Indian style Roasted Chicken/Cornish Hen
Ingredients: (serves 1 – it is a Cornish hen)
- 1 Cornish hen, skin removed and the inside cleaned
- 1 tablespoon vinegar
- 1 tablespoon grated garlic or carlic paste
- 2.5 – 3 tablespoon ginger paste (or fresh ginger grated)
- 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
- 5 tablespoon oil
- 4 cups onion, sliced in thin half moons
- 4-5 hot green chili pepper (optional)
- red chili powder/cayenne – optional, use as per taste
- 2-3 medium potatoes, if you want to cook them with the chicken
- a teaspoon of sugar
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- salt to taste
- herbs of your choice to garnish, or you may use green onion
- If you have frozen chicken, defrost it first. Remove skin of the chicken and trim off the fat. Wash and pat dry. Make deep incisions on the flesh of the chicken; this will help the marinade soften the chicken and moisten the flesh.
- Rub in the vinegar and salt on all sides of the chicken and allow it to sit for about 15-30 minutes.
- In the mean time, combine ginger grated or paste, garlic grated or paste, soy sauce, salt, chili powder, black pepper and half the amount of sugar in a bowl or a ziploc bag. After the first marination with vinegar and salt, marinate the whole chicken in this marinade. Place the chicken in the bowl or the bag and rub the marinade in to the chicken, especially inside the cuts you have made. Allow it to marinate for at least 2 hours. Overnight would be even better.
- Heat 1.5 – 2 tablespoon of oil in a pan/skillet (a cast iron skillet works best), large enough to hold the chicken; add half of the onions and hot chili peppers, if you are using chilli. Sprinkle some salt and slowly cook them at medium heat until they start to caramelize and turn deep brown. Remove them with a slotted spoon and set aside. This will be stuffed inside the chicken.
- Remove chicken from the marinade and stuff the chicken with the cooked onions and hot peppers.
- Heat the rest of the oil in same pan. Turn down the heat to medium. Add the rest of the sugar and a couple of tablespoon of the sliced onions and cook slowly while stirring constantly until the oil has a deep golden color. This is the sugar caramelized. Make sure the heat is low or else the sugar will burn. You will see the onions turn golden too.
- Now place the stuffed chicken in the pan (I usually do it belly side down), pour the rest of the marinade over it and cover and cook at low to medium heat until the chicken is almost done, about 20 minutes (cooking time will vary with the size of the chicken and also the time of marination). If you are adding the potatoes, you have to add it mid way or towards the end of the cooking, so they are cooked when the chicken is done. They will be have to be browned with the chicken too. When done, the chicken should be cooked through but not falling apart.
- Now is the tricky and which imparts the crisp outside along with the dark brown color. Uncover and start browning the chicken. The liquid will slowly evaporate. Add the rest of the onions and the herbs. Slowly cook each side of the chicken until all sides are deep brown. You might have to loosen it with a spatula so it does not stick to the pan and get burned.
- The potatoes will brown too. Or if you do not want them browned, remove them and set aside and add them back to the pan when ready to serve.
- Continue cooking until the chicken is browned in the way you want it. There should be no sauce.
- Serve with the potatoes and onions already in the pan and serve it hot!