Two New Yorkers spend six months 18 months!?! in Bangalore and other places in India.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Chicken à la Kingfisher

By and large, we've been eating Indian food here, but once in a while the desire for Western food hits hard. Those are the days when we find ourselves doing taste tests of the various pizza chains (Domino's beats Pizza Hut and Pizza Corner by a mile), or paying too much for Skippy peanut butter at the store (it was imported from China).

After I figured out where to get raw chicken a few weeks ago, I came up with the following dish, which we made again on Saturday. It's a takeoff on beef carbonnade that uses local ingredients, including the King of Good Times™.

Chickens here tend more "free-range" (i.e. tougher) than American chickens, so if you're making this with a standard supermarket chicken, it will probably take less time.

Chicken à la Kingfisher

1 to 1.5 kg (2.2 to 3.5#) chicken, with skin on if possible, cut into 8 pieces
5 onions, thinly sliced

5 small cloves garlic (or 3 large ones), peeled and crushed
1/2 to 1 t chilli (cayenne) powder (optional)
1/2 to 1 t turmeric
1/2 to 1 t coriander powder

1 to 1-1/2 cups Kingfisher beer
bay leaf
salt and pepper to taste


If you have time, brine the chicken parts for 2-6 hours in a solution of 1 cup sugar and 1 cup salt dissolved in a quart of water. Keep the mixture refrigerated. Remove pieces from the bring and dry them between two clean towels.

Heat up 3 T. of vegetable oil in a large, deep pan and brown chicken on both sides, doing it in batches. Set chicken aside. Remove all but about 3 T of oil from pan.

Add the onions to the pan and brown them on medium-high heat, stirring often. Add the garlic and spices, and saute for about a minute, until everything is yellow and smells good. Move the onion mixture to the side of the pan. Place the browned chicken pieces, any accumulated juices, and the bay leaf into the pan. Cover the pieces with the browned onions, and pour in enough beer to submerge everything. Cover the pan tightly, and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove cover and cook for 10-20 minutes more until sauce has reduced a little bit and chicken is cooked through.

Serve with mashed potatoes made with curd (lightly fermented yogurt) and a green bean and tomato salad.

4 comments:

SD said...

Try Godrej "Real Good" chicken, available at most neighborhood stores, it may meet your requirements.

John said...

I'll give Real Good a try. My local supermarket had chickens that looked neglected, so the two I've bought so far have come from a nearby restaurant (they brought me a raw one from out back) and the Bamburies butcher shop.

SeriouslyNoWay said...

For decent Western food check out Sunny's. They have pretty good food. They classify themselves as an Italian restaurant but so far I haven't gotten anything Italian there. It's where I go when I'm craving a caesar salad or goat cheese crostini. My friends order steak and seem to enjoy it.

John said...

I like Sunny's -- the people-watching's even better than the food, in my opinion.