2000s Recipes + Menus

Aromatic Braised Chicken with Fried Onions

Serves 4
  • Active time:25 min
  • Start to finish:2 1/2 hr (includes marinating)
May 2008
All sorts of English terms have made it into the Indian culinary lexicon. This is what's called a "chicken roast."
  • 2 1/2 lb chicken thighs with bone, skin discarded
  • 4 medium shallots, quartered
  • 5 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon minced peeled ginger
  • 2 sprigs fresh curry leaves, leaves removed from stems
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/4 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 10 whole cloves
  • 1 (1-inch) piece cinnamon stick
  • 1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • About 2 cups vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 teaspoons all-purpose flour, divided
  • Toss all ingredients except water, oil, onion, and flour with 1 teaspoon salt in a wide heavy medium pot. Marinate chicken, covered and chilled, 1 hour.
  • Add water and bring to a boil, then simmer, covered, until chicken is tender, 40 minutes to 1 hour.
  • Meanwhile, heat 1 1/2 inches oil in a small heavy saucepan over medium heat until hot but not smoking.
  • Toss onion with 1 teaspoon flour, then fry in 2 batches, stirring frequently (do not let burn), until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes per batch. Transfer with a slotted spoon to paper towels. Reserve 3 tablespoons oil.
  • Remove chicken from cooking liquid, reserving liquid, and gently pat dry.
  • Heat reserved oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers, then brown chicken all over, about 6 minutes total. Transfer to a platter.
  • Add remaining 2 teaspoons flour to fat in skillet and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add chicken-cooking liquid (with aromatics and spices) and simmer, stirring, until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pour over chicken. Top with fried onions.
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