Sanjay's Jeera Chicken

Yield: 4 to 6 servings


A high heat source is essential for preparing this dish; however, we have been able to closely re-create it on a stovetop. It was cooked for us outdoors at the Shikarbadi Hunting Lodge by guest chef Sanjay Anand over a large gas flame, and consequently took only a few minutes to prepare; at home it takes longer. Jeera is the Indian word for cumin, and because this dish is so highly spiced with cumin and black pepper, it's usually served over plain white rice. Sanjay says this chicken tastes better if the bones are left in, and he also mentioned that chile-heads are permitted to add red chile powder to this dish.

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 to 2 cups chicken broth
One 2 to 3-pound chicken, skin removed, chopped into 3-inch cubes, bones and all
2 teaspoons salt
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon whole cumin
1-1/2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
2 cups cooked white rice

Heat a large saucepan over high heat. Add the butter, and when it's melted, whisk in 1 cup of the broth. Add the chicken and salt and cook for 2 to 3 minutes.

Add the cumin and black pepper, reduce the heat, and continue to cook for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring often. The sauce needs to be almost a paste, but add more broth if it gets too thick. The chicken is usually done when the butter returns to the top of the paste, but cut into a piece of the chicken to check.

To serve, mound the rice on a serving platter and top with the chicken and sauce.


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Recipe reprinted by permission.


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