Whole Chicken Baked in Aluminum Foil (Indian Cooking)

Whole Chicken Baked in Aluminum Foil (Indian Cooking)
Serves 4-6 (or for us, 3 meals)

I wanted to share a dynamite Indian recipe from my now-favorite cookbook by Madhur Jaffrey "Indian Cooking" (reprinted 1995). We've never 'not' liked anything we've made from this book.
There is lots of sauce - I cleaned up the foil after the chicken was finished, by scooping up the remaining sauce with bread!

1" cube (chunk) fresh ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
2 large cloves garlic, peeled
6 tbsp yogurt
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1-1/4 tsp salt (I usually use less)
1/4 - 1/2 tsp cayenne (to taste)
ground black pepper

Put all ingredients into blender or food processor, blend into paste (it's pretty thick). Empty into a large-ish bowl, but don't wash out the blender yet.

3-1/2 lb chicken, whole
8 oz. onions
4 cloves garlic, peeled
1-1/2" cube (chunk) fresh ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 oz. almonds (recipe calls for blanched, slivered - I used whole and chopped them)
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1 tbsp paprika
1/4 tsp cayenne
1-1/2 tsp salt
8 tbsp vegetable oil (I used less)
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp garam masala

Skin the entire chicken, rub inside and out with marinade and let sit for up to 2 hours. Meanwhile put the next 10 ingredients (onions through salt)in the blender (I added a little water now and then to make the blender work properly - this is really thick).

Put the oil in a large non-stick pan over medium-high heat, and when hot put in the paste. Fry, stirring for 8-9 minutes. Add the lemon juice, black pepper, and garam masala. Mix and turn off the heat to let the paste cool.

Preheat oven to 350° F (180° C).

Spread out a large piece of aluminum foil (large enough to enclose the chicken). Rub the chicken inside and out with the fried spice paste, then place in the middle of the foil. Wrap the foil up and around the chicken into a tight packet. Any 'seams' should be 2" above the bottom of the packet to keep the juices in.

Place wrapped chicken, seam-side up, on a baking tray and bake for 1-1/2 hours or until the chicken is tender.

Oh my - the sauce is absolutely wonderful and the chicken is remarkably tender and moist. Make sure you have lots of rice with this so you can spoon the sauce over the top.



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