Spicy Goan Chcken

I love Indian Cuisine. The dishes that are prepared in India are as varied and unique as its 22 official languages. The cooking methods of the Indian kitchen are no different than in my American kitchen. Indians saute, fry, roast, and braise, all in the same manner that I, and most people that I know do. The difference between Indian Cuisine and American Cuisine is all in the use of spices. Indian cooks have a great knowledge of how to use and combine spices. This may seem a bit daunting to a novice cook, but I can assure you that with a special trip down your local grocery store spice aisle and a recipe or two under your belt, you can be creating authentic dishes to rival even the best Indian restaurants.

Last night I prepared one of my new favorite dishes, from a cookbook I recently acquired that is one of my favorite new cookbooks. It is titled "At Home with Madhur Jaffrey". I have recreated about a dozen or so different dishes from this book, and every single one of them was simple, easy, and delicious.

The recipe below is from page 83, and I did alter it slightly from the original. I did not want anything mouth searingly spicy last night, so I used dried chipotle powder (sold my McCormick) instead of cayenne powder. As well-I keep clarified butter on hand all the time, so I used this instead of olive oil. Other than these two alterations, I followed the recipe verbatim.

Goan-Style Chicken Moelho
 1.5 tsp. cumin seeds
1 tsp. black mustard seeds
1 tsp. cayenne pepper or chipotle powder
2tsp. paprika (I used smoked but hot or sweet work too)
1/2 tsp. turmeric
1.25 tsp. kosher salt
1 Tbs. red wine vinegar
4 cloves garlic-crushed and minced
1 1/2 Lbs. Chicken breast meat cut into 1 inch cubes
3 Tbs. Olive oil (I use clarified butter)
1 medium onion-julienned (about 1 1/2 cups
2 Tbs. white wine vinegar
1/2 cup water

Pulverize the cumin and mustard seeds in a mortal and pestle, or a spice grinder. Mix together with the next 6 ingredients. Place chicken in a nonreactive bowl, add the spice mix and massage into the meat with your hands. Cover and place in the fridge for 2-12 hours.

Pour the oil into a 14 inch sauté pan set over medium heat. When hot, add the onions and fry until golden brown. Add the marinated chicken and cook 7-8 minutes, allowing it to brown. Add the second quantity of vinegar and the water.

Cover and cook 5 minutes more. Check seasoning and adjust the salt if needed. Serve with rice or Naan.

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