This dish, from Claudia Roden, from her 1996 "Book of Jewish Food".
Here, the last-minute stirring-in of fresh mint takes a combination of ordinary ingredients to someplace special.
The dish is loaded with more savory turmeric- and ginger-tinged vegetables than with meat.
For fast cooking, boneless and skinless chicken is the way to go; when you have time to let the ingredients cook longer in the pot, use bone-in chicken, and you'll be rewarded with more flavor.
Serve with rice or warm naan.
3 tablespoons sunflower oil
7 bone-in, skinless chicken thighs (1 kg total)
2 large white onions (I prefer red!)
4 carrots (sliced lengthways and cut into 3cm lengths)
1 teaspoon ground turmeric ( I have 1 tablespoons)
4 cm piece of Fresh Ginger grated
2 Cloves Garlic, crushed or finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon Dried Chilli Flakes
Water - enough to cover chicken
Leaves from 4 to 6 stems fresh mint
- heat the oil in a in a large saute pan or deep-sided skillet until it is very hot, and just starts smoking
- make sure the chicken is dry; pat it with paper towel if needed, season lightly all over with salt.
- lay the seasoned chicken down in the pan in a single layer.
- You should hear loud sizzeling, if you don’t - the pan is not hot enough.
- remove the chicken and let the pan to get hotter
Don’t flip the chicken for at least 3 minutes.
It needs time for that sear to develop and if you flip the chicken, or even shake it around the pan, you lessen the amount of heat – which at best means you have to wait longer to get a sear, or at worse you’ll never get it at all
After 3 – 4 minutes on high heat, peak at the underside of the chicken.
If it’s golden brown, flip it, and sear the other side with the same technique until the chicken is lightly browned on both sides (It will not be cooked through).
Remove from the pan and set aside.
Reduce the heat to medium-high.
Add the onion to the pan and fry until soft.
Add the ginger, garlic and chillies if using, then the turmeric and stir.
Add the chicken to the pan.
Add the carrots and just enough water to cover the chicken.
Cook uncovered for a further 25-30 mins until the liquid has reduced.
If necessary, transfer the chicken and carrots to a warming dish at the end of cooking in order to quickly reduce the remaining liquid in the pan.
The chicken should be cooked through, the carrots should be tender and the liquid in the pan should have reduced a bit.
Add the mint, cook very briefly.
Turn off the heat and serve, preferably with Indian bread or rice.