Chicken Pulao

My take on this.

Take a five pound package of chicken leg quarters. Remove the skin and trim excess fat. Separate the leg from the thigh and trim any pieces of the breast bone in. I discarded those pieces because there were too many small broken rib bones that I didn’t want to end up in the dish. If your butcher is better than mine, you could keep them I’m sure.

Have the skinned, trimmed chicken pieces in a bowl and add about 1 tablespoon ginger paste, 1 tablespoon garlic paste, 1 tsp red chili powder (I didn’t have any, so I used cayenne), and 1 tsp turmeric, and about 2 tsp salt. Mix thoroughly, then add about 3/4 cup plain yogurt. You really just need enough yogurt to coat well and make a good coat, so adjust as needed there. Cover and refrigerate.

Take a 28 oz can of diced tomatoes and drain, then squeeze thoroughly to remove as much liquid as possible. Set aside.

In a dry pan (preferably the pot you’re going to use), toast 1 tsp whole cumin, 1 tsp whole coriander, and 1 tsp whole fennel seed. Once it begins to be fragrant, add to a spice grinder and grind them. Set aside.

In a skillet, melt 5 tbsp butter. It’s traditional to use ghee, but I didn’t want to take the time to make it, so I just waited until the water had cooked out. Next, add 1 whole star anise, 2 small cinnamon sticks, 8 whole cardamom pods, and 6 whole cloves. Saute for about 2 minutes until fragrant.

Leave the whole spices in, and add 1 medium onion that has been finely chopped. It’s important to make the slices of relatively even thickness, so they brown uniformly. Saute until brown. Add 1 tbsp ginger paste, 1 tbsp garlic paste. Add diced tomatoes, and saute until well mixed with the onions.

Add the marinated chicken, season with additional 3/4 tsp red chile powder, 3/4 tsp turmeric, and the reserved ground spices from earlier. Mix well and try to layer the chicken evenly. Cover and allow to cook on medium heat for about 15 minutes. Stir, and then cook for another 10 minutes until the chicken is completely cooked.

Drain the rice and add it to the chicken. Add enough chicken stock to just cover the existing ingredients. This amount will vary depending on how much liquid comes from your other ingredients.

Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to low. Cook for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and without uncovering, allow to sit for an additional 20 minutes.


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