Yield: 6 servings
3 1/2 lb whole chicken
1 ts salt
freshly ground black pepper
2 tb vegetable oil
4 tb butter, unsalted
7 whole cardamom pods
8 cloves, whole
1 cinnamon stick, 2 inch piece
2 bay leaves
2 1/2 tb almonds, blanched, slivered
2 1/2 tb raisins
1 c yogurt, plain
1 ts cumin, freshly ground
1/2 ts cayenne pepper
Remove skin from chicken. Cut into serving pieces, cutting whole
legs into two pieces and whole breasts into 6 pieces. Spread chicken
in single layer and sprinkle with 1/4 tsp salt and pepper to taste,
pat into chicken to help it adhere. Turn chicken over and repeat
with another 1/4 tsp salt and pepper to taste.
Heat oil and butter in large skillet, preferably non stick, over
medium-high heat. When hot, add cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, bay
leaves and as many chicken pieces as pan will hold in single layer.
(Do not crowd.)
Brown chicken on both sides, transfer with slotted spoon to ovenproof
casserole. Repeat with remaining chicken. Add almonds to hot oil
in skillet and stir. As soon as they begin to brown, about 1 minute,
stir in raisins. Immediately pour contents of skillet, fat and all
In small bowl, stir together yogurt, cumin, cayenne, remaining salt
and black pepper to taste. Pour over chicken, mix well. Cover
casserole, place in preheated 350F oven 20 minutes. Turn chicken
pieces over, baste with juices. Cover, return to oven 20 to 25
minutes or until chicken is tender.
Just before serving, if necessary, reheat chicken over low heat.
Remove chicken pieces, transfer to warm serving dish. Spoon off
most fat left in casserole, discard. Place remaining sauce in
casserole over medium-high heat and boil until thickened, about 5
minutes. Pour thickened sauce over chicken.