This week our favourite food novice, Jamie Hoyle, makes Chicken Korma…with pasta…yes, we think it’s a bit of a weird combo too – sorry Jamie….
Last week was a shambles. I essentially had chicken bites and noodles. The rest I neglected, saw medical attention and went straight to bed. I was sad. Still, now I have established that I’m not the most naturally gifted chef in the world (after my bragging week 1) and that realistically I’m probably only in the top 10, it’s time to get back on the horse and whip up another yummy treat for you all to chuckle at when I do it badly.
So what’s on the menu this week? This week happens to be my birthday week and so I toyed with the idea of cooking for everyone in my house for the big day. Sadly, however, when it got down to it I had a beer in each hand and was busy rediscovering my love for Cascada, so really it became impractical to cook. That might have made for a funny read though, so I apologise. Nevertheless, I thought I’d treat myself, given the circumstances, and cook my all-time favourite dish the following day – chicken korma. I don’t care if this is a boring curry choice, it tastes incredible…from a restaurant.
Now I’m going to get some abuse here. I used a paste and did not get all the spices and ingredients from scratch. 2 reasons for this. Firstly, under the guidance of my (not so) good friend, who mocks me every week for this column and my culinary ineptness, I was informed that to do so I’d need to cancel my trip to subway that week to afford it. That wasn’t happening. Secondly, because it looked bloody impossible to make. It would take hours for someone like me to prepare that. I’m a busy man. Netflix doesn’t watch itself.
On a serious note, I highly recommend this dish if only for the fact that everything goes in one saucepan and all you have to worry about is timing. Start with the onions. Bish, bash, bosh – chop them up and fry them in the saucepan first until they go soft. Next, grab your Pataks’ paste, open it up and give it an obligatory sniff because it smells how heaven should smell. Bang two tablespoons of that with 100ml of water and finely chopped garlic in the pan and now were cooking – literally.
Eeooeeooeooeeoo. Ah shit, the fire alarm. Flap the fire alarm with a tea towel until that calms down (might not be part of Patak’s online recipe).
Once you have the back door and every window in the house open, and the extractor fan on its highest setting, start cooking the diced chicken in a frying pan until raw on the inside but white on the outside. I believe there’s a word for this but I’ve forgotten. Now add that to your main saucepan along with another 100ml. Wait to boil and add 100ml of double cream. This is an exciting moment as the dish finally stops looking like the end dregs of a Bombay bad boy pot noodle and starts vaguely resembling a curry.
Now brace yourself people for I have a cooking top tip for you. Yes me. Although I was very kindly given this information by a third party, I have a secret for thickening up your sauce and avoiding any unpleasant lumps. You will need about 80g of plain flour, or less if using corn flour. Put this in a small jar and mix in just a little bit of your original sauce from our saucepan that is bubbling away. Grab a stirring device and stir the sauce into the flour until it becomes a paste, with no lumps. When this is done just add it all to the saucepan and give it a good stir. Your sauce will become thicker, I guarantee. Wow, this has become educational and (mildly) amusing.
My curry was ready to go. All I need now, you would think, is the rice to go with it then I can serve it, enjoy the praise and put last week’s misery behind me. But no, rice is not something I do. Rice is boring and tasteless. I prefer pasta. Yes, let’s have pasta. Oh my, the abuse. It’s just another carbohydrate. It’s not a big deal. New note to self: I’m never cooking when my house are present. It’s just not fun. I was ridiculed.
Nevertheless, after last week’s disappointed, I was relieved. A premature end to this column seemed nigh. It was tasty, portion size was great, it wasn’t the easiest thing to cook and I was thoroughly delighted. Moreover, it cost about £3 for 3 portions! I think I’ve actually won at cooking. Last week was an anomaly. An off day. We all have those. Gordon Ramsey must have those – where he goes a whole day without swearing. I’m sure he’s back on it at breakfast the next day telling his kids to put their salmon and sour cream paté sandwiches with organic sweet potato fries, papaya and freshly made pomegranate and gooseberry smoothie packed lunch in their f****** rucksack before school. As I am this week, with this dish.
Do you know what I fancy now? A fancy dessert. Yes, I’ll make one of them next week.
Jamie Hoyle, Food Columnist
All photographs including the featured image are the columnist’s own.bookmark me