Stories born over SMS : Flash Fictions by a prankster

 

The bed  time stories are supposed to be soothing to mind and soul as they say, but what if they are spooky stories..!  These are few flash fiction that I wrote over SMS to a friend as a prank , just to bid her good night ! The very next morning she asked me put them on the blog ,so here I  go ..

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I was telling the Cinderella story to my three year old daughter .As I began to tell her the story, she looked at me and said ,” Dad, tell some other story. Mom told me this yesterday night. The only thing that is unsettling is that  her mother is in coma in the local hospital after she met  with an accident yesterday morning and our daughter  has  not been  informed about this yet !!

 

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My son was holding me tight, tears rolled down his cheeks as he repeatedly  kissed my forehead. I wanted to hug him back, but as they say dead men don’t react!

 

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”Dad, life is good, there’s no pressure from mom to excel in exams, no one asks these days why I started doing drugs  after joining college, no one to bother me with question about how I developed HIV. Life is good.” – I found this letter written by my son today  morning  below my pillowcase. Today is my son’s 1st  death anniversary .He committed suicide a year back.

 

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I don’t enjoy eating dinner alone .So I ask my ex wife to visit me for dinner whenever she can .But she always makes me promise to see her off to her grave, post dinner!

 

 

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It was a humid summer afternoon in Calcutta. Came back from work and had to climb all the stairs up to my 4th floor apartment as the lift was not working. I opened the  main door tired and fatigued,   wiped the tiny bit of sweat  accumulated on my forehead while entering the hall way.My throat was all thirsty ,so I reached out for the fridge  to take out a bottle of  water.A hand came out of the fridge to offer me the bottle of water as soon as I opened the fridge door.It was not my hand.

 

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How To Roast Whole Chicken

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If you are part of the Bong Appetite family you know it by now, I am on an undeclared hibernation mode. Life in general keeping me little busy and bit pre occupied  with few other things which require immediate attention. But that does not mean that Bong Appetite is completely out of my mind. The Facebook page , gets it’s share of my inputs now and then. But yes, I take the blame of not being regular anymore. Hopefully this ”break term” will not be an everlasting one and I will be  back soon  with a bang and a bag full of recipes.

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Winter is here, so my kitchen is buzzing with the oven alarm  quite frequently, with roasts and casserole pots retaining the heat and warmth of the kitchen. It was just another weekend in December.  With temperature going as low as zero degree ,I decided to make our selves a whole chicken roast, that would suit the  cold weather and our palate equally well. The roast dinner, required little bit of preplanning and ground work like bringing the chicken to room temperature, cleaning and preparing it for roasting. Once done I served the chicken with roasted vegetables and a gravy sauce. The outcome was  extremely mouth watering  and aromatic with smells of fresh herbs. The result was definitely worth all the effort put together.

 

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Ingredients for the stuffing

1 onion,peeled and finely chopped

1 tbsp. fresh sage (or any other herb of your choice),finely chopped

White bread crumbs : 80gm

Sunflower oil: 1tbsp

1 egg,beaten

Salt and pepper ,to taste

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Instructions

  • Heat the wok,put the oil,sweat the onions till transluscent  but soft.
  • Add bread crumbs  to the onions,mix it and season it well.
  • Take off the flame, add the egg and combine it well.
  • Roll the mixture into stuffing balls
  • Put the balls in a pre-heated oven at 180 degree Celcius for about 30 minutes,till they change colour to golden brown.
  • Take the balls out of the oven ,let them cool down little bit before stuffing.

 

Tips and tricks for making the perfect crispy roast  chicken

  • Take the chicken out the fridge and keep it outside ,to allow it to come down to the room temperature from chilled  temperature.This will allow the chicken to be evenly cooked and roasted.
  • Remove  the giblets, clean the chicken, rinse thoroughly and pat it dry to remove all the extra moisture.
  • This chicken roast when done in micro oven convection grill mode or  OTG or  conventional oven  will give more or less the same result. However, in each case, the oven needs to be preheated  to the required temperature.
  • However, it is important to note that the cooking time in each oven varies,hence the temperature can be well adjusted  and bit altered according to the oven you are using.
  • Do not drain the juice of the chicken left in the pan, as that is rich in flavour and can be used in  making the gravy sauce.
  • One of the main secret to have a brown  top crispy skin grilled chicken is to start cooking with a dry skin chicken and end up with a dry skin chicken as well.  For this it is important to bring the chicken to room temperature from a chilled state and pat it dry completely with paper towels. This will ensure uniform cooking. It is also necessary to allow sufficient air circulation. Thus using a shallow roasting pan and rack that hold the chicken well above the edge of the pan is important.
  • I started roasting at a bit higher temperature of 220 degrees for the first 45 minutes and then went  down to 180 degrees to   allow  slow cooking. Towards the end I increased the temperature again to allow the top skin to become crispy . I also gave additional 20 minutes for the chicken to seat in the warm enclosed oven after I turned off the oven. This allowed the chicken to retain it’s crackling top by not getting suddenly enclosed to a much cooler temperature outside.
  • The cooking time will also largely depend on the size of the chicken. Larger bird will take more time to cook. It’s  important to keep a constant eye on the chicken when its nearing doneness and not leave it completely unattended.

 

 

Ingredients for the Chicken Roast

10-12 cloves of garlic

3 table spoon olive oil

1 lemon, halved

50 gm. butter

2 sprigs of fresh rosemary or thyme

2-3 shallots

salt and pepper,to taste

1 whole chicken of 1.5oo kg ,preferably organic   (rinsed  and patted dry with giblets  removed)

 

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Method

  • Preheat  the oven to 220C.
  • In a food processor ,pulse 6 garlic,1 tbsp. olive oil, salt ,pepper,lemon juice of half a lemon, until they form a coarse paste.
  • Smother  this mixture over chicken and under the  skin, covering the breast and thighs of the chicken.Place half of the paste under the skin,directly on meat of breast and thighs.
  • Spread the entire exterior  surface of the chicken with the remaining paste
  • Season the  chicken with salt and pepper.
  • Add one lemon half and rosemary or thyme sprigs to inside of chicken.
  • Stuff the chicken with the stuffing balls, shallots,remaining garlics and a small butter cube.
  • Rub the chicken well with the remaining butter  and olive oil.
  • Put the chicken in the oven in a roasting pan ,with the chicken loosely covered by a foil. This will allow the chicken to cook in its own moisture.
  • Roast with the foil cover for  about 45 minutes at 220 degree Celsius.
  • After 45 minutes, remove the foil cover and let the chicken roast thoroughly.
  • Occasionally take out the chicken and   brush the chicken  with its own juice with a silicon cooking brush .
  • Let it roast, by reducing the temperature  for another 45 minutes at 180C/320-350F/Gas 3-4 or until the chicken is thoroughly cooked  and piping hot ,with  no pink colour remaining.
  • When almost done, towards the end increase the temperature to 220 degrees .As that will   ensure a crispy brown top. However, keep an   eye on the chicken to avoid it burning.
  • The juices should run clear when the deepest part of the flesh, specially around the  thighs is pierced with a thin skewer.
  • When done, turn off the oven and let the chicken seat in the enclosed warm oven for another 20 minutes.
  • Check for doneness, remove the chicken  from the oven and then carve.
  • Serve the carved chicken with gravy sauce and  roasted vegetables of your choice.

 

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Sauce/Gravy:

2 tbsp. of chicken  juices from the roasting pan

2 shallots

2 sprigs of thyme or rosemary

juice of 1 lemon

1 cup chicken stock

2tbsp butter

 

Method

  •  Sauté shallots in olive oil till translucent.
  • Add the chicken juice from the roasting pan.
  • Add 2 sprigs of thyme or rosemary,juice of lemon.
  • Add chicken stock cubes or reserved  chicken stock.
  • Let the sauce reduce for about 5 minutes,then  stir in the butter.
  • Combine and  mix well.
  • When well incorporated, take it off the stove and serve.
  • Enjoy!!

 

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