Week 7: Madhur Jaffery (Silken Chicken)

On the list of things that terrify me:
Falling while ice skating. 
Samoan dogs. 
Bunsen burners. (This is particularly embarrassing as I have a degree in chemistry and I still make someone else light the bunsen burner.)
Deep fat frying in my kitchen. 
Ice and dull edges while skiing. 
Cooking Indian food. 
You’d think that last shouldn’t be there, but it is. I’m mostly terrified because of all the spices involved. They’re innumerable, wonderful and not available at my local grocery store. When I go down to Chinatown, they’re all labeled with different names. I’m afraid I’ll buy the wrong thing, or the wrong color or grind or roasting quality or something and I’ll end up cooking something that is awful. 
Thank you, Madhur Jaffery. I will never be afraid to make Indian food again. Thanks to you, I not only made some Indian food, I made my own garam masala. 

Indian food fear, you are dead.

Also, this chicken is amazing.

Last also – the internet in Samoa is sketchy. Thus, the end of this post.

Silken Chicken

Adapted from Madhur Jaffery’s Quick and Easy Indian Cooking

Serves 4. Allow 1.25 hours. 

4 boneless and skinned Chicken breasts
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon garam masala (recipe below)
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon dried ginger
1/3 teaspoon ground roasted cumin seeds

1) Preheat oven to the highest setting.
2) Cut three diagonal slits in the top of each chicken breast. Rub chicken breasts with salt and lemon juice and  let stand for 15 minutes.
3) Meanwhile, combine the cream and the spices. Pour over the chicken and allow to marinate for 30 minutes.
4) Transfer to a foil lined pan and bake it preheated oven or until chicken is just done, 15-20 minutes.

Garam Masala

Adapted from Madhur Jaffery’s Quick and Easy Indian Cooking

Makes 2 tablespoons. Allow 10 minutes.

2 teaspoons cardamon
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1) Mix all spices in a spice or coffee grinder. Grind until evenly powdered. Store in a covered container.

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9 Responses to Week 7: Madhur Jaffery (Silken Chicken)

  1. Miranda says:

    Fear of Bunsen Burners – hilarious. Those things are kind of scary! I never knew what garam marsala was until this week, and I am glad Jaffrey allowed you (us) to step out of the comfort zone. Great job with the chicken.

  2. Congratulations on conquering your fear! Now, on to other great Indian dishes! This chicken dish need a Saag Palak or chickpea accompaniment, so it's not lonely on the plate! Haha! I can practically hear Madhur Jaffrey cheering for you!

  3. Mary says:

    What a marvelous choice of recipes to share with us today. I'm so glad you overcame your fear of Indian cooking and that you decided to make this journey with us. I wonder how often Indian food is made in Samoa? I hope you are having a great time. Blessings…Mary

  4. I love that you made your own garam masala! I knew my old coffee grinder was good for something. I think the ingredients in the chicken sound heavenly…I like that it's an example of light Indian cuisine, focused on the spices, not a heavy sauce. I've bookmarked it to make asap.

  5. Katie says:

    Making your own garam masala sounds like fun! This chicken looks delicious, and I love the name!

  6. girlichef says:

    Beautiful! I think the first time I made my own garam masala was because of Jaffrey, as well…she totally rocks my world! This silken chicken is totally making my mouth yearn for a bite 😀

  7. bellini says:

    Layering Indian spices is a challenge but it is made easy when we have an expert like Ms. Jaffrey guide us.

  8. Beth says:

    The chicken looks gorgeous. Almost enough for me to overcome my own fear!

  9. Just read your lovely post and am going to earmark it for when I get back to Istanbul. Love the how to make garam masala too …

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