Kozhi Nirachathu(Stuffed Chicken) and Aadu Nirachathu(Stuffed Goat) are two popular dishes among Malabar muslims, which they usually serve on festive occasions.I’ve heard a lot about these dishes from my relatives in Calicut,but didn’t get a chance to taste it from Malabar yet.After seeing the recipe posted by our dear Malabar girl ,I couldn’t resist preparing it and I must say this is a perfect dish for a Mallu style Thanksgiving feast,tastes great with white rice/roti.
For Marinating :
Whole Chicken – 1 small
Lemon – 1/2
Red Chilly powder – 3 to 4 tsp
Turmeric powder – 2tsp
Salt – to taste
For Stuffing :
Egg – 1 or 2 depending on the size of your chicken
Onion sliced – 1 big
Green chillies slit- 3 or 4
Curry leaves – a sprig
Ginger-Garlic paste – 1 tsp
Red chilly powder – 1/4 tsp
Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
Coriander powder – 1 tsp
Garam masala powder (You can use biriyani masala,meat masala or egg masala instead) – 1/2 tsp
Coriander leaves chopped – 1/2 cup
Cashewnuts chopped – 1 tsp (Optional)
Raisins chopped – 1 tsp (Optional)
salt – to taste
Oil – as needed
Kitchen twine (for tying the chicken’s hands and legs)
Veggies used (Optional) :
Potatoes cut in thick stripes(like for french fries) – 1 or 2
Carrots cut in stripes – 1
Beans cut into 2 or 3 pieces- 5
For the gravy :
Onions sliced – 2 big
Green chillies chopped- 3 – 4
Tomatoes sliced thin – 2 medium ones or 1/2 can puree
Ginger garlic paste – 2 tsp
Red chilly powder – 1 tsp
Coriander powder – 1/2 tsp
Aniseeds(Perumjeerakam) – 1 tsp
Garam Masala or Biriyani Masala – 1/2 tsp
Salt – to taste
Oil – as needed
Skin the chicken and clean it thoroughly.Make tiny slits on the chicken both inside and outside, for the masala to penetrate well.Now apply a dash of lemon juice all over the chicken, to remove any unwanted smell.Rinse again in cold water and keep it aside.Prepare a marinade using red chilly powder,turmeric powder and salt adding necessary water to make a smooth paste.Apply the paste all over the chicken both inside and outside.Cover it well and refrigerate it overnight or for atleast 2 hrs.
2.Boiling eggs :
Boil the eggs till it is fully cooked.When hard boiling the eggs ,always use eggs at room temperature and also add a little salt in the water,this will somewhat prevent sticking of the eggs to the shells.When the eggs are done ,immediately transfer the eggs into a bowl of cold water and allow it to cool.When it is cold peel off the shell and reserve.
3.Preparing Stuffing :
Heat oil in a pan and saute onions,curry leaves,green chillies and ginger-garlic paste until onion turns translucent.Add the spice powders (for stuffing) and fry it in medium heat for 2 -3 mts or until everything is blended together.Add salt and the rest of the ingredients for stuffing and mix together.Finally add the boiled egg (whole or sliced half),and fry for few more minutes.Switch off the heat and keep this aside.
4.Filling the stuffing into the chicken :
First push the eggs into the cavity and then the onions,be careful not to overstuff.Now using a kitchen twine tie together chickens legs first ,and then the hands.
5.Preheating the oven :
Preheat the oven to 400 F.
6.Frying the chicken :
Heat a big pan,big enough to fit the chicken and add oil into it.You may need 1/4th -1/3rd cup of oil for it.Place the chicken gently into the pan .
Fry the chicken,until all the four sides are lightly browned,and not fully fried.You have to turn the chicken as and when needed.
Drain the chicken and keep it aside.
7.Arranging chicken into the baking dish :
Arrange the chicken in the middle of a baking dish with breast side down.If you’re using veggies add those around the chicken.
Drizzle a little left over oil from the frying on to the chicken ,cover it and bake for 30 mts.(You may need to turn the chicken in between to ensure proper cooking on all the sides.Also stir the veggies to prevent sticking to the bottom.)
8.Preparing the gravy :
Grind aniseed into a fine powder and mix together with all the other spice powders(for the gravy).Now to the same pan in which the chicken is fried(add more oil if needed),add onions,curry leaves,coriander leaves and chillies and saute them until onion starts to turn brown.Add ginger-garlic paste ,stir well,thrown in tomatoes and fry in a medium heat until everything is blended well.Add the spice powders and fry them until it starts to spread a nice aroma.Add the salt and mix together.
9.Adding gravy into the chicken :
When the initial baking is done,take it out and pour the gray all over the chicken such that it is fully covered in the sauce.
10.Final baking :
Bake the chicken for 45 more minutes uncovered,checking in between.When the chicken is well done and the onions are fully caramelised,take it out of the oven,cool ,remove the twine and carve.
(Note :- You can also prepare this dish dry,without adding gravy.Also if you dont have an oven,try preparing it in the wok itself either dry or with gravy.)