Monday, May 3, 2010

Addendum: Fragrant Fennel Chicken

I made the fennel chicken (which I posted a few weeks ago) again last night and tweaked the recipe a bit. The little changes made this recipe go from good to utterly delish. So much so, that I have to make it for my chicken-crazy little sis when she visits New York in June for the ultimate stamp of approval.

So the changes were: Instead of frying whole fennel seeds with onions, I crushed the fennel and added it to the marinade at the begining. I also added 1 tsp of turmeric and 1 tsp of black pepper to the marinade. Other than that, everything else stayed the same. The turmeric really balanced the sweet, licorice-y scent of the fennel and amplified it at the same time. And I still added the black pepper and crushed fennel at the end as before.

Here's the updated recipe:

4lbs bone-in Chicken pieces (combination of thigh, leg, and breast)
2 tbsp whole fennel seeds, crushed with a mortar and pestle (Mouri, in Bengali)
4 tsp ground Coriander
1 tsp ground Cumin
1 tsp Turmeric powder
1 tsp fresh ground black pepper
3-6 tsp Chilli powder (adjust to your taste)
6 tsp Vinegar
6 tbsp Vegetable oil
2 large Onions, sliced
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 fennel, coriander, cumin, turmeric, black pepper, 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 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]

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