INSIDE HIS KITCHEN
Al Faham Chicken or Arabian Grilled Chicken is a popular recipe in the Middle East. It is prepared with Arabian spice mix called Bezar. The chicken is marinated with Arabian spice mix and barbequed in a charcoal grill or in an oven. So, let us try h
A whole chicken or 4 pieces of chicken thighs or drumstick with skin or without skin as per your choice
For homemade Bezar spice mix
1 teaspoon of turmeric powder; 2 tablespoons of red chilly powder; 2 tablespoons of dry red chilly; 1 tablespoon of coriander powder or coriander seeds; 1 teaspoon of fennel seeds; 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds; 1 tablespoon of whole black pepper; 4 green cardamoms; 4 cloves; 2 inch cinnamon stick.
4 cloves of garlic or 1 tablespoon of paste; 1 inch ginger or 1 tablespoon of ginger; 2 tablespoons of lemon juice; 1 cup of Greek yogurt; 1 teaspoon of black pepper powder; salt to taste.
1 medium-sized onion; 1 small tomato; 3-4 green chillies; 1 teaspoon of olive oil; a few coriander leaves; salt to taste
How to make
For Bezar, dry roast the above listed spices except turmeric powder on low flame for 5 minutes. Remove from the fire and allow to cool completely. Grind it finely together in a coffee grinder or mixer. You can prepare Arabian spice mix in bulk and store it in a dry, airtight container and use as required, but fresh-made masala always tastes good.
Now, clean the chicken and cut into 4-6 pieces. Make slits on the chicken pieces. Marinate the cleaned chicken by adding lemon juice, Greek yogurt, ginger paste or crushed ginger, garlic paste or crushed garlic and black pepper for 20 minutes.
Then, grind above roasted spices along with turmeric powder, onion, tomato, green chillies, remaining ginger and garlic and coriander leaves into a smooth paste. Pour this mix onto the chicken pieces and mix well.
Cover and leave it in refrigerator for at least 4-6 hours or overnight. The more you marinate, the better it tastes. For best result, marinate overnight in the refrigerator so that all the flavours will get into it. Remove the chicken from the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before cooking.
If using a charcoal grill, prepare a fire for direct-heat cooking. Position the grill rack 5 inches from the fire. Allow the coals to burn until white ash covers them and the heat is moderate.
Remove the chicken from the marinade, pressing lightly to extract excess marinade, and brush with olive oil. Place the chicken pieces on a well-oiled grill rack and grill, covered with the vents open, turning 3-4 times, 30 to 45 minutes or until the juices run clear when a piece is pierced near the bone with a knife.
For baking or roasting, preheat the oven to 500 degrees F. Place an aluminium foil on a baking tray, brush with olive oil and place the marinated chicken and bake for 10-15 minutes; take out the tray carefully using your oven mitts. Turn them over and baste it with marinade using a brush or a spoon, return to oven and bake again for 10-15 minutes until the juices run clear. After baking, Change the oven setting to broil in high and broil it for about two minutes again turning the sides in between or until the juices run clear when a piece is pierced near the bone with a knife. Allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving.
Serve Al Faham chicken hot with Khuboos (Arabian bread), or with any Indian bread and salad. Don’t forget to put lemon wedges. Enjoy your meal.
~ MD ENAMULLA KHAN (ALI), Corporate Chef