This recipe is way overdue as I was supposed to share this beauty weeks and weeks ago. Sorry to those who asked for the recipe — I had not forgotten!
I think my chicken curry cooking skills are fairly honed by this point. I like to alternate between regular chicken curry (using red chili powder and a tomato base) and coconut curry chicken (using green chilis and a coconut milk base) at least once or twice a month. I definitely prefer to use bone-in chicken thighs as the flavor and tenderness are far better than boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Last week I was strapped for time and used boneless skinless chicken breast to make curry, then immediately regretted it. It’s ok…but it’s not the best.
After making these curries on a consistent basis, I wanted to venture out to try my mom’s dry masala chicken. It is basically the same process as the chicken curry, but with a lot more time and TLC. As with any curry, the key is to let the dry spices cook for a long time to let those flavors really bloom. The darker the masala gets, the tastier it will be. Trust me, be patient, and it will be worth the wait!
Without a doubt, like a good curry, this chicken should be made with bone-in chicken. Thighs are the most tender; you could also use a combination of thighs and drumsticks. I remove the skin and cut the thighs in half to make them smaller. If you have a good butcher knife and a little courage, feel free to chop horizontally through the bone. Nirav usually will do this for me, and my mom is a pro at this. When I made it, I sliced the thigh lengthwise along the bone to split it in half and kept the bone intact. This was purely about safety for me since I’m already a klutz when not wielding a knife.
The nice thing about this chicken is that you can serve it with a side or two of veggies and be totally content. This is perfect for people following a grain-free diet. Of course, you can certainly eat it with rice or any variety of Indian breads like naan, poori, chapatti, roti, or my personal favorite, flaky, buttery parathas! I hope it knocks your socks off!
Dry Masala Chicken
2 lbs bone-in chicken thighs
3 inch piece of peeled, fresh ginger (don’t need to chop)
6-8 cloves whole garlic
1/2 a large red onion, sliced thinly
1/3 cup red wine
Garam masala (I had fresh ground that my mom made) – amount depends on your chicken amount (for 2 lbs probably used 2-3 tbsp)
1/2 tbsp red chili powder (more or less according to your spice preference)
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tbsp mustard seeds
Oil of your choice (I use coconut oil)
4-6 cariapala (curry leaves) – optional
4-5 whole cardamon pods
4-5 whole cloves
Salt to taste
— remove skin and cut each thigh in half (either lengthwise along the bone or width-wise though the bone)
–wash then place in a collander to let as much liquid strain out while prepping the rest of the ingredients
In a blender/single serve blender/magic bullet:
–blend the garlic and ginger with a little bit of water to make paste.
* There is NO oil in the pot at this point*