It’s this time of the Year again!
I know right? I am of the same opinion too! Did we just not made a toast to welcome the year 2017? This year has been such a ride for me, from every level. All the buttons pushed , pulled and even pressed. Ouf! Let’s set the table, throw the dinner sets that you have been keeping in the cupboards for special occasions and let’s light the candles!We are officially in the festive periods and it’s Christmas soon! Ah I love Christmas! I mean everywhere it is all red and shinning. Lights up and happiness everywhere. On the streets, at the supermarkets, in people’s eyes and hearts and basically in every single houses.
Christmas Roast is among the top list really every time the calendar hits 24th of December. However here in Mauritius, to be honest we do not actually have the traditional Christmas dinner. I meant to say there is no specific menu on that day on the dinner table. A lot of people would happily host BBQ outside in the yards because trust me with that heat hitting you through in December, all you would want to do is stay in the house. Others would probably book a family table in restaurants and eating their heart out on that day. Some I know would gladly make some comforting food to be served followed by ice cream. The menus really vary to be honest because at the end it all comes down to just one thing. A table full of food that we have all grew up feasting on, a table full of food made with love and also a table filled with all that we have on that day, whatever our means.
Just for a change I have decided that this Christmas , gone will be the Roast/BBQ or even Chinese dishes on the table. This Christmas we will go with a Chicken Salmi as main on the table. I think it goes well with the warm and generous mood of Christmas times around. Being a slow cooked dish in red wine along with a tender moist meat falling off the bone practically. The beautiful mix of juices from the chicken and spices and fondant potatoes you would literally steal from the plate of your siblings. I guess it will be a win win all the way on that day. You can serve that luscious Chicken Salmi over white rice and some green salad of your choice. Or maybe an oven based bake such as potato dauphinois to make it more comfy. You are really at your free will here when it comes to the sides you would like to add up to serve this tasty Salmi.
Mauritian Chicken Salmi – Salmi Poulet
Preparation time : 1 hour
Cooking time : 35 mins
- 1kg Chantecler Chicken (whole)
- 2 large onions
- 100g tomato puree
- 2 tbsp ginger/garlic paste
- 1 bay leaf
- 3 star anises
- 5 cloves
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1 tsp coriander seeds
- 2 medium potato cut in chunks (optional)
- salt/pepper cones
- 2 cups red wine for cooking
- vegetable oil
- fresh coriander leaves
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- 5 cardamon pods
- 2 big spoonful plain yogurt
- Cut the Chantecler chicken into respective pieces. Reserve
- In a blender, grind the dry spices mentioned above for the marinade. Mix altogether with the yogurt and set aside.
- Next massage the marinade making sure all the cut chicken pieces are well coated.
- Leave to rest for 30 mins approx.
- Heat a large pan or pressure cooker with vegetable oil and fry onions,ginger/garlic paste,bay leaves,star anise, cloves,cinnamon stick and coriander seeds on a low fire for approx. 8 mins.
- Add the tomato puree and potato chunks, give it a good stir, salt/pepper and throw in the chicken.
- Braise the chicken cuts in the tomato and spice mix for about 10 mins on a high heat making sure you flip them on both sides from time to time.
- When the chicken has started to turn brown, add the wine and 2 cups of water.
- Cover and leave to simmer for 30 mins approx. on a very low fire making sure to stir from time to time.
- When the gravy has reached the consistency of a stew , turn off the gas.
- Serve with fluffy white rice and another glass of wine.
Note: This is a slow cooked dish. You can either use a heavy base saucepan which you normally use to make stew or even a pressure cooker. I find a pressure cooker best because the meat falls off the bone after slow cooking. The only difference lies in the cooking process. The more it is slow cooked, the better will be the outcome. I hope it helps.