Thursday, January 31, 2013

IHCC: Give me comfort!

Roast chicken is Ed's idea of comfort food. My idea of comfort right now is working on the freezer backlog. So when I found the recipe for Whole Chicken, Baked in Aluminum Foil (Murgh Musallam) in Madhur Jaffrey's Indian Cooking (p80), I knew I'd found this week's idea for IHCC. Jaffrey presents this as her simplified version of the traditional murgh musallam. When I looked a bit on the web for a what a traditional recipe might look like, there didn't seem to be much agreement. There was often a tomato saucy component that's missing here.

First, the skinned bird is marinated in a blend of ginger, garlic, and yogurt with turmeric, cayenne, salt, and pepper. While that's sitting, you make a paste of onion, garlic, ginger, and sliced almonds with cumin, coriander, turmeric, paprika, cayenne, and salt. This mixture is fried (I used only half the oil listed), then lemon juice, black pepper, and garam masala are stirred in and the mixture allowed to cool.

When the chickie  has finished marinating, it's rubbed with the onion paste, sealed in foil, and popped in the oven for 1-1/2 hours. It comes out tender and smelling delicious.

This recipe ends rather abruptly, to my mind. There are no final serving instructions. What am I supposed to do with the juices that have accumulated? It feels like a final paragraph was edited out to save space.

I served the chicken with the suggested Mushroom Pullao (p152) and the non-suggested Spicy Cucumber Wedges (p172). (You can see we've already been munching these.) Yogurt with Cucumber and Mint (p152) was also suggested—this is my favorite recipe for raita—but I forgot to make yogurt last night so we had to skip this.

This post is shared with this week's I Heart Cooking Clubs.


  1. Great choice for comfort food. I'm enjoying all the Indian pastes used for seasoning. This onion paste sounds good with garlic and almonds.

  2. It's good to have such a lovely recipe for a whole chicken. Somehow a whole chicken looks more festive on the table
    than chicken pieces and the paste sounds yummy!