Chicken in Light Sauce and Pooris

This is one of the simpler and quicker chicken recipes in the Jaffrey book, and it turned out very tasty. We used good free-range chicken from Godshall’s Poultry in the Reading Market, which has a better flavor and more natural texture than the hormone-pumped Perdue version. We used the breasts and legs for this dish.

First up: three tbsp of yogurt, one of tomato puree, and a cup of water, mixed well with a fork. I used Greek yogurt, which is absolutely terrible for you and incredibly delicious. Seriously, the texture is like ice cream. Next, ginger and garlic in the blender with a splash of water. No onions in this dish—I’ll have to remember that next time we run out of onions. The problem here was that the amount of garlic and ginger was so small that even the mini-blender was too big– everything just flew to the sides. We ended up grinding it with the mortar and pestle, which worked perfectly well.

Brown the chicken in a small amount of oil in the bottom of a stockpot. I was careful to cook it a bit more thoroughly, since last time I found myself with underdone chicken. Set aside. Throw in your spices—a cinnamon stick, two dried red chilies, cardamom pods, cloves, and two bay leaves. Fry for just a few seconds, then add the ginger-garlic paste and turmeric. Fry for a minute, then put the chicken back in. Add the yogurt mixture, a tbsp of lemon juice, salt and pepper and mix.

Jaffrey says to bring to a boil and then lower heat, cover and simmer. I still don’t really trust her on the whole boiling-yogurt business, especially when I can’t whisk it because of the big chicken pieces. I brought it almost to boiling and then simmered it for 25 minutes.

While that’s simmering, roll out your pooris. These ones contained actual wheat flour—no more gluten-free stuff, woohoo! We’ve been finding that it’s best not to make them too big and thin– slightly thicker and maybe 4 inches wide is really all you need. The density allows the poori to sink into the oil for a second before it puffs up and floats, and you get a better puff. Our puffing went well, but they came out a bit too crispy. Joe’s getting really into perfecting the pooris.

We finished the pooris just as the chicken was getting done—go us. We served the chicken in a bowl with pooris, and it was damn tasty. The chicken was dark and flavorful enough to really complement the sauce, instead of just acting as a sauce conveyance device. It was quite filling and satisfying, especially paired with a Yard’s Philadelphia Pale Ale. And since it’s doable in half an hour and doesn’t require any onion chopping, I think this might become a work-night staple dish in our household!

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