Wednesday, March 23, 2011

My take on Chicken 'teeka' masala

Well you would think why I would choose this particular dish! I mean its so popularly available everywhere and yet you find very little variation. Even america's test kitchen has a version of it.

But truth be told, I wanted to better something the world makes so proudly and yet add my own twist to a timeless classic.

What I want ? Is the following:

A chunky yet creamy sauce
A vibrant reddish orange
A sauce with a kick
The chicken itself not showing signs of prolonged exposure to colour ( yes that yucky orange when you break into the piece )

The perfect pairing, garlic naan and basmati rice.

To achieve this I use unusual ingredients. Ancho chile paste to build the base for the reddish orange. Annato seed powder and dried saffron flowers to give a bright red colour and fragrance to the dish. You can find all three ingredients in a mexican aisle of your grocery store.

4 lb of chicken ( white and dark with bone )

For the rub:
2 ancho chile
3 tbslpn yogurt
2 tblspn ginger garlic paste
2 tsp red chile powder
2 tsp ground corriander
1/4 tsp tumeric
1 tsp salt and pepper
2 tblspns oil
1 tblspn chili oil

For the sauce:
2 medium onions - finely chopped
3 green chillies finely chopped
2 tsp cumin ( jeera )
1 stick cinnamon
5 cloves
5 cardammom (crushed)
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
3 bay leaves
2 tsp saffron flowers
1 tsp annato seed powder
1 28oz can whole peeled san marzano tomatoes
1 tsp salt
1/3 cup cream
1.5 tblspns kasoori methi - dried fenugreek leaves

Start by preparing the chicken. In a small bowl, place the ancho chille and cover with water. Then microwave for 3 mins. Discard water and puree with yogurt. Add this with the rest of the ingredients into the chicken and mix well. Let this sit for 30 minutes. Pre heat the oven to 375F. Pour the chicken mixture on to a baking sheet and bake for 15 mins. Then turn the oven to broil and let a brown crust form over the chicken (about 3-4 minutes). Remove the chicken from the oven and set aside.

For the sauce: In a big ( I used a 5.5 qt pot ) start by heating the oil. Add the green chillies, jeera, cinnamon, cloves, bay leaves and let fry for about 3-4 mins. Add the cardammom , onion , saffron flowers, nutmeg and fry until the onions turn light brown. Add the salt, annato seed powder & kasoori methi. In a seperate vessel crush the canned tomatoes, then add to the pot. Let the mixture stew for about 15 mins until the tomatoes have broken down. Remove mixture into a seperate vessel and puree with a hand blender until smooth ( a few chunks of tomato are ok ). Pour sauce back into original pot.

Add the chicken ( and gravy ) into the tomato sauce. And leave to simmer ( low heat ) for 10 mins. 2-3 mins before serving add cream and let simmer.

Serve with garlic naan & basmati rice :)

Sorry I do not have a picture for this one, it was all gone by the time I realised I should take one !

- posted from my IPAD !

Location:Bandooks kitchen, Germantown