saffron and coriander chicken fricassee

saffron and coriander chicken fricassee| A Brown Table

We suck at hanging art work at home, it's one of the hardest things to do and the commercials of course make it looks easy. And clearly, it's one of the most stressful things you can do together as a couple! Getting equal spacing between random pieces of art on wall, maintaining some sort of uniformity and to keep it pleasing, is anxiety on my soul. And though M says no one will notice, I know I will. A slightly crooked frame will be an eye sore for eternity. So there we were, measuring tape, pencil, nails and a hammer. 4 frames, each hung at least twice! And we still have 12 more to go... and spots and stains to fix and repaint...

I've taken a lot of liberties with this fricassee and if you see my notes below, though the technique is similar, I've adapted it to make it easier and a little lighter and tried to give the dish a little Indian vibe. There's a pinch of saffron threads and smoky coriander for that rich color and flavor. A fricassee is a richly flavored one-pot French dish that gets flavored at different levels, the mirepoix, the herbs and spice add their magic to the chicken. There are a few steps to making it but it's one of the large batch dishes that you can make it in advance and save yourself some time during the week!

Usually, you should cook a fricasse in a medium-size heavy Dutch oven. Honestly, it does wonders for this dish because of it's heavy cast iron base and lid. The chicken cooks fast due to the uniform heat distribution and the steam, the chicken will have a tender texture once it is cooked. I used Le Creuset's new mix and match cast-iron dutch oven that comes with either a red or blue lid to match the colors of the French flag!

saffron and coriander chicken fricassee| A Brown Table
saffron and coriander chicken fricassee| A Brown Table
saffron and coriander chicken fricassee| A Brown Table
saffron and coriander chicken fricassee| A Brown Table
saffron and coriander chicken fricassee| A Brown Table
saffron and coriander chicken fricassee| A Brown Table
saffron and coriander chicken fricassee| A Brown Table
saffron and coriander chicken fricassee| A Brown Table

Here are some of my kitchen tips that you might find useful when preparing this fricassee;

  • I cheat a little in this fricassee. I've skipped the boquet garni and the liasion. A fricassee can be pretty rich and heavy with cream and eggs, I skipped all of this and made the sauce creamy by emulsifying the liquid in the Dutch oven to give a creamy and silky sauce. 
  • If I'm craving a little bit of heat, I'll add a teaspoon of red chili flakes to the Dutch oven when I add the coriander. 
  • This is a great one pot meal, one you can prepare in advance and eat during the week. I also sometimes throw in a can of beans or some chopped char.
saffron and coriander chicken fricassee| A Brown Table

saffron and coriander chicken fricassee

yields: 6 servings

ingredients

4 lbs chicken legs with bone and skin, whole

1 tablespoon kosher sea salt

1 tablespoon black pepper, freshly ground

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 cup carrots, diced

1 cup white onion, diced

1 cup celery stalks, diced

1 tablespoon flour

1 teaspoon coriander seeds, ground

1/4 teaspoon saffron strands

1 cup white wine (I used a sauvignon blanc)

1 quart chicken broth, unsalted

2 bay leaves

2 tablespoons lemon juice, freshly squeezed

2 tablespoons tarragon, fresh chopped

2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley, chopped

1. Pat the chicken dry with clean paper towels. Season with salt and pepper on both sides. Melt the butter and the olive oil in a medium-sized Dutch oven (5.5 quarts) on medium-high heat. When the butter starts to foam, place the chicken skin down and brown on each side for about 5 minutes. The chicken pieces can be fried in batches. Remove from Dutch oven and keep the chicken aside on a clean plate. 

2. Reduce the heat to low and to the same Dutch oven, add the diced carrots, onions and celery. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes until almost the vegetables start to just brown. Then add coriander and saffron and cook for another 30 seconds with constant stirring. Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and mix until the no visible flecks of flour can be seen. 

3. Pour the wine and chicken broth into the Dutch oven and stir to mix. Increase heat to high and bring the contents to a a boil. Now return the browned chicken pieces to the Dutch oven along with the bay leaves. Cover with the lid and reduced heat to medium-high. Cook for 25 to 30 minutes or until the chicken is completely cooked (internal temperature 165F). Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and remove the chicken pieces and bay leaves. Now transfer 3/4 of this liquid left in the Dutch oven to a blender and pulse until almost smooth. Return the liquid to the Dutch oven, stir in the lemon juice. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Now return the chicken back to the Dutch oven. Garnish with the chopped tarragon and parsley. Serve hot with a good rustic country bread. 

Disclaimer: This post sponsored by Le Creuset and Williams Sonoma. All opinions expressed are solely my own. 

Turmeric and Yogurt Spiced Oven Roasted Chicken

Turmeric and Yogurt Spiced Oven Roasted Chicken | A Brown Table

I had a hard time finding thai chili peppers at almost every farmer's market or grocery store in my vicinity this year. Since they're pretty easy to grow, I sun dried a couple of peppers (from the one time I found them) and sowed them into a small pot. Some made it while some didn't but I'm now the proud dad to a few plants with tiny little white flowers that eventually morphed into tapering little green and red chilis. Some of which found their way into this chicken roast. 

This roast also saved me a lot of time in the kitchen during an intensely busy week. It might take some time to prep (which I do over the weekend) but it's a tasty chicken to eat during the week. 

Yogurt makes everything better and it flavors this chicken pretty darn good. There's a generous amount of turmeric and a few spices that might sound intimidating but it will be well worth it.

You might notice that I've kept the skin on this bird which is something I do less often because the skin is considered unclean in Indian cooking. But in a roast the skin helps to keep the chicken juicy and it will get crispy!

And before I forget, the winner of Food52's latest Baking cookbook is Sarah! She wants to make the Arnold Palmer cake which has been on my mind ever since I saw Christina Tossi make it on TV!

Turmeric and Yogurt Spiced Oven Roasted Chicken| A Brown Table
Thai Chili Peppers | A Brown Table
Turmeric and Yogurt Spiced Oven Roasted Chicken| A Brown Table
Turmeric and Yogurt Spiced Oven Roasted Chicken| A Brown Table
Turmeric and Yogurt Spiced Oven Roasted Chicken| A Brown Table
Turmeric and Yogurt Spiced Oven Roasted Chicken| A Brown Table
Turmeric and Yogurt Spiced Oven Roasted Chicken| A Brown Table
Turmeric and Yogurt Spiced Oven Roasted Chicken| A Brown Table
Turmeric and Yogurt Spiced Oven Roasted Chicken| A Brown Table
Turmeric and Yogurt Spiced Oven Roasted Chicken| A Brown Table
Turmeric and Yogurt Spiced Oven Roasted Chicken| A Brown Table

Here are some of my kitchen tips that you might find useful when preparing this chicken,

  • Marinade the chicken overnight but if you're short on time, a 2 hour interval will do.
  • Choose low-fat or full-fat yogurt, fat-free doesn't do as good a job. 
  • I use Le Creuset's 5 quart braiser to roast the chicken. The heavy base of the pan does great job evenly cooking the bird. 
  • While roasting the chicken and basting the liquid might start to dry out, you can add a little warm water to prevent it from drying. (I add warm water over cool water as the latter will increase the time required to cook the chicken).
  • I've suggested two options below when it comes to serving the left over sauce in the braiser. You can serve it as is or blend it to get a smooth gravy like consistency. 
  • This recipe also works for a turkey, just adjust the amounts of the ingredients based on the weight of the bird.
Turmeric and Yogurt Spiced Oven Roasted Chicken| A Brown Table

turmeric and yogurt spiced oven roasted chicken (adapted from Indian cooking - Hamlyn)

yields: 4lbs chicken

ingredients 

1 1/2 cups full fat or low-fat yogurt

2 cups red onion, diced

4 garlic cloves

1/2 teaspoon black pepper powder, freshly ground

3 red thai chili peppers

1 1/2 teaspoons turmeric powder

1 1/2 teaspoons fine grain sea salt

4 lb whole chicken with skin

2 tablespoons ghee (or olive oil)

2 inch piece cinnamon stick

1 teaspoon garam masala

8 cloves, lightly crushed

8 green cardamom pods, lightly crushed

2 inch piece ginger root, peeled and cut into thin strips

2 cups low-sodium chicken stock

4 lemon wedges, for garnish

1 bunch of fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish

1. Place the yogurt, 1 cup of the diced red onions, garlic, black pepper, chili peppers, turmeric and salt in a blender and pulse until completely smooth and combined. Keep this marinade aside until ready to use.

2. Place the chicken in a large roasting pan or glass bowl. Dab it dry with clean paper towels. Insert your fingers between the skin and the flesh of the chicken to create space between the two. Make a few deep cuts in the chicken using a sharp paring knife. Pour the marinade (from step 1) over the chicken and using your fingers coat the chicken completely with the marinade. Take care to rub the marinade between the skin and the flesh of the chicken. Cover the chicken in the roasting pan with cling film or transfer it to a large bowl or place it a turkey oven bag. Refrigerate this overnight, taking care to coat the chicken every few hours with the marinade (if you're using the oven bag, just shake the bag gently to recirculate the marinade, if you use a bowl or roasting pan, using a large spoon to spread the marinade).

3. After the chicken has marinaded for the appropriate time, place a wire rack at midlevel in the oven and preheat to 375F. Heat the ghee in a large braiser on medium-high heat. Add the remaining onions and sauté until light pink and translucent. Then add the rest of the spices from the cinnamon to the ginger strips and cook for 1 minute with constant stirring. Pour the chicken broth into the pan and increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Remove the pan from the stove.

4. Place the chicken in the center of the pan. Pour the leftover marinade over the chicken. Place the pan in the oven, baste it with the liquid in the pan and cook for 2 hours or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165F.  Remove from oven and allow to rest in the leftover gravy that sits at the bottom of the braiser for at least 10 minutes before serving. You have two options here, you can serve the roast chicken as is with the gravy/sauce that's left behind in the pan, or alternatively, transfer the sauce to a blender and pulse to get a smooth gravy. Serve the roasted chicken with the sauce on the side. Garnish with the fresh lemon wedges and cilantro before serving.

Disclaimer: Thanks to Le Creuset for sponsoring this post, all opinions stated here are solely mine.