January 11, 2008

Angry Chicken

I have long admired Morimoto. He is always one of my favorites to watch on Iron Chef and comes up with so many amazing variations. So, with coupon in hand for a significant discount, I could not resist this cookbook while I was holiday shopping last month. I was then determined to make something from it sooner rather than later, so my New Year's Even dinner was as follows:

Angry Chicken
from Morimoto: The New Art of Japanese Cooking

2 whole bone-in chicken legs
spicy yogurt marinade*
1 cups chicken stock
assorted fresh hot green and red chile peppers
1 TBSP oil
lime wedges for serving

*Spicy Yogurt Marinade
1/4 tsp black peppercorns
1/4 tsp cumin seeds
1/8 tsp coriander seeds
1/8 tsp cardamom seeds
1/2 tsp chile powder
1/4 tsp garam masala
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cups hot sauce, preferably Frank's
2/3 cups plain yogurt
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 1/2 TBSP soy sauce

Trim any excess fat from the chicken. Rinse and pat dry. Place the chicken in a large bowl. Measure out 1/2 cup of marinade and reserve for sauce; refrigerate in a small container.

Pour the rest of the marinade over the chicken. Turn the pieces to make sure they are well-coated. Cover and refrigerate for at least 8 and up to 24 hours.

About 1 hour before you plan to serve the chicken, preheat oven to 450 F. Remove the chicken from the marinade and arrange the pieces on a baking sheet. Discard the marinade.

Roast for 40 minutes, until the chicken is tender and lightly browned and the juices run clear when pricked with a knife. Transfer the pieces to a platter and keep warm.

While the chicken is roasting, make the sauce. Boil the chicken stock in a medium saucepan over high heat until reduced to half. Whisk in the reserved marinade and cook until just heated through. Do not boil or the yogurt will separate. Keep the sauce warm.

As soon as the chicken is done, preheat the broiler. Toss the chiles with oil to coat lightly and spread them out on a broiler rack or small baking sheet. Broil the chiles about 4 inches from the heat, turning them a couple of times until they are blistered and lightly browned, about 5 minutes.

To serve, layer the chicken and chiles in a large platter. Pour the sauce around the chicken. Serve with lime wedges to squeeze over chicken.

Notes: This is supposed to be Morimoto's version of tandoori. Apparently he was influenced by frequent visits to his restaurant in Mumbai. The hot sauce gives it an enduring heat but his recommended brand isn't as sharp as some others. Very yummy. And, then, because I wanted to, I made Molten Chocolate Cake for dessert.

Posted by Jennifer at January 11, 2008 9:37 PM | TrackBack

I like this blog is fantastic, is really good written. Congratulation. Great photos…this looks delicious ! :-)

Posted by: Sorina at January 15, 2008 6:31 PM

This was extraordinarily good. The flavor created by the blend of spices mixed with the Frank's Red Hot Sauce was great, with the Frank's lending a certain tanginess that worked really well. The level of heat was about perfect too.

I don't know that having the roasted chiles with the dish really added much though, other than improving the presentation.

Posted by: Michael at January 28, 2008 9:48 PM

Some tips for the novice:
1) You have to marinate this over night, so it actually involves two nights of cooking, not just one.
2) "Chicken legs" are not the same as "drumsticks."
3) Buy the chicken with the skin on, which will compromise your ability to trim the excess fat, but no worries.
4) If you can't find Frank's (which was not available at my local Whole Foods) you can use regular hot sauce, or tabasco sauce, but you should only use about 2/3rds of what the recipe calls for, or you and your fellow diners will just die.
5) If you only have cumin, coriander, and cardamom in spice form, like most novices, (instead of the seeds) that's fine, just use heaping tsps.

I made the above modifications, and the dish came out great - the best chicken dish I've ever cooked (I've now cooked a total of 3). The chicken was very moist and cooked through perfectly. I would probably advocate using even less broth than the recipe calls for, because my sauce was just a little thin. I didn't bother with the peppers, because Whole Foods doesn't have a great pepper selection, and they just seemed like garnish to me. Overall, an easy and delicious dish that I'll make again, and one that was enthusiastically eaten by two food snobs, my husband, and Jennifer Jackson herself!

Posted by: Cameron at March 19, 2008 6:57 PM
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