What do you have for dinner, when you eat healthy for brunch? Something hearty and filling of course. In our house, when we want something hearty and filling, we turn to chicken and rice. In any form there is nothing else that beats the comforting goodness of chicken. Be it arroz con pollo made with latin influences, rich chicken Biryani or rustic country-style chicken. Every cuisine has a comforting chicken and rice dish. The basic ingredients are typically garlic, chicken and onions but in France and America, carrots and celery join the party, in Spain, tomatoes serenade the chicken while in India it can nuts and garam masala in the north or curry leaves and chillies in the South.
The marinated chicken cooks in the onion – tomato gravy, after it is seared in the hot pan to lock in the juices. Thighs and drumsticks are best for these dishes due to their natural higher fat content making a juicier, tender off the bone chicken that is perfect with rice. Don’t attempt this with chicken breasts as it will result in a dry over cooked meat.
Although you can have this curry with pita, roti, bread or nice, the gravy teams best with fluffy Basmati rice. Cook more than usual so you have leftovers for next day. The flavors will blend overnight resulting in a finger licking curry that you wish you had saved more of. Guaranteed.
This is a not too spicy basic country chicken recipe. It comes together in under an hour. And will not fail to impress your guests or spouse for that matter.
I apologize I don’t have a pictorial for this. Varun didn’t want me to cook and Vipul was hungry so I just took pictures before we were about to eat. Hope you still try this out. It’s a keeper and comes together on a short notice.
Country Style Chicken Curry Recipe
For the marinade
- 5 Chicken Drumsticks or Thighs
- Pepper – 1 tsp
- Paprika – 1/2 tsp
- Lemon Juice – 1 lemon
- Ginger grated – 1/4 inch
- Salt – to taste
For the Curry
- Oil – 3 Tablespoon
- Cumin seeds – 1 teaspoon
- whole black peppercorns – 7 – 10
- Cloves – 3
- Cardamom pods – 2 – 3
- Cinnamon stick – 1 inch
- Star anise -1
- Bay leaves – 3 – (small) or 1- 2(large)
- Garlic cloves – 8, finely minced
- Onions – 3 , finely diced
- Tomatoes – 5 , finely diced
- Turmeric powder – 1/2 teaspoon
- Chilli powder – 1 teaspoon
- Garam masala – 2 teaspoons
- Salt – to taste
- Water – 1/2 cup
- Kasuri methi (optional) – 1/4 cup
1. Take the chicken drumsticks and marinade them with all the ingredients listed for at least 15 – 20 mins if not more. Set aside.
2. Heat oil in a large pan. Add cumin seeds once the oil is hot and once they sizzle add rest of the raw masala ( pepper corns, cloves, star anise, cardamom and bay leaves). Let them heat in the oil for about 10 – 15 secs. Move them to low heat side of the pan so that they wont burn.
3. Add garlic to the oil and let it brown on its edges. Once done, add onions and fry it with the raw masala till they are translucent.
4. Add the chicken to the pan and let it sera on each side for couple of minutes. Browning the chicken locks in the juices and adds flavor to the meat.Once browned, move the chicken to one side of the pan
5. Add the tomatoes, turmeric , garam masala and mix it with the onion mixture in the pan. Add Salt and mix well. Move the chicken back into the pan and mix with the tomato-chicken gravy.
6. Add water, cover with a lid and let this cook for 5-7 minutes. Adjust seasonings, add kasuri methi at this point as well as more water is necessary and let it cook for another 5 – 7 minutes.
8. Check for done-ness – by now chicken should be falling off the bone. If not, cook for a few more minutes. It really depends on how large the drumsticks are. I have smaller lamb chop sized ones so the cook time could vary. Serve warm with rice.