Flavorwalla Braised Chicken

One of the many New Yorkers we lost after Covid19 diagnosis is Chef Floyd Cardoz. I knew him through Tabla: his Mumbai origin and training was never lost on me.

While sheltering-in-place, I pay tribute to him by adapting one of his creations from his book Flavorwalla (the title cracks me up and it’s so apt for his talents). I further simplify his simple dish and turn into a balanced, one-pot dish. The result is absolutely delicious– hence this post. I thought I was taking a risk by adding apple, pear and dijon mustard to the protein– but the tangy, mustardy stew will steal your heart. Enjoy fresh and refrigerate the left-over!

SPECIAL TOOLS:

Dutch oven (Le Cruset).

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 skin-less, bone-in chicken thighs, marinaded in a ziplock bag for 2 hrs, in 1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste + 1 tbsp coriander powder + 1 tbsp Rosemary leaves + 1/4 cup EVOO
  • Aromatics: 1 medium onion, diced + 2 pods garlic, crushed
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • Vegetables, cut into large 1.5 inch chunks: 1 large potato + 2 carrots + 1/2 fennel bulb
  • Greens: Napa cabbage cut into large pieces + 2 cups of spinach leaves
  • Fruits, cut into 1 inch chunks: 1 green apple cored + 1 pear cored
  • 2nd Flavor layer: 2 tbsp Dijon mustard + crushed chilli flakes
  • Grain: 1 cup quinoa

METHOD

Heat the dutch oven with the chicken and its marinade. When heated through and lightly browned on all sides, add the aromatic ingredients and cook till fragrant (2 minutes). Then add the vegetables, salt-to-taste and cook covered in oven at 375 F for 20 minutes.

Heat the chicken stock (in a microwave). Add to the dutch oven along with Napa cabbage, fruits, 2nd layer flavor ingredients, grains and salt to taste. Mix well, cover and cook at reduced heat (350 F) for 20 minutes. Take off the heat. Fold in the spinach leaves.

NOTES, HINTS, TIPS:

  1. Since we are adding vegetables in layers, the oven is a better option than a pressure cooker. Also, if you decide to cook on the stove-top instead of the oven, you must use a heavy bottomed pan, particularly for the first half of the cookin.
  2. The chicken is tender enough to be pulled off the bones.
  3. You can also use parsnips, turnips etc.
  4. Same for greens- escarole, kale, chard.
  5. Same for grains- couscous, fonio (adjust the cooking time).
  6. The dots in the photograph are the multi-colored quinoa and the specks of dijon mustard.