The grill deal

Down foodpath

The grill deal

I was born and brought up in Hubballi but most of my childhood was spent in Bengaluru. That is how I developed a special bond with the city.
    
While I was growing up, I used to help my dad in cooking. This helped me develop an interest in cooking later on in life. My dad used to work with the Indian Railways as a driver and used to tell me stories about how he and his friends cooked food in the steam engine. These stories have always inspired me.

 I completed my hotel management from MMA College of Catering Technology and Hotel Management, Chennai. I kickstarted my career at Le Meridien Bangalore about 20 years ago. Now I serve as a chef at ‘Three Dots and a Dash’.

I have always been passionate about food and loved experimenting with different cuisines by giving them a twist. In fact, I have learnt a lot about the culinary world from my seniors at school who by then had already joined the hotel industry.

French cuisine is what I specialise in. Though the preparation is complicated, I like to challenge myself.  ‘Chicken cordon bleu stuffed with ham and Swiss cheese’ is what I love to cook the best. However, the goodness of olive oil and the mystic aroma of herbs and spices always makes me fall in love with Italian cuisine.

Moreover, it is also easy to make. I have a special connection with seafood and I am never tired of cooking ‘grilled fish’. ‘Salmon Wellington’ is another dish I absolutely love preparing at any time of the day. The three must-haves in my kitchen are cheese, a well-sharpened knife and fresh vegetables. Herbs like thyme and rosemary are two ingredients that I can’t do without. They are like the cherries on the cake for me.

Cooking is an art that must be done from the heart. One can’t just make food to cook tasty food, they should have a passion towards it.

The recipe that I share today is that of ‘Grilled Chicken Eschalots’.  It is pan-seared chicken which is highly nutritious — rich in protein and iron with zero percent cholesterol.   

Recipe: Grilled Chicken Eschalots

Ingredients

  • Chicken breast, 200 gm
  • Fresh mushroom, 30 gm
  • Demi-glace, 50 gm
  • Fresh thyme, 1 strip
  • Potato flakes, 30 gm
  • Butter, 10 gm
  • Refined oil, 20 ml
  • Carrot, 20 gm
  • Garlic, 10 gm
  • Whole peppercorn, 10 gm
  • Baby corn, 10 gm
  • Broccoli, 10 gm
  • A pinch of nutmeg.
  • Lemon juice, 1 tbsp
  • Shallots, 50 gm
  • Celery, 10 gm
  • Leeks, 10 gm
  • A pinch of star anise
  • Chicken stock, 200 ml
  • Red wine, 20 ml
  • Salt, 1 tsp


Method

  • Mix together oil, lemon juice and a dash of salt.
  • Pound the chicken breasts, then marinate them for about 24 hours in the fridge.
  • Grill them for eight to 10 minutes until it is golden brown and cooked evenly on both sides. Set them aside.
  • Place the shallots and garlic in a pan with chicken stock and demi-glace, butter, a pinch of nutmeg, celery, leeks, star anise, mushroom, crushed peppercorn and a teaspoon of salt. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, then cook, covered, for 15 minutes.
  • Remove the lid, add red wine and cook for another minute until the liquid evaporates and shallots are well glazed.
  • Add the grilled chicken and cook it to perfection.
  • Serve along with pan-seared vegetables complemented with mash potatoes garnished with fresh thyme.


Tips: Demi-glaze can be replaced by plum tomato sauce and fresh basil drizzled with olive oil.
Chicken can be oven roasted instead of grilled.
 

(Executive chef, Three Dots and a Dash)
(As told to Surupasree Sarmmah)

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