Chicken Stroganoff

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Russia is one of the most exotic countries I’ve visited till date, especially the city of St. Petersburg! I loved every nook and corner of the city. Even a coffee shop at the corner of the street looked so exotic! The country is rich with history – there are lots of museums, cathedrals etc you could keep visiting and would never end. This is one of the countries I would definitely want to re-visit.

Coming to Russian food, it’s simply yummmm!  I’ve tried quite a lot of dishes starting from Beef Stroganoff, Chicken Kiev, Blini, Pelmeni etc during the one week I was there. Most of their dishes have meat (since it’s cold almost throughout the year) and are rich (with cream and butter) which makes it so delicious and mouth watering. I’ve also tasted the best hot chocolate there at a coffee shop! Since then I’ve been trying hot chocolate wherever I go, but haven’t found anything like it yet!

Yesterday was the first time I tried a Russian recipe in my kitchen. Thinking of the options, ‘Stroganoff’ seemed like the easiest one to start with. The ingredients are simple, easy to cook, quite a quick one and of course the creamy texture with the flavor of butter is just irresistible!

Try this out and you will definitely earn appreciation 🙂

Приятного аппетита!

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Preparation Time: 20 minutes

Cooking Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:

Chicken – 600 g, boneless, cut into 1 to 2 inches long rectangular pieces

Mushroom – 200 g, sliced

Onion – 1.5 medium, chopped finely into small pieces

Garlic – 2 medium cloves, crushed

Paprika – 1.5 teaspoon

Butter – 2 tablespoons

Sour Cream – 200 ml

Chicken stock – 1/2 to 1 cup

Tomato juice – 1 tablespoon

Salt – to taste (if required)

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Step 1: Heat a deep bottomed pan or vessel with 1 tablespoon butter. Add the chicken and cook lightly for a minute or two. Transfer to a dish and keep aside.

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Step 2: Add the rest of the butter to the heated pan or vessel. Add the onion, garlic and mushroom and cook for around 3 minutes.

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Step 3: Add the paprika and tomato juice and mix well. Add the chicken stock followed by the chicken and the sour cream.

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Step 4: Cook the chicken on medium heat until it is fully cooked (stir intermittently) and until you have a nice creamy mixture of the chicken and the mushroom (ensure it’s not too watery). Check for salt and add only if required (chicken stock would contain salt).

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Step 5: Garnish with chopped fresh parsley and serve hot with rice, bread or noodles. I served it with rice mixed with parsley.

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A few tips:

  • You can use beef instead of chicken, but make sure you cut thin strips of the beef to make it less time consuming to fry and cook. Also replace chicken broth with beef broth.
  • I used low calorie butter and light sour cream and it didn’t affect the taste. You can use the same as a lower calorie substitute.
  • Add a teaspoon of pepper while frying the chicken.

Baked Fish with Mushroom Sauce

Fish had been a staple diet at home since I was a kid. There would be a fish dish (mostly river fish) everyday at home along with vegetables. Even when there was a meat dish cooked, there would still be fish fry or something by the side. It had become such a dreadful daily affair that it came to a point where I started hating fish! Maybe it was due to the fact we had it almost everyday, almost the same types of fish (except the seasonal ones) and the recipes were similar. A kind of monotony had set in. I had even starting having arguments with my mother as I refused to eat fish! When I left my hometown to attend college, I was so relieved from this and it was then that my staple diet changed from fish to chicken or meat and it had been that way since then! I ate out on most days during my college and I wouldn’t even look at the fish section on the menu.

However, after I came to Singapore, I found myself opening up slowly to eating fish again. It started with my husband asking me to taste the fish dishes he ordered for himself when we went to restaurants.  I started thinking “Well… these are not that bad, these are rather good!” I started trying out some fish recipes of different cuisines at home and started liking it. Another reason for this is the wide variety of fish available here. You’ll be amazed at the variety at the big wet markets! Even now fish is not the first option I would usually go for, but if there are yummy recipes, why not?

Recently, I wanted to try some recipe with mushrooms since I had two packets of mushrooms in the fridge, and hence tried this recipe.

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Serves: 4

Preparation Time: 20 minutes

Cooking Time: 35 minutes

Ingredients:

Fish Fillet – 1000 gm (four fillets of 500 gm each), you can use the fish of your choice

Mushrooms – 400 gms

Cooking Oil – 3 tablespoons

Garlic – 4 medium cloves, chopped; 3 cloves ground into a paste

Onion – 1.5 chopped, 0.5 ground into a paste

Butter – 1 to 2 tablespoons

Whipped Cream – 1/2 cup

Vegetable Stock – 1 cube, mixed in 1/4th cup hot water

Salt – to taste

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Step 1: Add around half of the quantity of the butter, onion and garlic paste  and 1 tablespoon oil to the fish. Make sure the ingredients are spread evenly and marinade the fish for around 10-15 minutes. Meanwhile, you can prepare the other ingredients.

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Step 2: Heat the rest of the oil in a pan. Add the chopped onions and garlic and fry for few minutes until it has a nice brown color.

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Step 3: Add the mushrooms and cook until they are soft, but not mushy. Meanwhile, pre-heat the oven to 125 degrees centigrade.

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Step 4: Once the mushrooms are cooked, add the cream and vegetable stock. Cook until the desired consistency is reached. Add salt for taste. The mushroom sauce is done.

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Step 5: Place the fish in a baking dish. Add half of the mushroom sauce on top of the fish. Bake the fish until cooked. Transfer on to a serving dish and pour the rest of the hot sauce. Serve with the bread of your choice.

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A few tips:

  • I prefer baking the fish with half the mushroom sauce and then pouring the rest. If you prefer, pour the whole sauce on the fish before baking, or bake the fish separately and then pour the sauce on top.
  • Instead of vegetable stock, you can also use mushroom stock if available.
  • You can also add thyme leaves to the sauce if you like the taste.