Moist, tender and spicy, this very simple yet incredibly delicious chicken recipe is the ideal one for those who love roast chicken but find the whole oven-roasting/baking process too daunting. Also, it is an added bonus that you can use a skin-less chicken yet not compromise on the succulent juicy meat that is normally so hard to achieve when roasting a whole skinless chicken.
1 whole chicken, skin removed (I used a 1.2 kg chicken)
1½ tsp. red chilli powder
1 tsp. garam masala (all-spice)
1 tsp. black pepper powder
1 tsp. tandoori masala
¼ tsp. turmeric powder
¼ tsp. orange food colouring
1½ tsp. salt
½ cup thick yoghurt
½ tbsp. garlic paste
½ tbsp. ginger paste
2 tbsp. oil + 2 tbsp. melted butter
juice of 1 lemon
1: I prefer not to use chat masala as we are not big fans of it at my place, but if you want you can add 1 tsp. chat masala to the ingredients.
2: To get the maximum moistness and succulence in your chicken and to infuse flavour into the meat, take a container big enough to hold the chicken.
Add 2 tsp salt, 1 tsp sugar, half cup white vinegar, juice of 1 lemon, throw in some roughly chopped fresh herbs like coriander or parsley. Then add COLD water and swirl/mix everything together. Now add in your cleaned chicken, it should be completely immersed in the water. Cover the container and refrigerate it for 1-4 hours. Then drain out the liquid, rinse out the chicken properly to get rid of any excess salt and proceed with the marination.
Wash and dry your chicken, then make a couple of slits on the thickest parts of the chicken (breast, leg, thigh). Don't make too many slits as you don't want your chicken falling apart as it cooks. Mix all the above ingredients except for the melted butter (which will be used later) in a bowl then slather this marinade onto your chicken, making sure to rub it in the slits and all the nooks and folds. Refrigerate the chicken with its marinade for 12-48 hours. The lengthy marination helps tenderise the meat and also develops the flavours properly for a tastier chicken.
Remove the chicken from the fridge at least 30minutes to an hour before you want to begin cooking, to help get it to room temperature. Put the chicken with all the marinade in a pot, breast-side down. Do not add any water. Turn the heat on high, and just as the liquid around the chicken begins to simmer, lower the heat to very low, cover the pot with a tight lid and let it simmer gently for 15 minutes without uncovering. The chicken will release it's own water, this plus the marinade will be sufficient for cooking the chicken. Once the 15 minutes are up, uncover the pot and gently turn the chicken over. Use two flat spoons to help turn it, be careful not to break the chicken. Again cover the pot tightly and simmer on low heat for another 10-15 minutes.
Check and see if the chicken is tender. If not, you can turn it over once more and give it another 5 minutes, covered and on low heat. If you feel the chicken needs a bit more water to cook or you prefer extra gravy, you can add a quarter cup of warm water. When the chicken is done, remove it into a bowl and keep it covered. You can thicken the gravy left in the pot by increasing the heat and boiling it until it is of a thicker consistency.
Just before serving, brush the chicken with 1-2 tbsp of melted butter on all sides, then pop it under the oven grill (around 200 C) for about 5-7 minutes per side to achieve a lovely colour. You can alternatively put the melted butter or some oil in a wok and lightly fry the chicken on both sides until nicely coloured. Then brush the thickened gravy on the chicken to keep it moist and serve immediately. Serve with fries, rice, salad, veggies...anything you like.