Saturday, October 5, 2013

Kozhi Nirachathu/ Stuffed Chicken

Chicken-1 small one (1 1/2 lb)
For the initial marinade:
Red chili powder- 2-3 teaspoon, or as per spice level
Turmeric- 1 teaspoon., Salt to taste

For the stuffing:
Egg -1 or 2

Onions - 1 medium sized ones,Green chilies- 4
Curry leaves- 1 sprig.
Coriander leaves- a handful, chopped
Ginger-garlic- Together 1 tsp
Coriander powder- 1 teaspoon
Turmeric- 1/4 tsp
Red chili powder- 1/4 tsp
Poppy seeds (Khus Khus) - 1/4 tsp
Cashew nuts- 6 chopped, Raisins- 10
Salt -1/4 tsp

For the gravy:
Onions - 2 medium sized ones, Green chilies- 5
Tomatoes- 2 medium ones. (Or 1/2 can tomato puree)
Curry leaves- 1 sprig.
Garlic paste- 11/2 tsp.
Ginger paste- 1 1/2 tsp
Lime juice- 1 tsp
Coriander leaves-a handful chopped
Curry leaves- a handful
Coriander powder- 1 tsp
Turmeric- 1/4 tsp
Red chili powder- 2 tsp
Garam masala (biryani masala) - 1/2 tsp
Salt -to taste, Oil - for frying

Preparation Method:
1. Clean the whole chicken both inside and outside. Rinse with a dash of lemon juice to remove unpleasant smells. Mix the chili powder, turmeric and salt and apply all over the chicken. Cover and set aside in the fridge for as much time as you have.

2. Prepare the stuffing. Boil the egg(s) till fully firm and peel. The number of eggs depends on how big the chicken is. Heat 2 tbsp oil and fry the curry leaves, onions, green chilies, ginger garlic till the onions start turning brown. Add more oil if needed to prevent the onions from sticking to the pan. Add all the remaining spices (for the stuffing only) and saute well till the spices start leaving off an aroma.The raisins, cashew nuts and poppy seeds are optional.It adds a sweetness to the stuffing. Mix the boiled egg into this mix and keep aside.

3 Stuff the above mix into the chicken.....First the egg, then the onions into the chicken's cavity, taking care not to over stuff. There should be no stuffing coming out. Now tie the chicken's legs and hands together with kitchen twine.

4. Heat 1/3 cup oil in a saute pan large enough to contain the whole chicken and gently put the chicken in it and stir. Fry on medium heat till the chicken is browned on all sides. Not fully fried, just lightly browned.

5. Now drain the chicken and prepare the gravy. If you are not a fan of caramelized onion gravy, you could skip the gravy altogether and continue cooking the chicken in the saute pan or wok. Keep it covered for 10 mins or more on each side till the chicken is fully cooked on the inside. Alternatively, after the initial frying, you could cover it well in an oven proof dish and bake it for 20 mins at 350 degrees.

6. Gravy/sauce:
Slice onions and chilies finely. Grind aniseed to a fine powder and mix with all the other spices. Heat oil, fry the onions and chilies and coriander leaves and curry leaves. When the onions start browning in 10 minutes or less, add the ginger garlic paste and stir well.
Add the tomatoes as well and cook it on slow heat. When the tomatoes start breaking down, add the spices and fry gently till the whole mixture moves as one mass.
Add the salt and check taste.
Pour the gravy into a baking bowl and add the chicken to this mix .Ensure that the chicken gets covered with the sauce.
Cover and bake for 30 minutes. The onions should have caramelized into a sauce of dark uniform consistency. Wait till the chicken cools down. Remove the tie backs and carve.

Courtesy : Malabar Spices

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