I remember learning to make coleslaw when I was in my first year at culinary school. It was one of the very first salads I’d ever made, and I now wonder why I don’t make it more often. Culinary school was fun. Hotel Law was a subject we had to take in college and I remember pranking the lecturer by requesting her to explain Coleslaw to the class. The poor lady obviously thought I was referring to Cole’s Law and not the damn salad, and had a fit trying to locate Cole’s Law in her giant “Law Bible” that she carried everywhere.
So anyway – Paro and I have been on the move for more than a month now, and have been eating all kinds of junk on the road. I took it upon myself to make a (somewhat) healthy meal for dinner last night. I decided to make some baked chicken and do a nice little coleslaw on the side.
Cabbage: 01 medium (roughly the size of a three year old’s head)
Carrot: 01 large
Yoghurt: 200 ml
Dijon Mustard: 1 tbsp
Salt: to taste
Black Pepper: 1/2 tsp
T-shirt – 1
Shorts – 1 pair
Flipflops – 1 pair
Cut the cabbage into four, and discard the heart. Slice the leaves as thinly as you can. I’ve gone absolutely crazy over this Kyocera ceramic knife that Paro got me from Japan. The thing is so sharp, I’m a little scared of it. I left it lying at an angle in the kitchen sink one night, and by the next morning it had sliced right through the sink, the counter and most of the floor below. We were asked to vacate our apartment.
Okay. I exaggerate a bit, but this really is the sharpest damn knife I’ve ever seen in my life. I shredded that cabbage like nobody’s business and then got started on the carrots. I like to use a potato peeler when working with carrots. I peeled the carrot, discarded the peel and then continued to shave away. Once I had my carrot shavings lined up, I sliced them too, with Killblade Hellcarver. I put the veg in a bowl and left it in the fridge.
I whisked up the yoghurt till it was nice and smooth and mixed in the Dijon mustard, salt and pepper. I also added a dash of malt vinegar just for kicks. Poured the dressing over the veg and mixed well. Served in a tea cup. Why? Because I could. That’s why.
With my salad done, I got started on the super simple chicken.
Chicken thighs – with the skin on: 6
Red chilli – 2
Lemon – half
Garlic paste – 1 tsp
Tennis ball – 0
Salt and pepper
Finely chop the red chilli. I used Chiili Padi – a super hot Asian chilli that you get everywhere in Singapore. After finely chopping the chillies with Cutlass McFiresword, I added the juice of half a lemon to the chicken and grated up and chucked in the zest as well. Added the garlic paste, salt and pepper and mixed everything up and left the chicken to marinate for a good two hours.
I went back into the kitchen about an hour before dinner, and poured us a couple of nice stiff Gin and Tonics while the oven heated up. Assembled the chicken on a tray, skin side up and baked for 35 minutes at 200 degrees C. When the chicken came out of the oven, the skin was beautifully golden and crisp and I wiped away a little tear of joy. I shifted the pan to the stove-top and dried up the juices in the tray. Note – the chicken will let out quite a lot of moisture so be prepared to do this. Under no circumstances are you allowed to discard the liquid. This is by far the most flavourful part of this dish.
We toasted up some wholemeal wraps and stuffed them with the slaw, and had the chicken on the side. The original idea was to put the chicken into the wrap as well, but we simply didn’t have the patience to de-bone the thighs etc. etc. Anyway, much fun was had and we got a break from the super-heavy food we’ve been eating for the last few weeks. I know it could be lighter if I’d used chicken breast, but that is an indulgence I will allow. Was particularly happy with the slaw. We did not miss the mayonnaise one bit, and the Dijon mustard dazzled like the stars on a school prefect’s shoulder flaps on Sports Day.
Fun fact: My crazy cool new knife is actually the second Kyocera product I own. The first was a Tata Mobitel cellphone in 2002 – one of the very first mobile phones to enter India. Talk about cutting edge technology! (joke credit: fellow punster and good friend Sameer Bora)
Over and out!