Masala Chicken

IMG_1216This recipe for Masala Chicken is one of the quickest recipes I’ve found for this traditional Indian dish.  Its great especially on days when I am busy and want to get dinner on the table as soon as possible. I usually have the ingredients at home and the chicken cooks fast, especially if you are using boneless chicken breasts.

People always ask me… “how do you get the chicken so moist & tender?” It should take only about 5-6 minutes to cook boneless chicken – so make sure you don’t over cook it!

I use masala chicken as a filling in sandwiches or wraps, or as a main meal with rice, vegetable and a dal.

Ingredients

1 pound boneless chicken breasts, cut into small pieces

2 tablespoons oil

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

1 large onion, finely chopped

1/8 teaspoon each, cinnamon powder, clove powder and cardamom powder (all optional)

1 teaspoon red chili powder

1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon coriander powder

1 tablespoon lemon juice

2 tablespoon cilantro, chopped , for garnish

Preparation

Heat oil in a large frying pan or wok. Add the cumin seeds and stir until they start to brown.

Add the onions and cook for about 4 minutes until the onions turn brown.

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Add  the cinnamon, clove, cardamom powders, red chili powder, turmeric, salt and coriander powder. Stir for 1 minute, add 1/4 cup water and mix until the water evaporates and the oil starts to separate out.

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Add the chicken and stir until the chicken is cooked, about 5 minutes.

Add the lemon juice and garnish with cilantro leaves.

 

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Spicy Chicken Croquettes

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My younger daughter had a problem eating chicken. She would chew and chew and chew! And  then drink glasses of water to help her swallow it throughout her meal and the result was she was so full of water she wouldn’t want to eat after that!  Fortunately I came across a recipe for Chicken Croquettes in a “Better Homes & Garden”cookbook… I had found my answer! She had no problem eating chicken this way as it is finely minced up, the white sauce was flavorful and the outside crust was crispy. This became a favorite with her and almost every other child I have fed over the years!

I then “Indianized” it and have been making this recipe ever since. The great thing about this recipe is that it can be made ahead especially if you have company coming for dinner or to stay for a weekend. You can fry them before serving, as needed. They also can be frozen before or after frying.

Ingredients

2 cups of minced chicken (2 large boneless chicken breasts, cooked and minced in a food processor*)

3 tablespoons butter

1/4 cup flour

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup chicken broth

2 tablespoon cilantro, finely chopped

1 small onion, grated

2 small green chillies, finely minced or ground

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

2 cups dry breadcrumbs

2 large eggs, beaten

oil for frying

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Preparation

Melt butter in a 2 quart saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and cook for 1 minute.

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Slowly add the milk and stock stirring constantly till the sauce is smooth.

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Add the onions, green chillies, lemon juice, cilantro, and all of the spices and cook for 3 minutes until the sauce is very thick.

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Add the minced chicken and mix well with the sauce.

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Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or over night.

The mixture will be very thick. Take about 1/4 heaping cup of the mixture and make into oblong rolls about 3 ” long .


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Roll into dry breadcrumbs, dip in beaten egg and roll again into the breadcrumbs. (This method will give you a crispy crust after frying)

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Heat oil, about 1″ – 2′ deep, on medium high in a wok or frying pan. When oil is hot ( test with small piece of bread, the bread should quickly rise to the top ) add about 3 -4 croquettes and fry for 3 minutes turning them around till they are golden brown on all sides.

Drain on paper towels and serve hot.

*Note: To cook the chicken: cover chicken with water in a saucepan, and bring to boil. Turn the heat off, cover with a lid. Set aside for about 15 minutes. Chicken should be cooked. Drain and finely chop by hand or in a food processor.

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