Prep 0 mins
Cook 0 mins
- 3 1⁄2 lbs whole chickens
- 1 teaspoon salt
- to taste black pepper, freshly ground
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 7 cardamom pods, whole
- 8 cloves, whole
- 1 cinnamon stick (2 inch piece)
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 1⁄2 tablespoons almonds, blanched, slivered
- 2 1⁄2 tablespoons raisins
- 1 cup yogurt, plain
- 1 teaspoon cumin, ground; freshly-ground for best results
- 1⁄2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Remove skin from chicken.
- Cut into serving pieces, cutting whole legs into two pieces and whole breasts into 6 pieces.
- Spread chicken in single layer and sprinkle with 1/4 tsp salt and pepper to taste; pat into chicken to help it adhere. Turn chicken over and repeat with another 1/4 tsp salt and pepper to taste. Heat oil and butter in large skillet, preferably non stick, over medium-high heat. When hot, add cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, bay leaves and as many chicken pieces as pan will hold in single layer.
- (Do not crowd.) Brown chicken on both sides; transfer with slotted spoon to ovenproof casserole. Repeat with remaining chicken.
- Add almonds to hot oil in skillet and stir.
- As soon as they begin to brown, about 1 minute, stir in raisins.
- Immediately pour contents of skillet, fat and all over chicken.
- In small bowl, stir together yogurt, cumin, cayenne, remaining salt and black pepper to taste. Pour over chicken; mix well.
- Cover casserole; place in preheated 350F oven 20 minutes.
- Turn chicken pieces over; baste with juices.
- Cover, return to oven 20 to 25 minutes or until chicken is tender.
- Just before serving, if necessary, reheat chicken over low heat. Remove chicken pieces; transfer to warm serving dish.
- Spoon off most fat left in casserole; discard.
- Place remaining sauce in casserole over medium-high heat and boil until thickened, about 5 minutes.
- Pour thickened sauce over chicken.