Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Cardamom-Scented Chicken with Ginger and Garlic

I made it 3 nights eating Thanksgiving leftovers or repurposing them into new dishes. Night 1: turkey tacos with cranberry salsa and feta cheese. Night 2: Turkey enchiladas with pumpkin mole sauce. Night 3: More enchiladas. But then it was time for a break from leftovers. I had bought some drumsticks at the store on sale and quickly identified this recipe using EYB. Unfortunately, I was out of onions and failed to realize this until it was time to cook, so I omitted those. He gives the option of adding in 250g of baby spinach leaves, but I had kale, so I used that instead. It worked out wonderfully and I would definitely not omit the greens from this recipe as they do an excellent job of capturing the delicious flavour of the sauce. The chicken in this recipe comes out super moist, tender, and smelling of cardamom.

Finally, as a warning, you're better off doing some planning ahead and marinating the chicken the night before as the simmer times on this recipe do add up!

Cardamom-Scented Chicken with Ginger and Garlic (from 660 Curries)

2 tbsp Ginger Paste
1 tbsp Garlic Paste
2 tsp cardamom seeds (green or white), ground
1 tsp ground cayenne pepper
1 tsp coarse kosher salt
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
8 chicken drumsticks, skin removed
2 tbsp canola oil
1 medium-size red onion, cut in half and thinly sliced
4 bay leaves
2 cinnamon sticks (each 3" long)
250g baby spinach (or chopped kale or other green)
2 tbsp finely chopped cilantro

1. Combine ginger paste, garlic paste, cardamom, cayenne, salt and turmeric in a small bowl and mix well to form a wet paste.
2. Smear each drumstick with the paste and refrigerate, covered, for at least 30 minutes or as long as overnight.
3. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add drumsticks and onion, bay leaves, and cinnamon sticks. Allow chicken to sear all over and onion to soften, stirring occasionally until bottom of pan acquires a thin brown layer of spice and everything smells menthol-like, 18 - 20 minutes.
4. Pour 1 cup water into pan and scrap bottom to deglaze it.
5. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover pan, and braise chicken, spooning liquid over chicken frequently until meat is fall-apart tender, 25 - 30 minutes. Transfer chicken to a serving platter.
6. Add spinach to pan and increase heat to medium-high and cook sauce, uncovered, stirring occasionally until sauce has thickened and greens have wilted, about 5 minutes.
7. Stir in cilantro and spoon sauce and spinach over drumsticks and serve.

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