We have been snowed in for about 3 days now. I looked through my pantry, fridge and freezer and then looked through my cookbooks. Luckily, I have a ridiculously stocked spice cabinet and pantry and had a whole chicken in the fridge. Thogg, who usually says he hates Indian food, was again impressed with how good this turned out. He went back for thirds again. This spices are very mild and the recipe uses no chilies and is, therefore, not at all hot. This is a recipe that is great for kids or people that complain that ethnic food is too hot. We both loved it. It is rich, but almost all the fat comes from olive oil and ground nuts.
Like the previous Indian recipe, I realize that many people won’t have these spices on hand, but roasting and then hand milling the spices makes a world of difference.
- 1 whole chicken – de-boned and chopped into bite sized pieces (or about 3+ lbs of chicken meat)
- 6 cardamom pods – seeds removed
- 1/2 tsp coriander seeds
- 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
- 3/4 inch long stick of cinnamon – broken into small pieces
- 8 peppercorns
- 6 whole cloves
- 100 grams (2/3 c) blanched almonds
- 75 g ( 1/2 c) shelled pastachioes
- 2 Tbs oil (I used olive oil)
- 2 onions – finely chopped
- 4 cloves of garlic – finely minced
- 2 inch piece of ginger – finely minced
- 1/2 c chicken stock
- 1 c greek (or other style thick) plain yogurt
- 1/8 to 1/4 tsp saffron threads
- For the chicken: remove the skin and cut the meat off the bone and then into bite sized pieces. (You can reserve the carcass for making stock for another dish,)
- In a dutch oven over medium heat, dry roast the coriander seeds, cumin seeds and broken cinnamon stick until fragrant. Place the roasted spices in a mortar and pestle and grind along with the cardamom seeds, peppercorns, and cloves. Grind until you have a fine powder (you can also use a dedicated spice or coffee grinder) Separately, in a food processor, grind the pistachios and blanched almonds until you have a coarse meal.
- Heat the oil in the dutch oven and add the chopped onions. Fry/ cook until the onion becomes golden brown. Add the ginger and fry for a few minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant. Use a few Tbs of white wine to de-glaze the pan at any point if necessary to keep the pan scrapings from burning to the bottom of the pan. Then add the chopped chicken and ground spices and cook for another few minutes. When the chicken begins to whiten, add the chicken broth. Increase heat, bring to a boill, and then reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- While the chicken mixture is cooking, stir together the ground nuts and yogurt in a bowl. In a separate container, add 1 tsp boiling water to the saffron and let it bloom.
- After 30 minutes of simmering, add the nut/yogurt mixture and the bloomed saffron to the chicken. Bring to a low boil and simmer, uncovered for another 10 minutes or until mixture thickens. Stir to keep food from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Serve over rice (recipe link : http://cookingforthogg.livejournal.com/8571.html) or with naan bread.