Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Daily Report: A Recipe From My Childhood

We made barbecue chicken today. It wasn't just any barbecue chicken, it was my mother's barbecue chicken, using a recipe handed down from my grandmother, who got it out of a magazine back many decades ago. I obviously grew up on this recipe, and obviously haven't had it since moving to Asia 7 years ago.

We had to substitute a few ingredients, which I'm sure my mother would cringe at, but surprisingly it tasted damn near perfect: We used this stuff called "matam-is" (a coconut-based, sweet, brown crumbly substance) instead of brown sugar (one half as sweet as brown sugar though, so we used 2 times as much), and we used chili powder instead of mustard powder. I also had Chef Susan add in extra onion per my preference.

Here is the recipe:
  1. Simmer 3 large diced onions and 3 diced cloves of garlic in 1½ cup of oil.
  2. Make a paste of 3 teaspoon of paprika, 3 teaspoon of salt, 3 teaspoon of dry mustard, 3 tablespoon of brown sugar with 6 tablespoons of water.
  3. Combine the paste with the simmering ingredients.
  4. Add 7-1/2 cups of tomato juice.
  5. Simmer 15 minutes.
  6. After sauce is cooked, add 1 cup of lemon juice.
The bar-be-que process is the most important part:
  1. Use parboiled chicken (with skin).
  2. With the pot of sauce next to the grill, cook the chicken over an aggressive flame that nearly touches the chicken.
  3. Take each piece of chicken and dip it whole in the sauce, and put it back on the grill. Then after a minute or so, repeat the process, flipping the chicken. Do this 10 times or so. If you do it right, the chicken outside should be a bit charred and blackened, but still moist.
  4. When you serve the chicken, make sure to keep the barbecue sauce on the table to use as a gravy.

In other news, I almost hired a night watchman today to stay at the house. I wanted to pay 1,500 pisos per month for a 5-hour shift... but the guy immediately asked for 2,000 pisos... too much for a job of that type. I would have paid it, but my thought was that hiring somebody whose first display is one of greed to watch your valuables wouldn't be wise.

We also installed a light over the front of the garage, over the street. It is one of those ultra-bright 20-watt flourescent bulbs. It makes a huge difference to the nighttime out front, and really eliminates all of the shadowy places where somebody could hide from sight. Add to that the fact that Tyson (a true guard dog now in his reaction to people coming on the property) is now spending his nights outside, and the house is much more secure (knock on wood).


Anonymous said...

Let me correct you on that recipe. As much as I wish I could, I cannot take credit for it, as it was your father's mother who got it out of the newspaper. I'm sure your father would be very upset if she didn't get the correct credit. And rightly so.

Kris Wong said...

I'll give it a try!