Farm to Table Pasture-Raised Poultry

Dopiaza (Indian-Spiced Chicken Smothered in Onions)

Dopiaza (Indian-Spiced Chicken Smothered in Onions)
ingredients
all
2 large yellow onions
orange juice
1/2 cup, freshly squeezed
water
1/2 cup
1 Tbs ginger
fresh
3 cloves garlic
coarsely chopped
2 tsp coriander seeds
lightly toasted and ground
1 tsp turmeric
ground
cayenne
1/4 tsp, or to taste
1 tsp coarse salt
more to taste
2 Tbs ghee
8 chicken thighs
boneless-skinless
1 cup whole milk yogurt
plain
cookware
  • cheesecloth
Dopiaza is a classic Indian preparation in which chicken, meat, or shellfish braises in heaps of onions. Orange juice is not traditional but adds vibrancy to this dish.
1
Drain yogurt 4-6 hours in advance: set a small mesh sieve over a tall, medium bowl lined with cheesecloth. Pour in yogurt and set in refrigerator to drain. After 4-6 hours, the consistency should be that of cream cheese.
2
Thinly slice one onion and rinse in sieve with cold water. Set aside to drain.
3
Coarsely chop second onion and place in blender. Add orange juice, water, ginger, garlic, coriander, turmeric, cayenne, and 1 teaspoon salt. Blend on high until it becomes a smooth purée.
4
Pat chicken dry and season with salt.
5
Heat ghee in heavy-bottomed skillet or shallow braising pan over medium heat. When ghee is almost shimmering, add thighs in batches so as not to crowd and brown lightly on both sides, 6-8 minutes total per batch. Transfer to large plate to catch drippings.
6
When all chicken is browned, pour off all but 1 tablespoon of fat from the pan. Do not pour off the small chicken bits in the bottom.
7
Return pot to medium-high heat, and gradually pour in the orange-onion puree. Stand back as you do this as it will sputter and splatter.
8
Simmer for about 5 minutes, scraping bottom and stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon.
9
Add chicken to sauce, along with any juices that pooled under as it sat. Turn pieces to coat with sauce, cover tightly, and reduce heat to a low simmer.
10
Check pan after 10 minutes to make sure that simmer is quiet and not too turbulent.
11
After 20 minutes, turn chicken with tongs. Braise until fork-tender, 40-45 minutes.
12
With tongs or slotted spoon, transfer chicken to platter.
13
Add reserved onion slices into pan and stir, working onions into sauce. Replace cover and set aside, off the heat, for 5 minutes. This is enough time for onions to lose their bite but keep their crispness and pungency.
14
Stir in strained yogurt and heat to a gentle medium, until yogurt is warmed through. Do not let sauce boil or it will break.
15
Taste and add salt or cayenne as needed.
16
Return chicken to sauce to coat, then serve, spooning sauce over the top of chicken.
source: Molly Stevens, "All About Braising" via Bauman College

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