If you ask me what is my least favorite meat, I wont have to think hard…it is chicken. When I was in India chicken wasnt an everyday affair. It was made only on special occasions and it tasted so good. American chicken is too bland for me..there is no 'taste' and it just tastes flat. The meat is almost like fibre…And among all this discontentment is when I found the cornish hen. These mini size chickens look so cute and taste wonderful..
I usually dont come up with recipes on my own..I usually follow recipes. Once I bought the cornish hen I wanted to do a Kerala/Indian style roast chicken and couldnt find any recipes and so I was on my own. I came up with a marinade and put everything in it that we use when we make a regular chicken curry and a few more. It was kind of an anxious moment when the chicken finally came out of the oven and we tasted it. It tasted really great…really! So here I am posting my first original recipe.
Cornish hen -one approx. 1 pound
Yogurt 1.5 tablespoon plus 1/2 tbsp.
Ginger minced 1tsp packed
Garlic minced 2tsp packed
Green chillies 1or 2
Lemon juice 1 tsp
salt 1/2 tsp
Pepper 5 turns of the pepper mill
Red chilly powder 1 tsp
Coriander powder 1/2 tsp packed
Turmeric a pinch
Fennel seeds 1/4 tsp
Cinnamon 1 small piece 1/4 inch
Water 2 tbsp.
Oil for frying 1.5tbsp
Curry leaves 2 sprigs
Grind the clove, cardamom, cinnamon and fennel to a powder.
Grind ginger,garlic and green chillies and add to the yogurt. Add the ground powder and rest of the ingredients to the yogurt and mix well to combine.
Usind a fork poke the chicken all over. This helps the chicken to absorb the marinade better.Apply the marinade to the chicken. Make sure the inner cavity gets coated with the marinade. I seperated the skin a little and applied some marinade between the skin and the meat.
Put the chicken in a ziplock bag. Meanwhile add some water to the container that had the marinade and give a good swirl to recover all the marinade from the sides and add another 1/2 tbsp yogurt to this. Pour this over the chicken in the plastic bag. Marinate for 2-3 hrs.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.Add oil to a hot oven safe pan and lay the 2 sprigs of curry leaves. Over this place the chicken. Fry on each side till it is brown (5min on each side) and then transfer the chicken to the oven.
Cover the chicken with aluminium foil before placing it in the oven. Bake for about 45 to 60min. Check the chicken package for baking time. Or use a fork to test if the chicken is done. When the chicken is baking, there will be lot of juices that come out of the chicken. Spoon this over the chicken as it bakes (do this every 15min. or so). Once the chicken is cooked, take it out of the oven and let it rest for about 15min.
To make pan gravy
Onions thinly sliced 1/4 cup
Ginger julienned 5-6 juliennes
Tomato 1/2 of a small tomato
Curry leaves 2 leaves
Green chilly -1/4 chilly and slice thinly
After 15min resting time, transfer the chicken to a serving platter. Take the same pan that was used to cook the chicken with the remaining juices and place it over medium heat on the stove. Add all the above and let the gravy reduce for about 5min and then pour it over the chicken.
I had added couple of carrots to the pan when the chicken was in the oven. You can do potatoes or any other veggies you like.
Serve with bread or chappatis.