Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Roast Chicken with Indian Spice Rub and Raita: Guilty feelings got no rhythm

There is this mother I see at Daughter #2's preschool that always makes me feel guilty.  She is casually dressed, always wearing some beaded necklace, clearly made for her by her daughter, and she always has a smile on her face, even as she is herding around an unruly son and a precocious daughter.  I have no idea of her name, but her sunny disposition as she deals with her children day in and day out stuns me.  I've never heard her raise her voice and always she has this super bright chipper voice as she asks her daughter not to pull her hair, or hit her brother or whatever reprimand she has to do.  She is always so positive and bright and whenever I see her, I think, I should be more like her.

Not that I don't try.  I try to make it through many days without yelling, without getting aggravated and without feeling like I want to pull out my hair.  I try and take deep breaths, remind myself that Children are still learning and that they are still developing their personality, their character and their attitudes and I shouldn't take it all too seriously.  But I just DO.  I find myself going nutty, losing my temper,and pulling out hair that is turning white way before its time.   And then the angelic face of the mother from Daughter #2's school appears in my head making me feel even more guilty for losing my temper.

But I've been trying to find that grit and inner strength to just keep it all under control.  And there are days that I do (few and far between) and days that I don't.  And on the days that I don't (which are more often) I try and stem the tidal of wave of guilt that comes over me and makes me feel bad. Guilty feelings just got no rhythm.  Feeling guilty doesn't teach me anything, doesn't help me act better, and doesn't change the situation.  I try and see beyond the guilt into change.  What can I do to stop myself?  How can I prevent it from happening next time.  And what do I need to do to change?

One change that I know I can work on is becoming less attached to my food and to stop taking reactions to it (especially from Son and Daughters) so personally.  New recipes get passed in front of their faces more than once a week as I seek out and experiment with new things that I want to potentially post on the blog.  They may or may not like any of them and instead of getting mad at them when they don't, I have to learn to just say, "Okay."  They probably experiment with flavors and new dishes more than the average children do, just because of the blog and generally they are adventurous eaters.  There are plenty of dishes they turn their nose up at and I get personally offended by it.  But I am trying hard not to anymore.  Because after all, it's really only my blood sweat and tears that went into cooking something...nothing more.  It's not me they are rejecting.

Thankfully this dish made it past the panel of judges.  Daughter #1 smelled it roasting in the oven and said, "I think I'm going to like this one."  When Son and Daughter #2 started in on dinner, I just said it was chicken and the two of them did their funky chicken chant.  Soon chicken pieces were decimated as three ravenous children dug in.  Daughter #1 and I doused it with raita while Daughter #2 and Son refused the raita and just enjoyed rice, roasted green beans, and the chicken. 
Roast Chicken with Indian Spice Rub and Raita
Serves 4 to 5

Roast Chicken
3-4 lb chicken, cut up (You can butcher it yourself or buy a precut pack - Trader Joe's has this really great pack of 2 breasts, 3 legs, and 3 thighs that I love to use)

2 tablespoons coriander powder
1 tablespoon cardamom powder
1 tablespoon cumin powder
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3 tablespoons olive oil (more if necessary to get the paste to spread easily on the chicken)

6 cloves of garlic
1 inch knob of ginger
1 jalapeno (optional - leave out if you're worried about it being too spicy for kids)
3 sprigs cilantro, stems and leaves

In a large bowl, mix all the dry spices together.

Using a mini prep (or you can do it by hand if you so desire) process together the garlic, ginger, jalapeno (optional), and cilantro until it is chopped into fine pieces. Add to the spice mixture. Drizzle olive oil and mix until a brown paste forms.

Add cut chicken pieces and using your hands (and a disposable glove) rub all the chicken pieces so that they are thoroughly coated with the spice rub. Add olive oil as needed. Allow spice rub to rest on the chicken for at least 2 hours. (overnight is fine as well.)

Preheat oven to 500. Before cooking the chicken, allow refrigerated chicken to come up to room temperature briefly, about 15 minutes, so it cooks more evenly.

Place chicken a foil lined roasting pan. Make an even single layer with some room around the chicken pieces so that the meat can cook evenly. If the chicken has already been brought out of the fridge and allowed to sit at room temperature for 15 minutes, then place in the center of the oven. Cook for 30 minutes, or until chicken is done. Skin will be golden and crispy. Serve with basmati rice and raita.

(makes about 5 cups - you can halve this recipe)
1 32 ounce container of yogurt
1 cup finely chopped tomato
1 cup finely chopped cucumber
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
3/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 cup finely chopped mint
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

In a large bowl mix all of the ingredients and serve immediately or refrigerate in a covered container for up to 4 days.

Printable recipe

a mental promise to not take my food so seriously


Kyung said...

Sounds incredible, can't wait to try this. My kids loved the Moroccan spice rub, thanks so much for keeping our dinner menus interesting!

Truly Smitten said...

whoa....this sounds soooo delicious! must have to give this a go this weekend! =)

Anonymous said...

This looks delicious, but I wanted to address the issue about having your kids as tasters.

What about making it more like a scientific experiment? You could type up little sheets with things like "Too hot?" "Too cold?" "Too bland?" things like that, with boxes to check, and your kids could fill them out. Could be fun! And it would get them beyond whatever simple but kinda hurtful responses they may give now.

I just found your blog today and I LOVE it!

christao408 said...

Oh, I tried this with pork chops. Lovely! said...

I want to eat dinner @ your house

Anonymous said...

I've made this five times since I found this recipe several months ago, love it! Thanks for a fantastic recipe!!

Anonymous said...

Wow....I found this blog today. Not only was the chicken great but the writing is very up lifting as well. T I made the riata as well. I to have lived out side of the country for 11 years and love food from many differant nationalities...teaching your children to try everything is wonderfu...I always told my kids that what someone has placed on the table before them was the best that they had and to never turn thier nose up at it...they are now 31 and 26 years old and they still adhere to this belief


Prasad Kumar said...

Wow, This one looks amazingly yummy and delicious! I was blog hopping for some great Indian recipes and this one is surely one of them! Thanks for sharing your recipe. More power to you!



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