hard chicken

Hard Chicken Curry – Unforgetably delicious chicken curry ever (Fowl/Free range chicken/Curry chicken/Gam Kukulu mas/Desi chicken)

Hard chicken is actually fowl or free range old chicken, available only at ethnic butches.  It is more chewy and hard as the bird lives longer  than its’ peers’, after they stop laying eggs.  So, the meat has hardly any fat in it, making it a healthier version of chicken for those who tend to avoid poultry for the same matter.

You need to cook it low and slow to get the right texture, which only comes from following the techniques as well as the ingredients that go into it.  For instance, vinegar and potatoes help in a great deal in softening the meat.  I must insist that cooking in the pressure cooker will soften the chicken rapidely but destroy its natural flavours.

As the bird doesn’t have much fat,  you need to add an extra table spoon of olive oil or any other cooking oil in the pot.  Once cooked, adding just a tbsp of coconut milk will give it a surprising levels of flavours.

If you taste it once, you will always remember its extraordinary delicious taste.  Try this dish with hot rice, rotis, noodles, pasta or bread or with boiled casava mixed with fresh coconut flakes which will complement the dish in a great deal.

What you need to make this dish:

  • Full hard chicken from the butchers  – Skin out and cut into small pieces to make it easier for cooking.
Onion 1 big
Ginger  garlic paste or freshly grated both 2 tbsp
Whole spices 3 cloves, a cinnamon stick, 3 cardamoms
Maggi coconut milk powder or fresh coconut milk 2 tbsp
Vinegar 1 tbsp
Small new potatoes 5 peeled and cut into chunks
Roasted curry powder 2 tbsp
Turmeric powder 1/4 tsp
Green chili 2 slit
Salt  1 & 1/2 tsp
Chili powder 2 tsp or more if you desire a spicier taste

Let’s make it:

Marinate the chicken pieces

  • Marinate the chicken pieces with vinegar, salt,  turmeric, chili powder, roasted curry powder, ginger and garlic paste and crushed curry leaves.
  • Cover and keep aside for at least 1 hr. (preferably overnight in the fridge for the chicken pieces to absorb the essense of spices and soften with vinegar)

Roast the chicken in the pan

  • Heat up 2 tbsp of any oil in a wide pan
  • Add the whole spices; cloves, cinnamon, cardamom and a few curry leaves crusched
  • Add the sliced onion and let it brown
  • Add some freshly grated or crushed garlic and ginger
  • Now drop the marinated chicken
  • Stir fry the chicken for nearly 10-15 mins in medium flame allowing the excess water to evaporate
  • Close the lid and lower the flame to the minimum.  Splash a little water if the pan is too dry. Let it sit like this for 5 mins. This will let all the juices to ooze out
  • Open the lid again stir fry for a 5 more mins gathering juices with chicken pieces until they are well coated
  • Pour water a well above chicken pieces as it has to cook for about 45 mins

  • Close and cook for 45 mins while topping hot water if the water level goes down but the chicken pieces are still hard.  Cook until chicken pieces are tender enough to bite

Add potatoes

  • Open, give a good stir, check salt and drop the potatoes and slit green chili. If the water level has gone too low, add a little more hot water to bring it just above chicken

  • Close and cook for another 1/2 hr under medium flame
  • Finally, add 2 tbsps of fresh or maggi instant coconut milk, a handful of curry leaves and cook for another 10 mins under very low flame.  This final therapy will give the curry it’s tempting colour and make it more flavourful
  • Let it rest for 20 mins (cook this curry night before and it will taste heavenly on the next day)
  • Ready to serve with hot rice, rotis, noodles or with boiled casava(maniyok) mixed with fresh coconut
  • Delicious in every bite!

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