Saturday, October 27, 2007

Stewed Chicken with Indian Spices

No sassy introductions, I'm just going to get right down to business.
There's what we're working with for today's meal. I know all those little baggies of spices might seem intimidating but hey, it is what it is. Umm, ignore the liquor in the back corner. And the bottle of acetaminophen. Yes, there is a relationship between the two. Ugh.

Take two pinches each of black mustard, cumin, fennel, fenugreek and nigella seeds. Place in a container. Add 3 cloves, two whole cinnamon sticks, 3 bay leaves and 2 teaspoons of ground coriander. Set aside

Grate ginger to yield 1.5 tablespoons. Grate garlic to yield 3 teaspoons. I use a Microplane Grater to do this.
Grate enough onion to yield two cups.
Grab 5 dried red chiles and set aside.

Skin 9 average sized chicken thighs. Rinse, drain, and set aside.

Place two tablespoons of butter and two tablespoons of oil in a heated pot. Allow the butter to melt. The mixture will foam up.

Wait until the foaming subsides and toss in the mustard seed/cinnamon/clove/bay leaf/coriander mixture. Saute for about a minute. The spices should become very aromatic. DO NOT ALLOW THE SPICES TO BURN. IF THEY BURN, THROW EVERYTHING OUT AND START OVER. It should, however, get nice and brown.

At this point, toss in the grated onion and the dried chiles. Turn the heat down to medium. The onion will be quite juicy so you want to cook it until most of the onion juice has evaporated. Here's a before and after shot.

Add the chicken. Turn the heat back up to high. Stir throughly. Allow the chicken to cook until it's changed color from raw to white.

Pour enough water over the chicken until it just barely covers the chicken.

Toss in a good 2 teaspoons of salt. Bring everything up to a boil then turn the heat down to a bare simmer, cover and cook for 30 minutes. Give it all another stir, taste for seasoning and cook until the chicken is tender...maybe another 15-20 minutes.

I'll be the first to admit that this dish looks like a gloopy mess but trust me on this, it tastes great. Serve with plenty of rice to soak up the stewing juices.

Time- 1 hour, much of it unsupervised
Food Cost-
Chicken- $3.50
Onions- $1.00
Incidentals- $1.00
Total- $5.50
Serves 4 average adults.

No comments: