Free range and free of stress. This braised free range chicken recipe is a great way to get ahead of the weeks meal plan.
As a mother, it is my constant endeavour to positively impact my kids’ lives… with as little effort as possible. When we lived in Boston, London & Singapore; I naturally assumed that the food laws (even though I didn’t know a single one); took care of the quality of ingredients available in the market. It was only the move to India, with two kids in tow that got me thinking about what I was feeding my family. And right or not, I am grateful for that awakening.
Traditionally in Hyderabad, people who care about the chicken they eat swear by Natukodi. This breed of chicken cannot be caged and as such tends to be leaner and is considered more nutritious. My kids didn’t take to Natukodi, but I figured as long as we ensured a safe and healthy feed for the chicken and an open and stress free environment, it would be possible to grow plumper and safer chicken, appropriate for the kids. And so we started rearing Vanaraja and Gramapruya and have never had to look back.
However, this is where the “positively impact” starts to clash with “little effort”.
As keen as I am on feeding my kids safe and responsibly grown meat, there’s no denying that cooking free range chicken is not easy. Its muscly nature, can be very tough to eat when overcooked. Over the last year, I have marinated with every possible masala, pressure cooked it, grilled it and finally settled on broiling the chicken. This method is super easy and results in a perfectly cooked chicken that falls off the bones with ease. It also infuses an amazing flavour to the chicken.
When cooked this way, you can easily get a weeks’ worth of chicken done in one shot and just use in different recipes as required. I usually cook a whole chicken with bone, debone it and freeze the extra for later use (when there is some left). It’s great to have around the house to make instant chicken sandwiches, kati rolls, chicken fried rice and more.
Broiled Chicken Recipe
Prep Time: Overnight (but don’t be daunted by that)
Cook Time: 90 Minutes
Total Yield: 350 grams (approx.) of boneless chicken
For braising overnight
1 whole chicken cut into 8 pieces (with bone and skin)
1 cup of rock salt
Water as needed
1 cinnamon stick
1 tbsp Fennel Seeds/ Saunf
1 tbsp Garam Masala
- Wash the chicken and soak with skin and bones in enough water to cover all pieces. Add the salt, cover and leave in the fridge to marinate overnight.
- Once marinated, move chicken into clean heavy bottomed steel or ceramic dish. Cover with fresh water. Add onions, tomatoes and spices, put a lid on and set on gas on a low flame.
- Set a time for 90 minutes and pour yourself that glass of wine or get your kids to clean up and finish their homework.
- Once done, remove pieces and let cool before deboning. The cooked chicken can keep in the fridge for 2-3 days or frozen for upto 3 weeks.
TIP: Remove the skin and add to your favourite stir fry or vegetable. Cook at high heat directly on the skillet to render the fat down.