August 12, 2012 at 8:54 pm
by Michael Tyrrell
Sunday in Tyrrellville usually involves meatball and sausage red sauce with pasta. For a change, I flipped through a favorite cookbook, At Home with Madhur Jaffrey, that I’ve previously posted about, and decided on Chicken Chettinad.
This is actually my tweaked version (can’t help myself) which almost doubles the recipe. I also greatly increase the ginger and chop it rather than grate for a bite of ginger “under your teeth.” Fresh curry leaves are hard to find but dried works well, and jalapenos are a fine substitute for red chilis. My cooking times are also adjusted to the different amounts of ingredients used.
Recipe for Stir-Fried Chettinad Chicken
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
3 tablespoons chopped fresh ginger root
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
1 teaspoon ural dal (yellow split peas are a good substitute or just leave out)
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
20 curry leaves ( fresh or dried)
1 large onion, chopped
16 cherry tomatoes, halved ( I used grape tomatoes)
1. In a large or plastic resealable bag, combine chicken, ginger, salt, pepper, turmeric and cayenne. Mix well, cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
2. Heat oil over medium-high heat. Add mustard seeds, ural dal, fennel seeds, cinnamon and chilis. As soon as mustard seeds start to pop (30 seconds), add chicken, curry leaves and onion. Stir-fry for about 8 minutes or until internal temperature chicken reaches 160 degrees. Stir in tomatoes and cook for 1 to 2 minutes until tomatoes are heated through and just start to break down. Turn off heat, cover and allow to stand 5 to 10 minutes.
We served this with basmati rice, sauteed green beans and store bought nan. Our house chard worked well, Crane Lake.
Michael Tyrrell is associate food editor at Family Circle magazine.