Saturday, August 11, 2012

Heart Warming Stories, Soulful Food : Bringing a bit of Pune into my kitchen - Chicken and Leek Stroganoff, an ode to Prems

One of my favorite places in Pune while I spent five years there was Prems. Quaint and relaxed, it was the perfect place to go to anytime of the day. No clue how ‘happening’ it is now but back in those days it was perfect for the once a month splurge on a good meal kind of place, apt for a first date or to spend a few hours drinking beer and reading a book. Prems appealed to everyone.

I used to love the way a huge tree would cover the entire courtyard and in the late afternoon little leaves would fall down and scatter on pristine white table cloths. I still remember they had a cat or two which was not very pleasing for me but it did add some character to the place. However, what I most remember about Prems is the Chicken Stroganoff. 

The first time I ever tasted Stroganoff was  in fact at Prems. And I became a regular for Stroganoff and beer.  The creaminess and the flavor of the dish were delectable. Even today I can think about it and go into a dreamy state that reminds me of those carefree college days, late afternoon lunches, a chilled foster and the Chicken Stroganoff. 

A few days ago I woke up thinking about Prems. Yes, I dream of food. Kill me if you want to.

As luck would have it I was browsing through one of my JamieOliver cook books and I found his 19 minute recipe to Chicken and Leek Stroganoff. Can you believe my excitement, Maybe I should have asked the lord for a million bucks!

Anyways it was the weekend and post a quick trip to the grocery store, I was ready. The Stroganoff turned out YUM and bought little taste of Pune in my home with a whole lot of memories to think and reminisce about during the weekend.

I just love how food brings us closer to who we are, where we come from and takes us, where we ought to be.

Chicken and Leek Stroganoff

So here’s the quick and easy recipe thanks to Jamie Oliver (it took me longer than 19 minutes though :-))

What you need

Rice – I used one cup Basmati
Leeks – The recipe said 1 large leek but I found a packet of baby leeks and used those
Mushrooms – used regular white ones
2 chicken breasts
Olive oil
A glass of white wine  - J I used more than a glass
A bunch of fresh parsley
around 250 gms of single cream
1 lemon 
Seasoning – salt and freshly ground pepper

And what you do
Boil rice as you would and set aside.
In the meanwhile, chop the leeks, slice the chicken into little finger type size, slice the mushrooms.
Heat a pan and add the butter, olive oil, leeks and white wine with some water and seasoning. Cover with a foil and let it boil away for five minutes.
Chop the parsley and then add the chicken, mushrooms, parsley and cream to the pan. Bring to a boil, add seasoning and simmer till the chicken is cooked. Just before turning off the heat, add some more seasoning if need be and half of the lemon juice.

Serve on a bed of rice with some parsley garnishing and wedges of lemon.

As easy as it gets!

Happy cooking!

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