Friday, August 16, 2013

Chicken 65.....Spicy,Fragrant Chicken. Roasted.

The first time I ate this was at an Indo- Chinese place. Don't remember any specific taste details just that it was truly mouth watering. Since then I have eaten it numerous times, at different restaurants. It has been listed differently on different menus as chicken 65, Chilli chicken, boneless chicken drumsticks, Andhra chicken... Each varied a little from the other. All tasty. All 'lets eat it again' good.
But one such stands out in taste bud land. Still tickling my memory palate. Enough to want to try and duplicate.
G n I were in Madurai, India. And he announced ' this is THE chicken65'. What made this extra- special was that it had the distinct taste of coconut oil. So here goes. My try at duplicating that long ago nostalgic memory.

What went into making this batch:
4 cups cleaned and cubed boneless chicken 

For the marination:
5 tbsp plain Greek yogurt  
3 heaped tbsp red paprika powder
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp tandoori masala
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
Pinch of red food color (optional)
Salt to taste

For frying:
2 cups bread crumbs
Coconut oil for deep frying

For garnish:
3 tbsp green onions
3 green chillies- slit
1/4 cup curry leaves
2 tbsp fresh cilantro - chopped

Suggested: Serve with onion rings and lemon wedges.

How it was made:
Marinate the chicken in all the ingredients so listed. Mix well to coat. Refrigerate for at least  3 hrs.
In a wok heat the oil. Roll each piece of chicken in the bread crumbs, and deep fry till well done and crisp. Drain and transfer to serving bowl .
Remove all the oil leaving only a few tbsp in the wok. In the hot oil add the spring onions and slit chillies. Sauté. Add the fragrant curry leaves and switch off. To this add the cilantro and pour on top of the chicken.
Serve hot with slices of onion and lime wedges.

Ps: This is the marinade I used today. 
I have used different spice combinations different times. Think- cumin, coriander!!
Also you can use olive oil or canola oil instead of the coconut oil. But like anyone who has eaten this will tell you , coconut oil renders its own signature taste.
Even try and play with the garnish. Roasted nuts anyone?
So you see this is far from a so called authentic dish. This is what worked for us today!
This is how it was done in my kitchen.
The verdict? A loud lip-smacking, 
'Yummo' from the people who rule our table and make my world go round. 
Until another dish, enjoy what you eat , and the people you eat it with.
Bon Appetite.

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