Rich and creamy

Anjali Jhangiani
Thursday, 29 June 2017

With the beef ban, it is impossible to make an authentic preparation of Beef Stroganoff. So for the love of the creamy sauce, we settled for the next best thing — Chicken Stroganoff. 

With the beef ban, it is impossible to make an authentic preparation of Beef Stroganoff. So for the love of the creamy sauce, we settled for the next best thing — Chicken Stroganoff. 

A traditional Russian recipe, the dish is a perfect meal to make you feel warm and cosy in the monsoon weather. With the widespread popularity of this dish came variations to suit the palate of people with different tastes living in different countries. It has earned the reputation of a wholesome meal and is frequently listed under ‘mains’ in the menus of bars and pubs across the world. In Pune, the Classic Rock Coffee Co., Kalyaninagar, serves a delicious preparation of Chicken Stroganoff. 

Talking about it, chef Arjun Sunnar says, “We cannot prepare a traditional Stroganoff recipe because it is supposed to be made with beef, in beef stock. Instead we use chicken and chicken stock. We use Demi Glace powder to make the sauce; alternatively you can make it with chicken stock and corn starch. The main ingredient that is integral to the identity of the dish is sour cream.”

While the Russians use diced beef, for the chicken version, Sunnar uses chicken juliennes from the leg piece. “The dish is served with noodles in some places, but we decided to serve it with herb rice. The rice is flavoured with parsley and thyme,” he says. 

You’d think that the dish is named after the inventor, but is actually named after an influential family. Anne Volokh with Mavis Manus, in their book The Art of Russian Cuisine stated that unlike the French, who named their traditional dishes after the people who invented them, the Russians name their traditional recipes after famous households. Apart from Stroganoff, they give examples of Veal Orlov and Bagration Soup. 
Here, Sunnar shares a simple Stroganoff to make at home.

Easy Chicken Stroganoff

-    Chicken breast (cleaned and cut in 1/2 inch cubes)    1/2 kg 
-    Paprika    1 tsp
-    Garlic (minced)    6 cloves
-    All-purpose flour..........................2 tbsp
-    Sweet onion (chopped)...    1 large
-    Butter    .2 tbsp
-    Olive oil    1 tbsp
-    Worcestershire sauce    2 tbsp
-    Ketchup...    3 tbsp
-    Dijon mustard..    .2 tbsp 
-    Squashed tomatoes...    1 cup
-    Heavy cream..    .1 1/2 cup 
-    Salt to taste
-    Chives (chopped) to garnish

Method
-    In a large bowl, mix the chicken cubes with the salt, garlic, paprika and flour till all the chicken pieces are coated.
-    In a large skillet, heat the olive oil and butter and sauté the onion until translucent (about 2 mins).
-    Add the chicken and cook until the chicken is browned on all sides (about 5 mins).
-    Add the Worcestershire sauce and stir. Add mustard and the ketchup and cook for a minute.
-    Add the squashed tomatoes and stir until everything is mixed.
-    Check to see if the chicken is cooked through. If it isn’t, lower the heat and let it simmer until the chicken is done.
-    When the chicken is cooked well, stir in the heavy cream and let it cook for an additional five minutes.
-    Sprinkle some chopped chives to garnish and serve hot over a bed of hot steamed rice.

The author can be followed on Twitter @purplesaga

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