK doesn’t get Sushi, unless AK is out of town or I’m out for a girls’ night! For me, more than half the experience of the sushi lies in the wasabi and pickled ginger served with it. So since I hadn’t been able to get my fix for quite a while, I decided to replicate some of the flavours.
I was a little worried that AK may not “dig” the combo, since he doesn’t much like ginger either. And an overall Oriental twist to a Continental favourite may not rock his boat. But when he finished with his usual “Oh-my-God-I-ate-too-much” sign of approval, I could hardly contain my jump for joy!
Here’s what I used:
4 boneless chicken breasts
1/2 cup orange juice
3 tbsp soy
1″ ginger, grated very fine
1 tsp chilli flakes
For the Potatoes:
4 large potatoes
2 tbsp butter, melted
1 tsp, heaped, Wasabi powder
Hot water, as required
Cold Milk, as required
Salt & Pepper to taste
6 small onions (approx 1-2″ in diametre)
Olive oil to drizzle
1/2 tsp Celery Salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder (you can use fresh minced garlic)
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp brown sugar
Here’s how I made it:
Firstly, I prepared the marinade by mixing together the orange juice, soy, ginger and chilli flakes…
I cleaned up the counter and got out the chicken breasts. Using a meat tenderiser/ mallet/ hammer, I bashed each of them until flattened to about 1/2 inch thickness. If you don’t have one, then you can use the bottom of a small heavy saucepan. Or you can grill the breasts thick. I just like them thin-ish.
Placing them in a bowl, I poured the marinade over the chicken…
Covering the bowl, I allowed the chicken to rest in the marinade in the fridge. Then I prepared the extras. First the tomatoes and onions. Turning on the oven to pre-heat at 200 C, I peeled the onions and slit them as if quarter them but leaving the base attached. Halved the tomatoes and placed them all on the rack of a small roasting pan.
I seasoned them as follows:
Tomatoes – with oil, balsamic vinegar, celery salt & garlic powder
Onions – oil, salt & brown sugar
I just poured/ sprinkled the seasoning on top, but next time I would definitely toss them in the seasoning to get better coverage and deeper flavour.
I placed these in the pre-heated oven until I finished with the potatoes and chicken, about 20-30minutes. Then I prepared the Wasabi by placing the powder in a small dish and mixing in a few tsp of hot water to make a paste.
Allowing the wasabi to rest after preparing it helps the flavour intensify, or so the instructions on the can say. So I just put this aside. Then I got down to the potatoes. I had boiled them until tender (about 5-6 whistles in a pressure cooker) before marinating the chicken. By this time they had cooled so I peeled them and placed them in a saucepan.
Using a hand blender, I started mashing them. You can do this with a potato masher or a fork or even with your hands, but using something electric will help make it smoother and creamier. Worst case scenario, you can use the food processor/ mixie. Just make sure they’re cool enough to prevent the processor from exploding. I, for one, would never ever want to have a mashed potato shampoo!
I added the butter and continued to blend. Then I added milk as required to achieve the consistency I wanted – smooth and creamy.
Blending in the prepared wasabi, I added a little salt and pepper to taste and put the potatoes aside. Sorry I don’t have a finished photo of JUST the potatoes…
Now for the grilling… I heated my stove-top non-stock grill pan on medium-high until nice and hot. I had brushed on a tiny bit of oil and then wiped it off before placing it on the stove. I’m not sure why I did that, but I’m sure I read it somewhere. Once it was hot, I placed the chicken breasts on the grill and grilled them for about 3-4 minutes on each side – until they were cooked through but still moist and juicy…
I had to grill the chicken in 2 batches because the flattening had increased the surface size. Also, while I was flattening the chicken, some bits had broken off so I grilled them along with the first batch.
Once the grilling is done, you can cook the left-over marinade until it reduces and thickens and pour it over the chicken while serving. I just happened to tip the bowl over and spill most of it and didn’t bother.
Finally, I pulled out the onions (which were slightly on the drier side due to not enough olive oil and not being “tossed” with the seasoning) and tomatoes…
And served up the meal. Here’s a closer look at the chicken…
And the accompaniments…
All in all, a (relatively) healthy meal which was approved by AK (mostly because of the potatoes, I’m sure). And of course he had a couple of slices of buttered toast alongside, which gave him his carb and fat fix!
Variations for Mashed Potatoes:
- In case you don’t like wasabi or don’t have access to it, you can substitute that flavour with freshly pounded garlic and dried or fresh herbs of your choice like basil, oregano or something else. You can even try a lemon-parsley version by adding in lemon rind, lemon juice and parsley.
- Milk can be substituted with cream.
- Lastly, but obviously, you can bump up the butter to your heart’s content!
Other accompaniments could be assorted steamed/ stir fried seasonal vegetables,which would also go very well with the chicken and potatoes.
PS – a big thank you to my cousin Madhu for the new grill pan!