March 25, 2015

Chicken with almonds, yogurt and rosewater

Persian yogurt chicken

How amazing it is to see the weather warm up, the ice and snow melt and hear the birds start chirping again.

We were on our way to drop Lil A to his pre-school last week when he shouted "grass, grass". We could see grass peeping through the snow and ice and he was as amazed as we were to see it. What does spring in your part look like?

I have two Ottolenghi books - Jersualem and Plenty - and almost everything that we have made from it has been a hit. Recently I made this chicken which is cooked with yogurt, almonds and rosewater for some friends for dinner. Made some changes to the recipe, added some bay leaves to the spices,  added some fresh herbs and fried garlic at the end and was pleased with the result.

Recipe modified from Ottolenghi's recipe
(serves 5-6)

7-8 chicken thighs, unskinned and on the bone
2-3 tbspoon oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 tspoon ginger paste
1 strip of lemon skin
2 dried chillies
4 whole cloves
2 small cinnamon sticks
5 cardamom pods
3 cloves garlic - 2 grated, 1 sliced thinly
3 tbspoons of almonds, blanched and  peeled
1/2 cup greek yoghurt
1/4 cup cream
1 tspoon rosewater
handful of parsley chopped thinly
salt to taste

Persian yogurt chicken
Salt and pepper the thighs and brown them for 2-3 minutes on each side. Take them out.
Persian yogurt chicken

Then in the same oil add the onions, ginger, lemon, cinnamon, cloves and cardamom, salt and the garlic. Saute for 2-3 minutes. Then add the chicken back in and let it cook on low medium heat, covered for 15-20 minutes.

Take about 5 almonds out and then grind the rest of the almonds to a fine powder, then to this add yogurt, cream and rosewater. Once it's all mixed together, take a little bit of the chicken sauce and mix it with the cream sauce. Slowly, add the sauce in the chicken. Let it cook on low for 5-10 minutes.

Heat a teaspoon of oil and add the garlic slices when the oil is hot. Let it cook for a minute as it browns and take it off the heat.

Persian yogurt chicken
After you plate the chicken, add the garlic slices, sliced almonds and the herbs. Serve with rice, parathas, naan or rotis, or even pasta.

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