A very easy dish to make, simply marinade cubed pieces of chicken breast with ground black pepper, ground turmeric, chilli powder, ground cumin, dried thyme, garlic powder, red paprika, salt and a tablespoon of oil, for at least 10 minutes or longer. I left mine for 2 hours, keep covered in the fridge. Madhur Jaffrey's instructions are to fry the chicken pieces in a little oil until lightly browned and finish the cooking in the oven for another 8-10 minutes. My guess is, this method is to keep the chicken breasts moist, without drying them from over-frying. I was lazy to do that, and I fry the chicken pieces over low heat until they are cooked through, turning them a couple of times so that they do not dry out. I used two whole chicken breasts, did not weigh them but have used double the amount of spices listed in the recipe, may adjust to your taste.
The chicken is really moist, soft and tasty. We had it with rice. And it is good when served warm or cold.
Even a couple of hours later (there were some leftovers, two whole chicken breasts make quite a lot), the chicken is still tender and moist. According to Madhur Jaffrey, these chicken bits may be pierced with toothpicks and nibbled upon with drinks, added to salads or eaten at picnics. And from the photo in the book, it is "nibbled upon" with a glass of beer! Nice!
Delicious Chicken Bits
(adapted from "100 Essential Curries", Madhur Jaffrey)
550gm (1-1/4 lb) boned, skinned chicken breasts (4 breast pieces)
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4 teaspoon chilli powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon bright red paprika
1/4 teaspoon salt
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. Cut each chicken breast piece into thirds, lengthways, and then crossways into a 2 to 2-1/2cm (3/4-1in) segments. Put in a bowl. Add the black pepper, turmeric, chilli powder, cumin powder, thyme, garlic powder, paprika, salt and 1 tablespoon of oil. Mix well and set aside for 10 minutes or longer.
Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a wok or large, non-stick frying pan over very high heat. When very hot, put in the chicken. Stir and fry quickly until the chicken pieces are lightly browned or turn opaque on the outside. Put in a baking dish, cover loosely with lightly oiled greaseproof paper which should sit inside the dish and directly on the chicken pieces, and bake for about 8-10 minutes or until the chicken pieces are just cooked through. If not eating immediately, remove the chicken pieces from the hot baking dish to prevent them from drying out.
I'm linking this post to I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC) for this week's "July Potluck"