Kozhi Nirachathu / Malabar Special Stuffed Chicken
Ingredients (Serves 5)
1. Whole chicken – Around 1.5 kg
2. Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
Kashmiri chilly powder (good quality) or mildly spicy chilly powder – 3 – 3.5 tbsp
Pepper powder – 1 tsp
Coriander powder – 1.5 tbsp
Ginger-garlic paste – 2 tbsp
Garam masala powder – 1 tbsp
Lemon juice – 2 – 2.5 tbsp
Salt – To taste
3. Boiled eggs – 2 – 3
For the masala
4. Coconut oil / refined oil – 5 – 6 tbsp
Cashews and raisins – 2 tbsp each
5. Onion – 1.5 large or about 2.5 cups, thinly sliced
6. Ginger-garlic paste – 1 tbsp
7. Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
Kashmiri chilly powder – 1 tbsp
Pepper powder – 1/4 tsp
Coriander powder – 2 – 3 tsp (optional)
Garam masala powder – 1 tsp
8. Tomato – 1 medium, chopped
9. Salt – To taste
10. Hot water – 1/4 cup
1. Clean the chicken by removing the skin, giblets and any extra fat inside the cavity. Rinse and dry thoroughly with a paper towel. You can keep the skin on, if you want. I removed it.
2. Make deep gashes on the fleshy parts of the chicken so that the masala can penetrate inside. Combine all the ingredients numbered 2 in a bowl. Add 1 – 2 tsp water if required. Taste-check for salt. Marinate the chicken with this mixture. Keep it overnight in the refrigerator. Take it out 30 minutes before you are ready to use.
3. Heat 4 – 5 tbsp oil in a wide non-stick pan. Fry cashews until light golden. Add raisins. Fry for a minute until they puffs up. Remove using a slotted spoon.
4. Next fry the chicken on both sides for 3 – 4 minutes until browned. Take it out.
5. To make onion masala – In the remaining oil (add more oil, if required), add onion little salt and fry until onion turns soft and light golden, about 8 – 10 minutes. Add 1.5 tbsp ginger-garlic paste and cook for 2 minutes until their raw smell disappears. Bring down the heat to low. Add spice powders numbered 7. Cook for 1 – 2 minutes over low heat.
6. Remove 1/4 cup of the onion masala to a small bowl. Set aside to use later.
7. Add chopped tomatoes to the pan. Cook for a few minutes until tomatoes are completely mashed up. Add 1/4 tsp garam masala powder if required. Check for salt. Add 1/4 cup hot water and mix well. Cook for a minute and switch off.
8. Stuff the chicken cavity with 2 – 3 boiled eggs and 1/4 cup onion masala. Tie the chicken legs using a twine.
9. Meanwhile preheat the oven at 400 F / 200 deg C.
10. Line a large baking tray with Aluminium foil. Grease it with oil. Place the marinated chicken inside the baking tray. Drizzle 1 – 2 tbsp oil over the chicken. Cover it with an aluminum foil and place inside the oven.
11. After 35 – 40 minutes, take the chicken out and baste it with the juices that oozed out of it. Flip the chicken. Cover the top side with onion masala (you can spread onion masala on both sides of the chicken). Drizzle with some oil. Cover with foil and bake for another 40 – 45 minutes or until completely done. Remove foil during the last 10 minutes. Once chicken is done, take it out and set aside for 5 minutes. Spoon any left over juices and masala in the tray over the chicken. Remove the twine. Serve hot with ghee rice, salad and lemon wedges.