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Final week, we confirmed how you might tenderize a troublesome minimize of meat by beating it up. This week, we go for the chemical substances.

In accordance with our trusty “Meals Lover’s Companion,” there are 3 ways you possibly can tenderize meat chemically: lengthy, gradual cooking; use of a industrial meat tenderizer (Ac’cent is probably the best-known model); or marinating in an acid-based marinade that accommodates enzymes, which break down connective tissue. Acids typically used for tenderizing embrace lemon juice, papaya, inexperienced mango and live-cultured yogurt.

See more: 3 ways to tenderize meat

As a younger pupil on the Culinary Institute of America, Chris obtained a graphic demonstration in how the cultures in yogurt can go to work on meals. He and a few buddies whipped up a bowl of do-it-yourself yogurt and dumped a rooster into it. The following day, all they discovered had been bones and a few ugly and unpalatable lumps of dissolving rooster meat.

The lesson: Do not overdo the yogurt.

For a troublesome poultry minimize like thighs, we recommend marinating for 4 hours. Ditto for beef or lamb. Extra tender cuts, like rooster breasts, want about one hour in a yogurt marinade. Fish and shellfish want even much less.

Right here, the yogurt marinade turns into, with slightly tinkering and mild simmering, a creamy Indian-style sauce.

You should use this marinade/sauce for different meats or seafood. Simply keep in mind to shorten the marinading time in case you make this dish with shellfish or fish, then take away the seafood from the marinade earlier than you start cooking. Reintroduce the fish or shellfish to the cooking pot when the potatoes are cooked by. The fish ought to take solely 5 to 10 minutes to cook dinner, relying on dimension and selection.

Experiment with the sauce. It will be nice spooned over roasted duck or grilled rooster.

Hen In Yogurt Sauce

Make sure that the yogurt you employ is inoculated with reside yogurt cultures; in any other case you will not get the required enzyme motion that may tenderize the rooster. The yogurt carton ought to inform you if it accommodates reside cultures. Pure accompaniments are steamed rice and commercially ready mango chutney.

* 4 rooster thighs, about 2 kilos complete

* 1 cup plain yogurt

* 1/2 teaspoon paprika

* 1/2 teaspoon cumin

* 1/2 teaspoon turmeric

* 1/2 teaspoon curry powder

* 1 8-ounce onion

* 1 8-ounce pink bell pepper

* 1 pound potatoes

* 1 tablespoon oil

* 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

* 1 tablespoon water

* 1 14-ounce can unsweetened coconut milk

* 2 teaspoons kosher salt

* 1 tablespoon sugar

* 1 teaspoon scorching sauce (optionally available)

* 1/4 cup chopped scallions

Take away the pores and skin and any extraneous fats from the rooster thighs. Wash beneath chilly operating water, and pat dry.

In a small bowl, mix the paprika, cumin, turmeric and curry powder with the yogurt. Add the thighs to the yogurt. Together with your fingers or a big spoon, flip the thighs within the yogurt so they’re totally coated.

Cowl the bowl, and refrigerate 4 hours.

In the meantime, put together the greens. Minimize the peeled onion into julienned strips about 1/2-inch thick. Do the identical with the pink pepper, coring the pepper first and trimming away the bitter ribs contained in the vegetable.

Go away the potatoes unpeeled, in case you like, however wash the pores and skin completely to take away floor grime. Roughly chop the potatoes into 1-inch cubes.

Put a heavy-bottomed casserole or massive pot on excessive warmth. When the pan is scorching, pour in 1 tablespoon of oil.

Add the onion strips, together with 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1 tablespoon of water. The concept is to “sweat” the onions to melt them however not brown them. After a minute or so, put the pink pepper strips within the pot with one other 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Stir often to maintain the greens from burning.

When the onions and peppers have wilted, place the cubed potatoes within the pot, then pour within the rooster items with their marinade. Pour within the coconut milk. Stir to mix.

Cowl the casserole, and decrease the warmth to medium or medium-low. You wish to preserve a gradual simmer.

Cook dinner the rooster for 45 minutes, or till the meat is cooked by and the potatoes are tender.

Style rigorously, and steadiness seasonings. We added 2 teaspoons kosher salt, 1 tablespoon sugar and 1 teaspoon scorching sauce.

At this level, you possibly can take away the casserole from the warmth and refrigerate for later use. Or serve instantly.

Sprinkle 1/4 cup chopped scallions on high of the rooster simply earlier than serving. You need the scallions to take care of their crispness.

Christopher Prosperi is chef-owner of Metro Bis restaurant in Simsbury. Invoice Daley is a meals author and restaurant reviewer with The Hartford Courant.

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