chicken masala

Chicken Masala

it’s not yet autumn
but i suppose it’s unofficially fall,
what with school already started,
the daily commute with the added 10 minutes
due to kids ambling with textbook laden backpacks
and yellow school buses dotting the neighborhoods
the ac has been turned off at night
as the temperatures dip into the delicious 60s,
our windows flung open to cool the abode
only to be shut the moment i open my eyes from slumber
as i haul ass to shower in the morning,
shivering and silently lamenting the passing of summer
already the trees are shedding their leaves
the morning is darker still when i rise

these are dw’s months
autumn is his favorite season
you can tell a lot about a person
by what their favorite season is
i like the summer months
hot and heady and sweaty and messy
golden days with humidity to exhaust even the staunchest
and healthiest of beasts
(i’ll leave it to you to figure out what kind of person
i am with that description!)
but man, when september hits,
leading into october
the air has a crunch of apples
and cinnamon breezes,
cool to the skin but warming to the core
fall makes me feel drowsy
but frantic all the same
i am holding out for an indian summer
desperate for july & august
whilst trying to bask in what the coming days could bring

and what is coming in these days
are stews and soups
and hearty one pot dishes
that require ingredients thrown into a pot
set on low
and simmered all the long day

if you can’t tell
i’ve been on an indian kick lately
(truth be told, i’d make afghani food if i could
find a reputable cookbook or blogger,
that cuisine is so underrated)

for this dish,
amrita says you must have this recipe in your life
i completely and wholeheartedly agree
i started the process saturday night
cooked it on sunday
and as i’m typing this, wednesday,
i have one portion left for lunch

Chicken Masala

chicken masala
adapted from the subjectivist

*note: we (i mean, dw) chopped an entire bird. we get our poultry from a local farm every two weeks and i will tell you, this past summer with this csa has been an exercise in coming up with interesting chicken recipes. i wanted to make use of every part of the chicken, with bones. i can’t imagine not having bone-in. i’m just saying.
**note: i completely and utterly forgot to add chili. i know. so there was no heat but it was still incredibly good. also, i like my chicken to fall off the bone tender so i cooked it on low for longer than amrita’s version.

1 whole, organic grass fed chicken, about 3-4lbs, chopped with bone in

for the marinade:
1 black cardamom pod
half cinnamon stick
1 tsp nutmeg (i don’t have whole pieces of the stuff)
2 tsp of fennel seeds
3-4 cloves
3 TBL of white vinegar
1 tsp of ground turmeric

2 large tomatoes
2 TBL vegetable oil
2 large cloves of garlic
1 large red onion, sliced thinly
1/4 cup of coconut creamer (i use So Delicious)

in a frying pan, dry toast the black cardamom pod, cinnamon stick, nutmeg, fennel seeds, and cloves. don’t get crazy and burn it. add mixture to a spice grinder, again don’t get crazy, you’re not going for a powder, just a slighlty coarse-fine mix is good (i know, it’s confusing, go for in btwn the two textures.) add to big bowl with vinegar and turmeric. then add in the chicken pieces, you want to coat the pieces well. cover with plastic wrap and leave in fridge overnight.

next day: take the chicken out of the fridge an hour before starting the whole cooking thing. you want the chill to be off the meat/bones prior to adding it to the hot pan.

on the stove bring a pot of water to boiling. criss cross cut the butt ends of the two tomatoes, add to the water and cook for about 5 minutes. you want the tomatoes to be just submerged in the water. remove the tomatoes and put into blender/vitamix. reserve 1/2 cup of the water, discarding the rest. blitz the tomatoes, skin included, into a puree.

meanwhile, in the same pot, add a bit of oil and saute the garlic and onion slices. season with salt & pepper, and cook until nice & brown. remove from heat and grab the mixture of onions & garlic to add to the blender/vitamix. blitz with the tomato puree.

using the same pot, that will have residual oil (add more if you need) brown the chicken pieces. you may have to do it in batches. don’t crowd the pot. when done, lower the heat, throw all the browned chicken pieces back into the pot, add the tomato/onion/garlic puree, along with the reserved 1/2 cup of water. simmer on low heat. add in the coconut creamer, mix, ignore for anywhere from 25 minutes to an hour. season to taste. per the original recipe, this is a slightly dryer dish. i will admit to missing the gravy.

serve with naan.
it’s great the day of, but even better the ensuing days.

serves 6 – calories: 62 | total fat: 5g | saturdate fat: 0.5g | sodium: 90.1mg | total carbs” 3.9g | dietary fiber: 1.1g | sugars: 1.7g | protein: 0.7g

Chicken Masala

other indian inspired dishes:
morestomach blog – coconut egg curry
morestomach blog – vegan indian feast
bon appetit hon – butter chicken
manger – butter chicken + peshawari naan

10 thoughts on “chicken masala

  1. Gorgeous photos, today! I think my husband would die of happiness if I made him chicken masala, so thanks for the recipe. I’m with DW on the season changes- I’m more of a fall girl myself, although i’m strangely sad this summer is over this year.

    1. hi Ruthy, thank you!
      this dish is the kind of dish that is really hands off. you can buy the chicken already chopped, throw the spices in and marinade over night and then throw all in to a pot. seriously, so easy!

  2. Love the summer description. DW + I are kindreds, I’m an autumn lover, but I have fallen in love with Summer since having children. Your blog is perfection.

  3. I’m a creature of summer too. Cold weather makes me (more) anxious and tense, and headache-y. Maybe if I started to cook as much as I bake, I could make dishes like this chicken masala – and be happier! 🙂

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