Sunday, April 18, 2010

Fragrant Fennel (Mouri) Chicken

Hubby and I’ve been going through the batch of merguez that I bought a week ago and the predominant flavours of chilli and fennel seeds (Mouri, in Bengali) in the sausage inspired this recipe. The technique of marinating meat in vinegar and spices before cooking, however, is similar to stir-fried Syrian-Christian curries from Kerala in south India.

4lbs bone-in Chicken pieces (combination of thigh, leg, and breast)
4 tsp ground Coriander
1 tsp ground Cumin
3-6 tsp Chilli powder (adjust to your taste)
6 tsp Vinegar
6 tbsp Vegetable oil
2 large Onions, sliced
2 tbsp whole fennel seeds (Mouri, in Bengali)
3-4 Bay Leaves
2 tsp crushed Garlic
1 tsp crushed Ginger
Salt (to taste)
2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1 tbsp whole fennel seeds, crushed with a mortar and pestle
  1. Thoroughly wash and dry chicken pieces and put in a large mixing bowl. Add coriander, cumin, chilli powder and vinegar and mix well. Let chicken marinate for 30-45 mins in the fridge. Bring chicken out of the fridge about 20 mins before cooking and let come down to room temperature. 
  2. Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat until smoking. Add onions, fennel seeds and bay leaves, and fry until the onions are golden brown and well caramelised. 
  3. Add crushed garlic and ginger and fry for 5 mins. Add a sprinkling of water if it gets too dry and starts to stick to the bottom of the pot 
  4. Add chicken and stir well to coat chicken pieces thoroughly with the spices. Add salt and bring to a boil. Then lower heat and simmer uncovered for 30-40 mins. Check the pot occasionally and stir to make sure nothing is sticking to the bottom. You know it is ready when a thick, glossy gravy coats the chicken pieces. Turn off heat. 
  5. Add crushed fennel and black pepper to chicken and stir well. Let sit for 15 mins before serving. 
[serves 4-6]


  1. this looks yummy! i will try this

  2. Now I know what I am making this weekend.




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