Shahi Chicken (The Royal Chicken)

Today's recipe is Shahi Chicken or The Royal ChickenThis recipe is from the city of Nawabs, Lucknow, India. There are many recipes from the kitchen of Nawabs which are continued to be cooked till today. This one is one of those. This recipe is made with minimum spices and is cooked on a very low heat. The use of water to this recipe is nearly zero. Actually this recipe is derived from one of the similar recipes which I had few days ago my friend's place. This recipe is prepared with whole chicken legs pieces. When it is cooked with spices over low flame it release its own juices making the dish juicy and tasty. There are many variations of this recipe, but this one is my take on it.

In this recipe I have marinated whole chicken leg pieces in onion, garlic, ginger paste, cashew-nut paste, yoghurt, gram flour and some Indian spices. And that's it. Then I places the chicken pieces in a hot pan and slow cooked it till the chicken was completely cooked through. And to end it off with, I added a dollop of ghee (clarified butter) to the chicken. Though it is optional, but I like the taste of ghee and as the name suggests it's The Royal Chicken so something royal and rich in taste for the finishing touch.

The complete recipe is as follows:-

Preparation Time:- 20 minutes  Standing Time:- 1 hour  Cooking Time:- 40-45 minutes
Total Time:- 2 hours

Number of Servings:- 2-4 persons

1 cup = 250 ml
¾ cup = 200 ml
½ cup = 125 ml 
1/3 cup = 80 ml
1 tablespoon = 15 ml
1 teaspoon = 5 ml
½ teaspoon = 2.5 ml
¼ teaspoon = 1.25 ml

* Whole Chicken Leg Pieces:- 4 nos.
* Onions:- 2 medium
* Garlic Cloves:- 5-6
* Ginger:- 1 inch long
* Green Chillies:- 2-3 (optional)
* Cashew-nut:- 8-10
* Almonds:- 8-10
* Khuskhus (Poppy seeds):- 2 tablespoon
* Red Chilli powder:- 2 teaspoon
* Yoghurt:- 1/2 cup
* Besan (Gram flour):- 2 tablespoons
* Garam Masala:- 1 teaspoon
* Salt:- to taste
* Sugar:- 1/2 teaspoon
* Vegetable Oil:- 3-4 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon
* Ghee (clarified Butter):- 1 teaspoon
* Water:- 1/2 cup

1) Wash and pat dry the chicken pieces. Make cuts in the chicken pieces. Keep aside. Now roughly chop onions, garlic and ginger. Boil it till the onions are soft. Strain, cool and grind it into a fine paste with the help of little water. Now soak the almonds, khuskhus and cashew-nuts for 10 minutes. Grind them into a fine paste with the help of little water. Keep aside.

2) Take a big bowl and add onion paste, cashew-nuts paste and yoghurt to it. Whisk it well. Now add the besan, red chilli powder, garam masala and 1 teaspoon of oil to it. Whisk it well so that every thing is incorporated well. ( Do not add salt at this moment, will be added later.)

3) Now add the chicken pieces to it. Massage it well from both sides so that the marinate is well coated with the masala. Marinate it for 1 hours. Now heat the remaining oil in a wide open pan. Take out the chicken pieces from the masala and place it in the hot pan with half of the marinate. (Rest of the marinate you have to add later.) Cook it for 5 minutes and turn the sides of the chicken and cook again for 5 minutes over medium to high heat. ( Cook total for 8-10 minutes )

4) After 10 minutes add salt and the remaining masala to the pan. Mix gently. Cover and cook for 15 minutes over a very slow heat. Stir occasionally. Scrap the bottom if you see the masala is sticking to the pan.

5) After 15 minutes, add 1/2 cup of water to the pan mix well, cover and cook again for 10 minutes over a very low heat. Add green chillies to the pan and cook till the chicken is completely cooked through. The water will be reduced and the oil will start floating over the chicken pieces. (At this point of time check for seasoning, if the salt is less you can adjust according.) Add ghee or clarified butter, mix gently and switch off the flame. Give standing time of 5 minutes. 

Your mouth watering shahi chicken is ready to be served.

* The oil content in this recipe is high, so if you want to reduce the amount of oil, you can certainly do so.

People living outside India, and not aware of all the Indian spices you will mostly get all of them in the Indian stores near your place. 

Serving Tip:- Serve hot with Indian bread like naan, paratha, tandoori roti, steamed rice or pilau.

Do try my recipe and leave for comments below. Till then Happy Cooking.!

Creative Commons License by Madhurima Roy is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License