This redolent chicken dish was called ‘special chicken’ in a Mongolian restaurant. We had to order it as it was the last dish available for the evening. Impressed by the flavors, I asked our waitperson, “What did you put in the chicken to make it so flavorful?”
She replied that she could not disclose the information, but she confided that a mixture of 15 different types of spices comprised their special blend. The inspiration for this dish comes from a local Santa Cruz Mongolian Restaurant, Oyunaa’s.
I have made this dish twice in one month as it captivates the senses and has an uplifting effect. I imagine the exotic flavorings lends many therapeutic effects as well–anti-inflammatories, immune system support, and digestive aids! Cooking notes: Get a nice searing and caramelization when frying the chicken and for an extra umami flavor–use the fish sauce! It is perfect with a side dish of Saffron Basmati Rice.
2 1/2 tablespoons of Curry Powder
1 1/2 teaspoon of Garam Masala
1/2 teaspoon of Turmeric powder
1 teaspoon of garlic powder
1 teaspoon of onion powder
1/2 teaspoon of Paprika
1/2 teaspoon of ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon of Anise Seed Powder
1/2 teaspoon of ground Cloves
1/2 teaspoon of Ginger powder
1/2 teaspoon Fennel seeds
1/2 teaspoon of ground Cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon f ground Nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon Coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon Celery Seed powder
1 teaspoon finely ground Himalayan salt OR 2 teaspoons of Fish Sauce
7 Cardamom pods
3 Bay Leaves
1/4 cup chicken broth
1 large size Roma tomato, diced
1 medium size yellow onion, diced
1 Lemongrass stalk (optional)
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons of Vegetable oil and 1 tablespoon for frying
Cilantro or Italian Parsley garnish (optional)
- Wash and pat dry the chicken thighs and legs, set them aside in a shallow Pyrex bowl.
- In a medium size bowl, combine all the spices together and mix until even.
- Dip each piece of chicken to evenly coat all the sides. If there is a remaining amount, sprinkle onto the top of the chicken and then cover with a plastic wrap. Refrigerate the chicken for at least 2 hours to overnight or until ready to cook.
- Dice the tomato, onion, and garlic; then cut the light end of the lemongrass (closer to the root) into thin pieces.
- In a deep frying pan over medium high heat, add the oil and butter and start to fry the garlic first. Once caramel in color, add the diced onion and tomatoes. Follow with the lemongrass, stir around in the pan, then set them aside in one corner of the pan. Add a tablespoon of oil, and start frying the chicken pieces in the pan. Do not stir to allow caramelization of the skin and get a searing to ensure a juicy and tender meat.
- Add the coconut milk and chicken broth. Turn the heat to high and once the mixture begins to simmer, set to a low setting. Only turn the chicken once and crisp the skin under the broiler for about 1-2 minutes under a watchful eye.
- Garnish with cilantro or parsley and serve with Saffron Basmati Rice.