Chicken with Indian Spices & Yogurt

Chicken with Indian Spices & Yogurt

From Mark Bittman How To Cook Everything

Serves 4

4 tbsp peanut or canola or other oil
About 1 cup AP flour for dredging
Salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 whole (3- to 4-pound) chicken, cut up (legs cut in two), trimmed of excess fat, then rinsed & patted dry with paper towels
2 medium onions, chopped
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp peeled & grated fresh ginger, or 1 tbsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp cayenne, or to taste
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 cups plain yogurt
Minced cilantro leaves for garnish

1. Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large, deep skillet, Dutch oven, or casserole. Put the flour on a plate or in a shallow bowl & season it with salt & pepper. When the oil is hot (a pinch of flour will sizzle), dredge the chicken pieces in the flour (thighs first, followed by drumsticks, then finally breasts & wings), shaking off any excess. As you coat the pieces, add them to the oil & brown on all sides. Regulate the heat so that the oil bubbles but is not so hot that it will burn the chicken. (You can skip this browning step if you like, as noted above; heat the oil & go directly to cooking the onions.)

2. When the chicken is nicely browned, remove it from the skillet & pour off all but a couple of tablespoons of the oil. Turn the heat to medium & add the onions, along with some salt & pepper. Cook, stirring, until they soften, about 5 minutes.

3. Add the garlic, ginger, & spices, along with an additional 1/2 teaspoon of pepper. Cook with the onions, stirring, until very aromatic, 2 or 3 minutes. Stir in the yogurt, then add the chicken pieces. Cover & cook over medium-low heat, turning the pieces every 5 minutes or so, until the chicken is cooked through, 20 to 30 minutes (longer if you skipped the browning step).

4. Taste & adjust seasoning as needed. Garnish & serve.

Kim's Notes:
This dish was really good, although admittedly we need to work on our butchering skills. The smell in our house was amazing. It's the best our house has ever smelled. I had all of the spices except ground cardamom & it was kind of expensive. Publix had two choices, one was $10, one was $8 -- FYI. We served this with basmati rice. I bought some garlic naan from Trader Joe's, but forgot to make it. I wish I had because naan would have been really good to dip into the sauce.

Also, this was our first 'whole chicken' experience. I bought an organic chicken from Publix that already (thankfully) had the giblets (?) removed. I don't even know what giblets are, but I'm glad I didn't have to find out, although I never actually touched the chicken. John made the entire meal.

I remember when I was little & would watch my grandmother make fried chicken (my favorite meal) & would fake dry heave & squeal (yes, I've always been this dramatic) watching her clean & cut up the chicken. And she used to say, "You better get used to this because one day you're going to have a husband & a family & you're going to have to do this for them."

The entire time John was butchering his way through butchering the chicken, pun intended, I was laughing and thinking about how funny my grandmother is going to find this & how she will laugh out loud at the fact that I've managed to marry a man who will make me chicken without me ever actually having to touch it myself. Nama, I win, hahaha!

Oh, also knives. WTH knife are you supposed to use to cut up a whole chicken? Our chef's knife failed us & I had no idea which of our other 7 knives to use.... And lastly, where can we get our knives professionally sharpened?

That is all. Highly recommend this recipe, although set aside a substantial amount of time for it, unless, unlike us, you can clean & butcher a whole chicken in less than an hour.

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