Thursday 6 September 2012

An Emotional High: Chicken 65 - Southern Style Fried Chicken

I had a quiet and lovely birthday yesterday which was well spent with Reju. It's such a blessing these days that workplaces have become so flexible that they can connect from anywhere in the world and still work! Awesome. So, Reju decided to work from home yesterday and I was overjoyed to have him around. We also had a yummy dinner at a restaurant called the "Four Seasons" quite close to home. We gobbled up some authentic Hyderabadi Dum Biriyani which is the restaurant's signature dish. It definitely was one of the best Mutton Biriyanis we ever had. I have to say a dish with a lot of finesse. Totally satisfied my love for Biriyani!

I was so overwhelmed by all the calls and text messages I received on my birthday, made me feel extremely special. Thanks a ton everyone.

I was watching "Love Bites With Joey", a new culinary show hosted by supermodel Joey Mathew who hails from Kerala. Though I don't really follow her show very regularly, I happened to stumble upon one of the episodes where she was cooking up a lovely Southern spread for family and friends. One particular dish caught my eye and that was Joey's version of Chicken 65 - Southern Style Fried Chicken.

Being a Foodie my element is Food and so do not ask how an irresistible dish like this can send me into day dreams of munching onto well roasted chicken. It just happens! Within a few seconds of watching the show, I had imagined what tonight's dinner would be. Thank you Joey.

This dish is simple and tasty - the type we will often enjoy on a weeknight, quick to prepare but full of flavor. The pressure cooker takes care of most of the cooking, where it is cooked with a variety of spices and aromatics and then roasted to bring out maximum aroma and flavor.

A good chicken dish once in a while is something I adore. Chicken is versatile, tastes wonderfully juicy if cooked to perfection and can be used in soups, salads or as a whole dish.

A medley of roasted chicken and spices aromatized with the ever flavorful coconut oil, to me it comes close to heaven! Of course this dish is very popular and there are so many different versions of it. This recipe however is slightly different from the ones I have tasted earlier and has a lovely rustic flavor attached.

Chicken cooked in it's own juices and roasted to perfection, it truly is Delicious!


Chicken (with bone; cut into large pieces) - 1 kg (refer notes)
Big onion - 1 (large)
Ginger - 1 medium size chunk
Garlic - 4 cloves
Salt and Pepper - to taste
Red Chilli powder - 1 tsp
Cumin powder - 1 tsp
Coriander powder - 1 tsp
Curd - 400 gms (refer notes)
Water - 2 tbsp
Coconut oil - just enough to shallow fry the chicken pieces (refer notes)


Grind together onion, garlic and ginger in a blender into a fine paste. (refer notes) Keep aside.

Make a marinade base by mixing together the curd, ground onion mixture, red chilli powder, salt, cumin powder, coriander powder and pepper powder.

Make light gashes on the chicken pieces and soak them in the marinade for 20 to 30 minutes. (overnight marination is the best)

Take a pressure cooker with water (refer notes) and arrange the chicken pieces in it. Cover and pressure cook till the first whistle comes through. Remove from heat and let the chicken cook in the residual steam for a few minutes.

Open the lid of the pressure cooker and check if chicken is cooked. Reduce any gravy that is left in the cooker till the chicken is dry.

Heat oil in a pan. Arrange the semi-cooked chicken pieces on the pan and roast (refer notes) on medium to high heat till it browns evenly all over. Remember this is simple shallow frying and roasting and hence do not overdo the oil because this will make it too greasy and unappealing.


1. You can use any cut of chicken and cut according to desired size. (breast, thigh, with bone etc...) I love using chicken on the bone because I think it is plump, tasty and juicy.

2. You can also use yoghurt instead of curd, whichever is available. If you are using yoghurt, lightly beat it before preparing the marinade.

3. You can use any refined oil also to fry up the chicken pieces. But of course like I always say, coconut oil enhances flavor. The quantity of coconut oil can be adjusted according to your liking. If you are using a good quality non-stick pan, you can use less oil and the frying would be just fine. For the very health conscious, grilling this moistly marinated chicken would be a good option.

4. If you find that your onion, garlic and ginger need a little moisture to initiate the grinding or blending process, add a little curd into it.

5. Water can be added into the pressure cooker if you are frying the chicken in about half an hour after marination. If you decide to marinate your chicken pieces overnight, it is not necessary to add any water while cooking it in the pressure cooker.

6. Fry the semi-cooked chicken in batches of 4 to 5 pieces (adjust according to size of pan) to ensure even browning of all the chicken pieces.

We enjoyed this dish very much where all the brilliant flavors come together and harmonize so well. The light crispy crust and succulent chicken offer a feast for the eyes and the flavors of the spices, aromatics and coconut oil highlights the tastebuds so exquisitely. Thumbs up from my man too, he enjoyed the delicious flavors of the dish.

Enjoy and bon appetite!

Recipe Courtesy: Love Bites With Joey, NDTV Good Times

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