Spicy Mango Masala Chicken

Tuesday, January 26, 2016



I took a step out of my normal routine today by walking through the door of a tiny Indian grocery several streets away from my house. With recipe in hand, I scanned the shelves brimming with spices and vegetables still a bit foreign for my comfort level in cooking. With the able assistance of the kind storekeeper,
I found the ingredients on my list: garam masala, cumin and fennel seeds, mango pulp. All these and more were heaped into my basket along with green chili peppers and an armful of cilantro. Later, when it all came together in my cast iron skillet the enticing aroma of Spicy Mango Masala wafted through the house, bringing my hungry crew to the kitchen with eager appetites and happy smiles.

This recipe is from my friend, Asha, author of the blog Food Fashion Party and the most amazing Indian cook I know. I made some slight adjustments, such as using chicken thighs instead of drumsticks and leaving out the Serrano peppers (pardon my wimpy taste buds, Asha!).  For her exact recipe and amazing photos, go here.

I will definitely be making this again.  It was a win all the way around the table.  And the sauce? It's seriously so good. My daughter kept asking, "Did you make this, mom?" as she spooned more of its sweet and spicy goodness over her rice.  Um, yes.  I did. Every finger-licking bite.


Spicy Mango Masala Chicken

Marinade for the chicken:
10 boneless skinless chicken thighs
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon paprika
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons oil

For the Mango Barbecue Sauce:
1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 small red onion, finely diced
2 tablespoons minced ginger
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 1/2 cup Alphonso Mango Pulp
The juice of 2 limes
4 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 tablespoons molasses
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon salt

Garnish: cilantro and thinly sliced chili peppers

Instructions:

1.  Smooth the marinade paste over the tops of the chicken thighs. Place in a ziplock bag and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

2.  Preheat oven to 420 degrees.

3.  In a sauce pan, heat the oil. Add the fennel and cumin seeds and let them sizzle for a few minutes, then add the onion and saute till transparent.

4.  Add all the other ingredients for the sauce except the lime juice and simmer for 15 - 20 minutes until the sauce has reduced to half. Turn off heat and add the lime juice. Pour sauce into a bowl and set aside.

5.  Line a baking tray with foil (for easier clean-up) and put a slotted rack on top. Arrange the chicken on the rack and back for 25 minutes until browned nicely and close to being done.

6.  Take out the chicken and place it in a cast iron skillet on medium high heat, spooning several ladles of sauce over the top. Cook for about 10 minutes or so until done.  If you need to keep it hot, you can add a bit more sauce and slide it in the oven on low heat for another 10 - 15 minutes. Otherwise, serve immediately with rice and extra sauce.  Garnish with cilantro and sliced chili peppers.

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