Thursday, July 18, 2013

Indian Spiced Chicken with Unconventional Mango Chutney

A wonderful friend inspired me to create a dish this last week upon gifting me with Champagne Mangoes. It was with this beautiful case of the small, orange mangoes that I learned there are several different kinds of mangoes.  These are smaller than most, sweet but not sugary. They were easy to peel, but a challenge to cut the soft flesh away from the pit.  Not a problem;  I am a pretty quick study.  I have been wanting a rich, spicy dish with Indian spices, along with wanting to use those beautiful mangoes.  I decided to put them together, sweet and spicy, as I did in my recent posts. (See the Hot Italian Sausage Stuffed Pork Chops with Apple Chutney).  The interesting part of this dish is that I did not puree the mangoes with raisins and brown sugar and spices; instead, I put it all in a large skillet with the chicken and spices, then, after baking the chicken thoroughly, I added wine and apple cider vinegar and mashed the mangoes and raisins and reduced it to a thick sauce.  Ergo, why I am calling it "unconventional". 

This dish took less than fifty minutes to prep and cook.  Easy and amazingly aromatic and flavorful!

 Unconventional Mango Chutney
3 champagne mangoes, flesh cut from the pit, and cut into small chunks  (or, your favorite mangoes)
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/4 - 1/2 cup yellow raisins
1 teaspoon cardomom
zest of one lime and juice of half a lime
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup white wine

If you wish to make this in a more traditional manner, place all of the ingredients in a blender and puree.  Place in an air tight container and refrigerate until serving.  

To follow my more unconventional way, follow along!  Both are exceptionally easy!

Indian Spiced Chicken
 2 tablespoons garam masala (Garam Masala is a rich blend of spices, including turmeric, fenugreek leaves, and much more, and can be found in most Middle Eastern stores)
1 teaspoon Chinese Five Spice
1 tablespoon cumin seed
2 tablespoons smoked Paprika
1 tablespoon granulated onion
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1/4 cup fresh grated ginger 
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Add half of the dry spices to a large skillet over medium-low heat to toast.  After three or four minutes of toasting, add 3 or 4 tablespoons of Grape Seed oil, or  your favorite oil). As the spices toast, use the other half to sprinkle on to both sides of 4 - 6 chicken thighs.  I used skin on chicken thighs, although you can always use boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs, or even drumsticks and wings. Whatever you are happy with. 

The spices should be Very aromatic when you add the oil, and even more so as they oil heats up.  Be careful of the cumin, as the seeds can sometimes pop and splash in the hot oil.  

Add the chicken to the skillet, giving them plenty of room.  Try to arrange them so they do not touch.  Sear each side for about four minutes, until the spices encrust the chicken and appears golden brown. Remove the chicken temporarily, set aside and reduce the heat to low.   

Add the ingredients for the mango chutney and thoroughly incorporate them into the aromatic, spicy oil in the skillet.  Nestle the chicken in to the skillet again. This is what makes the chutney unconventional.  Turn off the heat and place the skillet into the oven for 20 minutes. 

Remove the skillet from the oven, remove the chicken and set aside and place a foil tent over the chicken to keep it warm.  Turn the heat to medium and reduce the unconventional mango chutney. Use a potato masher to smash the remaining chunks of mango and raisins.  It will still have texture.  You will know when your reduction is done or nearly when you can run a spatula through it and it does not readily come back together. Try to remove as much of the oil which pools on the chutney's surface as possible.

At this juncture, you are ready to serve!  Plate your chicken, drizzle the chutney over the top of the chicken and proudly serve!  The flavors that dance on your palette are amazing.  First, you might taste the cumin and garam masala, next the sweet of the raisins, then the bite of the garlic and ginger, and finally, the sweet of the mango.  A wonderful sweet and savory party in your mouth is always a good time! This dish is more like a flavor rave. 

Thank you, gentle readers, for viewing this recipe post.  I hope you enjoy it!