Fat gives things flavor
- Julia Child
I love talking to you guys! I just finished my breakfast, got into the mood to write to you guys and share the recipe for a super delicious Chicken Fry and....
I am drawing a blank, peeps.
No words..... I am tongue tied! Zilch!! Nada! Nothing.
All I can think of is... any guesses ?
I have the left over Chicken Fry in the refrigerator and all I can think now, is tucking into a plateful of boiled rice with a portion of Chicken Fry and Moru Curry. Yes, this chicken fry has that effect on me.
I want to make the time travel faster just till it reaches noon and I can start the lunch. Darn! It is just 9:00 AM.
While I contemplate time travel, let me leave you with a few details about the dish.
This is a recipe typical of Kerala cuisine. Chicken, coconut oil, coconut pieces and some simple spices are used to make this succulent chicken fry. The chicken pieces are marinated in aromatic dry roasted spices. I think that the dry roasting the spices enhances the flavor dramatically. The marinated chicken pieces are then cooked on a low heat till the chicken pieces are perfectly flavorful, juicy and slightly crispy outside.
Typically served as a side dish to boiled rice, this spicy dish is not for the weak at heart. Simple, Spicy, and Succulent - these three words describe the dish very effectively. I have used the pepper/chilli powder based on how well my family handles the spice. You can increase it if you wish to have a really spicy side dish.
I had asked my friend Asha (an excellent cook herself), to share some of her recipes with me. She sent me this recipe for Chicken Fry which she learnt from her mom. Though she had sent this recipe a few months back, I got to making it only recently. But from the day I tried it, this has featured on my weekly menu! Yes folks, every week. Chicken Fry - simple, yet exquisitely tasty.
The only change I made in Asha's recipe was the garnish I used. For the garnish, I used a few coconut pieces roasted in coconut oil and drizzled it over the chicken fry. I love the roasted coconut pieces and the aroma of the coconut oil in this dish.
I am always on the lookout for dishes that are tasty and easy to prepare, especially non-vegetarian dishes. I hope you will make this and enjoy it. Do not forget to share your thoughts with me. I L-O-V-E to hear from you.
Till then, ciao.
- 2 Chicken Breasts (See Recipe Notes)
- 2 table spoon + 1 teaspoon Coconut Oil (plus as needed)
- 3 tablespoon chunky coconut pieces ; divided
- Juice of ½ lemon(optional)
- 1 inch piece ginger
- 2-3 Garlic cloves (big)
- ¼ teaspoon Black pepper powder (adjust to taste)
- 1 Onion (medium, finely chopped)
- Salt to taste
- 10-12 Curry Leaves
Spices for dry roasting and marination
- 2 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper (adjust to taste; see recipe Notes)
- 2 (heaped) teaspoon Paprika powder
- 3 (heaped) teaspoon Coriander powder/Ground Coriander
- ¼ teaspoon Turmeric Powder/Ground Turmeric
- Onion Rings
- Large Saute Pan with lid
- Large Mixing Bowl
- Chopping boards and knives
- Measuring spoons.
- Small Pan
- Mortar and Pestle
- Wash,drain and cut the chicken into bite sized pieces.
- Heat a saute pan on the stove top over medium heat. Lower the heat and dry roast all the spices listed under "Spices for dry roasting and marination" - Cayenne Pepper, Paprika, Coriander Powder and Turmeric powder, for about 3 to 5 minutes until it turns brown and aromatic.
- In a large bowl, marinate the washed and drained chicken pieces (for about 10-15 minutes) with the dry roasted spice powder mix, lemon juice, pepper powder and salt.
- Meanwhile, finely chop the onion and wash and pat dry the curry leaves. Peel ginger and garlic and crush them using mortar and pestle.
- Once the chicken pieces are marinated, heat coconut oil in the same pan you used to dry roast the spices. When the oil is hot, add the crushed ginger & garlic and saute for a minute or two. Add about 2 tablespoon coconut pieces and fry till they turn slightly brown. Add the finely chopped onion and saute till they turn translucent.
- Add the marinated chicken pieces and mix well. Reduce the heat to low medium and cover the skillet with a lid. Cook the chicken for about 15-20 minutes (or till it is well cooked).
- Open the lid and cook till all the water evaporates and add the curry leaves and fry for another 5 minutes or so. (You can add a little more coconut oil if required)
- Transfer to serving bowl.
- In a small pan, heat a teaspoon coconut oil. Add the rest of the coconut pieces and fry till golden brown.
- Pour this on to the chicken fry and garnish with onion rings. Serve hot.
1. I have tried this recipe with Chicken Breast as well as Chicken thighs (boneless) and they have come out equally good. Chicken breast pieces would give you more aesthetically pleasing pieces.
2. Instead of a combination of Cayenne and Paprika, you can use Kashmiri Chilli Powder.
3.Please make sure that you do not crowd the chicken pieces in the saute pan. Preferably, they should be in one layer on the pan. If you want to make this in large quantity and your pan is not big enough, cook in batches.
4. "Serves 4" is based on this dish being served as a side dish. If you are serving this as appetizer, this recipe may serve more people.
5. Make sure the heat is low-medium when dry roasting the spices to ensure that spices do not burn. If you feel that spices are burning, remove the pan from fire for a few seconds and then place it back on the fire.
5. To reheat leftover chicken fry, heat a saute pan, brush with a little oil and add the chicken pieces and heat till required. Microwaving dries out the chicken pieces, though if you microwave it covered, it still remains juicy. But I prefer reheating over stove top.
6.Preparation time includes the marination time too.