Creating a blog was out of the question for a long time for me, as measuring everything in the kitchen was like biting into an eggshell. I enjoy cooking and don’t want to waste even a slightest bit of enjoyment in that small world of mine. But little did I know that everything will change, when my husband came home with the Oscar nominated film ‘Julie and Julia’( a real life story) where Julie Powell (part played by Amy Adams) challenged herself to make all the 524 recipes from Julia Child's cook book ‘Mastering the Art of French Cooking’ and blogging all her experiences (The Julie/Julia Project). It was an inspiring movie. A few days later when we were discussing this casually with a friend of ours over tea…everything changed dramatically…..” How about you making at least half of it in one year? Not French but your own. 262 recipes that will inspire others and present it as a blog?” For a minute my mind traveled faster than light… With an experience as a helper in my mother in laws kitchen for 6 years followed by a three year everyday struggle to satisfy the palate of my foodie husband, if I cannot do it then why should I cook? But on the other side with an experience in English literature extending no more than expanding outline stories in English grammar class when I was 18 and two small kids that come in handy at times, will a commitment for the next one year work? Anyway my ‘cook's ego’ didn’t allow me to say no...

So my friends …here I am opening my recipe book, trying to perfect and present 262 recipes in the coming 365 days….A Challenge that will of course tastes good. Come.. Have a walk with me along my journey.. Cheering and inspiring….Forgiving and tolerating…Testing and tasting….for ‘A Tasty Challenge’

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Thursday, January 5, 2012

Stove top Whole Chicken with Vegetables and Caramelized Onion

Recipe No: 278
‘Mom, are you happy that our break is going to be over? You know, we still get time to annoy you in the evening’. 
My dear daughter was having a conversation with me yesterday… Even though I put a sad face to satisfy her,  inside I was like… 
'When and where did my sweet little daughter study this mind reading technique?'  
Yes, the winter break is over, I have time to breath and yes of course, some time for blogging… I didn’t get a chance to write about our Christmas lunch yet… so here is the main dish, a whole Chicken made entirely on the stove top…
Many whole roasted Chicken recipes call for cooking in an Oven, which may be a bit difficult, to at least some of us sometimes, so I decided to go entirely on stove top and the only thing needed is a big pan/ wok/ Chenachatti. So here it is…..
Ingredients                            Serves 6-8
  • Chicken…………....…...1 (1 ½ - 1 ¾ Kg; without the skin)
  • Oil………………………...2-3 Tablespoons
  • Boiling Water….……..1 ½ Cups
  • Cubed Vegetables…..4 Cups (I used Potato, Carrot and Cauliflower; Green Beans are also good for this)
  • Onion sliced thin…....2 Cups
  • Sugar……………….……1/2 Teaspoon
  • Salt to taste; Coriander Leaves for garnish
To marinate the Chicken
  • Red Chilly Powder……….1 Teaspoon
  • Coriander Powder…….....1/2 Teaspoon
  • Turmeric Powder……......1/2 Teaspoon
  • Pepper Powder…………….1/4 Teaspoon
  • Garam Masala Powder...1/2 Teaspoon
  • Fennel Powder………….…1/2 Teaspoon (Peringeerakam Podi/ Anise seed Powder)
  • Ginger Garlic Paste……...1 Teaspoon
  • Salt………………………….....2 Teaspoons
  • Vinegar…………………..…..1 ½ Teaspoons
Method of Preparation
  1. Mix all the ingredients in the ‘to marinade’ section into a thick paste (Can use a bit of Water if needed, but keep it on the dry side; the residual Water from the Chicken will make it thin later.) and keep aside till ready to be used.
  2. Wash and clean the Chicken; remove the giblets from the inside and wipe it dry with a paper towel. (Make it as dry as possible.)
  3. Spread the marinade on the Chicken (inside the cavity also) as even as possible; keep aside for at least 2 hours. (Overnight in the refrigerator is better.) Tie the legs of the Chicken together (I used kitchen twin and don't forget to take it off before serving) and tuck the tips of the wings (if using; I didn't) behind the neck.
  4. Boil the Vegetables in Water till just cooked. Drain and keep aside till ready to be used. (Alternatively you can also steam the Veggies; this can be done while the Chicken is cooking.)
  5. Heat 1-2 Tablespoons of Oil in a pan on medium low heat and saute the sliced Onion, a pinch of Salt and Sugar till caramelized. We are not looking for crispy fried Onion, but slightly brown, sweet and nicely wilted Onion. This will take 20-25 minutes, but can be done while the Chicken is cooking. Keep aside till ready to be used.
  6. Heat 2-3 Tablespoons of Oil in a deep pan on high heat. Swirl the pan so that the Oil spreads evenly on all sides (even the edges).
  7. Place the Chicken in the pan and fry till slightly brown on all the four sides.
  8. Once browned on all the sides, place the Chicken, breast side down and add 1 ½ cups of boiling Water. (Cold Water not allowed as it reduces the temperature as a whole.)
  9. Shake the pan once; close it and let it cook for 3o minutes on medium low heat. (The liquid should be visibly simmering at all times; adjust the temperature accordingly.)
  10. After 30 minutes, turn the Chicken once so that the breast side is up and let it continue cooking for another 20 minutes, covered. It is advised to shake the Chicken once in a while to avoid sticking at the bottom.
  11. Once the Chicken is cooked, (the leg meat will pull up and look as if it is gonna fall off) carefully remove the Chicken to a plate and let the gravy reduce on high heat. Usually I used to reduce it till I can see the bottom of the pan clearly when I stir the gravy. (The thickness is according to your preference; I like it on the thicker side.)
  12. Take 2-3 Tablespoons of the thickened gravy out and keep aside for later use (to coat the Vegetables). Reduce the heat to low; place the cooked Chicken in the pan with rest of the gravy; let the Chicken gets heated through and the gravy is coated well on all sides (turn once or twice in between, carefully).
  13. Remove the Chicken to a serving plate and slather it with the remaining gravy from the pan (if any). Garnish it with chopped Coriander Leaves and Caramelized Onion.
  14. To the same pan (which already has the gravy sticking), add the cooked Vegetables and the reserved gravy (2-3 Tablespoons). Mix, so that the vegetables are coated well with the gravy. Add more Salt and Pepper if needed.
  15. Once the Vegetables are heated through, serve it hot, garnished with some Caramelized Onion,along with Chicken. 
  • As this recipe is made entirely on the stove top with the cooking liquid, the skin will not crisp up. So it is better to avoid skin in this preparation. (I usually remove the skin from a whole Chicken at home; it is not a painful process at all… try it if you can’t get a skinned Chicken.)
  • Don’t use regular/ cold Water while cooking Chicken as it reduces the temperature of the pan and the Chicken, which in turn increases the time of cooking.
  • Do swirl the Chicken now and then while it is cooking to prevent sticking on the bottom, especially if you are not using a non stick pan or a seasoned wok. Mine is a seasoned Carbon Steel Wok... well it doesn't have a pleasing look but it is well seasoned and acts almost like a non stick without any non stick coating!!! ( If you have a wok looking like this, dont even think about making it pretty by getting rid of all those brown color as it will take all its non stick/ seasoned nature with it.)
  • Don't cook the Vegetables too much or it will break apart when mixed in the pan later.
  • Cook the Vegetables and saute the Onion while the Chicken is cooking in order to save the time.

Make it, enjoy the deliciousness and 
serve it to your family with love….


Vimitha Durai said...

Thats one awesome recipe. Thanks for sharing dear. Belated new year wishes.

Reshmi Mahesh said...

Tempting recipe....delicious..

Faseela said...

really tempting recipe....wonderfully prepared

Julie said...

Happy New Year,Asha !!
This is fabulous,sure a keeper..bookmarking !!Deliciously done..

Erivum Puliyum

Rajeswari said...

Asha what ever chicken i cook that turns hard after cooling specially biriyani chicken can u help me......

Rajeswari said...

so tempting will cook this this week end and let u know

Asha said...

Rajeshwari... Do you use Lemon Juice or Curd while making the Biriyani Chicken? If not use then as they act as some sort of a tenderizer for the Chicken. Increase the cooking time a bit more or till the Chicken is going to fall off (don't let it fall off). If you are using Chicken Breast pieces, which can become very hard sometimes, do add the tomatoes only when is 3/4th done. Cooking Chicken breast in tomato based sauce tends to make them hard.
Hope this helps you... I will post my Chicken Biriyani recipe soon...

Rajeswari said...

Thank u will try this tip

Rajeswari said...

with what should i combine this rice or chappathi or bread?

Asha said...

Rajeswari... It is a main dish and I usually serve some kind of Bread... But will goes well with Rice if you have some other gravy to moisten with... Chappathi is not bad either...

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