Bhuna Murgh (Pan Seared Chicken)
by Purna Chowdhury
The truth is when you have a virtual world you are well connected with and sometimes some lovely person asks for a recipe you cannot but write it down for them as quickly as possible. Well truth be told I am swamped with work. With a deadline for Wednesday I would probably have taken my own sweet time with writing it down but then someone wanted to make it today and so I cannot but write it down. What had attracted me was the ease of the recipe , the quick cooking but one must remember that the marination plays a very vital role. Now as with everything else in this world there is a dispute between marinating lean meat and fish for long hours because some adhere to the fact that it becomes mushy whereas many Middle-eastern and Indian recipes calls for over-night and one or two even calls for 24 hour marination. Well we all form opinions with our experiences and I would have to say that when making kebabs, grilled chicken or pan seared chicken over-night marination or marination for 6 to 7 hours does render 'melt in the mouth' chicken. The end result is a spicy coating with soft melt in the mouth chicken.
This recipe is Purna Chowdhury's , a true culinary wizard , so all the credit is her's alone and following it is so easy that anyone can make it easily . Before continuing lets be clear about two factors, this cannot use any water or acidic agent which of course includes lemon . I did include some techniques which I have learnt in the kitchen with experience and reading.
What you need :-
1 kilogram of dark portion of chicken (dark portion means the leg and thigh together sans the skin)
Garlic paste 2 tbsp
Ginger paste 2 tbsp
Freshly coarsely ground coriander seeds and dried red chili 2 tbsp
Salt as per taste
Mace 1/4th tsp
Ground cloves and cinnamon 1/2 tsp
Mustard oil 6 tbsp
Freshly chopped coriander 1 tbsp
Marinate the chicken with half the amount of garlic and ginger paste , salt and 2 tbsp oil. Now the original recipe had not called for marination with the oil but from experience I have seen that the marination with oil helps render the chicken even more juicy. Leave it alone for 6 to 7 hours. if you do not have time marinate it for at least 3 hours. Now heat the oil and saute the ginger garlic paste till it is golden brown but not blackened . Add the chicken and keep on stirring as in bhunoing on high heat for 2 minutes to 3 minutes to seal the juices and then reduce the heat to low and add all the spices and keep stirring. What I did after 7 minutes was cover it and let it be (so that the insides of the chicken gets easily cooked) then open the lid and keep stirring till the juices run clear and you can easily pierce a fork right till the bones. Sprinkle some coriander leaves which are freshly minced if you want to Enjoy with a side salad or some Hot soft flatbread.
For the person who cooks this you cannot but mop up all that spice left in the pan after serving it so sneak into the kitchen and mop it up with some fresh hot chapatis or bread for that indulgent experience.
While mustard oil brings out the best flavours of the chicken in case its availability is not possible use refined oil but that does diminish the flavour a little bit.