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Paleo Shahjahani chicken


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Paleo Shahjahani chicken, adapted from Madhur Jaffrey:

  • 2 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • 8-9 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 6 tbsp roasted almond butter
  • 4 tbsp water
  • 7 tbsp virgin coconut oil
  • about 2.5-3 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut in half
  • 10 whole cardamom pods
  • a stick of cinnamon
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 5 whole cloves
  • 2 medium onions, peeled and minced
  • 2 tsp ground cumin seeds
  • 1/8 - 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 can coconut milk (I used TJs light because this already has plenty of fat from the almond butter)
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp golden raisins, soaked in a small amount of boiling water
  • 1/4 tsp garam masala

Heat half of the oil in a wide, deep frying pan over medium-high heat. Saute the onions, stirring constantly, until they caramelize but do not burn. Let cool slightly.

Add the remaining oil to your frying pan. When hot, put in as many chicken pieces as the pot will hold in a single layer. Let the chicken pieces turn golden brown on the bottom. Now turn all the pieces over and brown the second side. Remove the chicken pieces with a slotted spoon and put them in a bowl. Brown all the chicken pieces this way.

In your food processor, puree the onions, garlic, ginger, cumin, cayenne and almond butter.

Put the cardamom, cinnamon, bay leaves, and cloves into the remaining hot oil. Stir and fry them for a few seconds. Add the spice puree. Stir and fry for 2-3 minutes or until the oil seems to separate from the spice mixture and the spices are lightly browned.

Put in the chicken pieces, any liquid that might have accumulated in the chicken bowl, the coconut milk, water, and salt. Bring to a simmer. Cover, turn heat to low and cook gently for 20 minutes. Add the raisins and turn over the chicken pieces. Cover and cook another 10 minutes or until the chicken is tender. Add the garam masala and additional salt, if needed. Stir to mix.

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