Chicken Masala – Easy Peasy

A little something different to mix things up around Bowl Licker. This week I am sharing a themed meal with you that I recently made for some friends. Inspired by a number of articles I read on Indian cooking, my goal was to keep the cooking fun and relatively easy. If you are looking to deviate from heavy carbs, this is a wonderful meal that can predominately be done ahead of time. Pressed for time and craving the simplicity of a one dish meal? {wink, wink to my friends at the Shine Supper Club} Then this Easy Chicken Masala, cooked on a bed of onions, is just the dish for you.

- Easy Chicken Masala

- Cumin Roasted Butternut Squash and Caramelized Carrots

- Cucumber Riata

- Kesari (Indian Semolina Pudding)

Note: the Chicken and the Butternut Squash can be cooked together — chicken on the top shelf and carrots on the second to bottom shelf.

Chicken Masala

Chicken Masala Ingredients

1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt

1 cup sour cream

1/2 cup fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped

2 TBS extra virgin olive oil

2 TBS vegetable oil

2 TBS garam masala*

4 cloves garlic, pressed

4 TBS coarse kosher salt

6-7 lb roasting chicken, cut into 8 pieces (backbone removed)*

3 yellow onions, cut 1/4-inch thick rounds

Chicken Masala Directions

*If you are not versed in prepping the chicken, ask the butcher to cut the chicken as indicated above.

Mix yogurt, sour cream, chopped cilantro, oil, garam masala, salt and garlic in 13x9x2-inch baking dish. Add chicken marinade, coating 1 piece at a time on all sides. Cover with plastic wrap, marinade at least 2 hours in refrigerator.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees, position oven racks in middle. Arrange a thin layer of onions in baking sheet. Top with marinaded chicken pieces, in single layer, spacing apart for even roasting. Discard remaining marinade.

Roast chicken on top rack until cooked through; juices should run clear when thicket portion of thigh is pierced with a knife. Approximate cook time is 1 hour. Serve chicken on top of onion slices; pouring juices over.

**Garam Masala is an Indian spice mixture, available in many supermarket spice sections and Indian markets.

Cumin Roasted Butternut Squash and Caramelized Carrots

Squash and Carrots Ingredients

2 cups baby carrots, sliced length-wise

1 lb butternut squash, cut into large cubes (approx 4 cups)

2 TBS extra virgin olive oil

1-1/2 tsps cumin powder

1 tsp coarse kosher salt

1/4 cup chicken broth

1/8 cup raw pepitas

Squash and Carrot Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine butternut squash, carrots, olive oil and cumin together. toss to coat. Add in broth. Roast until tender, stirring once. Cook for 35-40 minutes.

Cucumber Raita

Cucumber Raita Ingredients

2 cups Greek yogurt (or plain whole milk yogurt, drained in a cheese cloth 2-24 hours)

1 7-inch English cucumber, coarsely grated

1 tsp kosher salt

2 TBS cilantro, finely chopped

4 tsps fresh mint, finely chopped

Cucumber Riata Directions

In a medium size bowl, combine yogurt, cucumber, salt, cilantro and mint. Mix well. Cover and chill as little as 30 minutes, ideally 2 hours. Left over riata can be kept for 2 days refrigerated.

Note: while I was not a huge fan of this chicken as a leftover, a different way to use the meat which I did like was to make it into a wrap. Warm a tortilla (or flatbread would be good too) and add in shredded chicken, carrot slices, crunchy lettuce, tomato, leftover veggies and riata.

Photo Credit: Rava Kesari

Kesari (Indian Semolina Pudding)

Kesari Ingredients

1 cup semolina

1-1/2 cups sugar

3 cups water

1/4 cup clarified butter

handful of cashews and raisins

1/2 tsp ground cardamom

Kesari Directions

Clarify butter. This is quite easy to do. Place the desired amount of butter in a pot on low heat, when it melts the foamy white parts can be skimmed off with a spoon or the entire mixture can be drained into a cheese cloth.”Clarifying” is the process of removing milk solids from butterfat, giving you a clear golden fat that can be heated to a higher temperature without burning the butter which would also alter the flavor. This, combined with the fact it can be stored without going rancid, has made clarified butter the cooking fat of choice for hundreds of years in India and South Asia.

Place clarified butter in a small pot and set aside. In a thick bottomed pot, lightly toast the semolina for 2-3 minutes on medium heat. Remove and set aside. In the same pot, boil the water. When it comes to boil, slowly add semolina, stirring continuously so that no lumps are formed. When all of the water is absorbed, add in the sugar, string until the sugar is dissolved. Then mix in the cardamom. Lastly, add the clarified butter, cashews and raisins. Stir and remove from stove. Serve warm. For an extra garnish add uncooked cashews and raisins.

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8 Responses to “Chicken Masala – Easy Peasy”


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  • This looks awesome! I love that the chicken is cooked on a bed of onions. Yum.

  • You never say in the directions what to do with the cup of sour cream. I’m assuming that you mix it in with the other ingredients but you don’t say that. Does it really need both a cup of yogurt and a cup of sour cream?

  • Thank you so much for your note Bruce. I will fix that oversight ASAP. I do mix it together with the yogurt. If you want to make it healthier you can mix in 2 cups of yogurt but the quantity is correct.

  • One crock pot. One chicken cut into pieces.

    One can onion soup. One package vegetables.

    One small container sour cream or yogurt.

    Every thing goes into the crock pot, place the lid on top.

    Cook on low all day.

  • easy dutch oven chicken:
    1 chicken-cut up & cleaned
    1 pkg lipton’s onion soup mix
    2cups long grain rice-not instant
    enough water to barely cover chicken in pot
    opt* small bag frozen veggies

    in dutch oven combine all ingredients except veggies (will over cook) adding enough water to just cover chicken. bake at 350-400 degrees until chicken done & rice is tender.should not be ‘soupy’ rice should soak up broth while cooking adding extra flavor to rice. no need to drain. add veggies to microwave safe dish, add couple tablespoons water w/pat of butter & cook abt 10-15 min. (or cook on stovetop as instructions on pkg.) serve all on same plate & enjoy! very easy. if interested, plz email me for free easy recipes for homemade caramel corn, chocolate caramel cake-even sweet potatoe pie or gumbo using 5-6 ingredients!

  • On the cumin roasted butternut squash and carrots. Are you supposed to add the pepitas to the mixture and cook them in as well? It doesn’t say.
    Thanks

  • Either way is fine. I tend to like to sprinkle them on after so that they retain their crunchiness as long as possible.

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