Fragrant Braised Chicken

By • January 31, 2011 • 48 Comments


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Author Notes: I have been wooed by black cardamom. While both types are uniquely aromatic, black cardamom pods have a heady, smoky quality that is difficult to describe or forget. I thought that braising would capture its essence. Jamie Oliver has an amazing chicken recipe that involves cooking a whole chicken in a mixture of milk, lemon zest, garlic and sage leaves. The resulting chicken is incredibly moist and flavorful. Changing up the ingredients, and keeping the lid on for the first 45 minutes concentrates the smoky black cardamom, the subtly spiced ginger and fragrant orange into a surprisingly delicately flavored chicken that is moist and delicious. Cream rounds out the sauce, while cilantro adds fresh brightness. gingerroot

Serves 4

  • 1 3-31/2 lb whole chicken, preferably organic
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 2-inch piece ginger, peeled, cut into four pieces, smashed with handle of knife
  • 4 black cardamom pods
  • 1 teaspoon whole coriander seeds
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 2 1/4 cups cups chicken stock
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup chopped cilantro, leaves and stems
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Adjust oven rack to the lowest position (removing one if necessary).
  2. Rinse chicken, removing giblets and neck; reserve giblets for another use. Pat chicken and neck dry with a paper towel and season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Trim excess fat if necessary (around neck cavity especially).
  3. Over medium-high heat, melt butter and a glug of olive oil in a cast iron enamel Dutch oven (preferably) just slightly bigger than the chicken. Once foam subsides, add chicken and neck and carefully cook on all sides until golden.
  4. Transfer chicken to a plate. Carefully pour off all but 1 tablespoon of fat. Return chicken into pot, along with ginger, black cardamom, coriander, orange zest and chicken stock. Cover pot with lid and transfer to the oven for 45 minutes, basting chicken once halfway through. After 45 minutes, remove lid and cook chicken for 25-35 minutes more, until a meat thermometer registers an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
  5. Remove from oven. Take chicken out and allow to rest 10-15 minutes before carving. Meanwhile, place Dutch oven on stovetop and whisk in cream and cilantro. For a thicker sauce, make a slurry with a tablespoon or two of cornstarch with an equal amount of the cream in a small bowl and whisk into sauce. If you are going the cornstarch route, you will need to turn the stove on (low-medium heat) to incorporate the slurry.
  6. Carve chicken and transfer to a serving platter. Generously spoon sauce over chicken pieces and serve. Enjoy! Note: Remaining sauce can be transferred to a gravy boat and enjoyed over rice or mashed potatoes.

Tags: braised, cardamom, delicate, fragrant, smoky

Comments (48) Questions (0)

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11 months ago sel et poivre

I have black cardamom!! I am soo trying this this weekend.

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11 months ago gingerroot

I can't wait to hear what you think! Feel free to use less butter if you like - I was really experimenting at this point and it is just as good with a few T less.

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11 months ago sel et poivre

We just finished dinner and I just have to tell you right away what a hit it was at our house. There's a lot going on in that dish. The chicken was tender and flavourful. One bite and the first thing we noticed was the smokiness from the black cardamom. The citrus hit right after. The white wine which I used in place` of the chicken stock fitted in perfectly with the creamy sauce. I also added a sprinkle of chilli flakes at the end for a bit of heat. Perfect with rice. My husband and I totally licked our plates clean! Thanks!

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10 months ago gingerroot

Oh wow, sel et poivre, thanks for letting me know! I'm so glad you and your husband enjoyed it.

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about 3 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

I made this over the weekend and as expected, it was divine! Of course, I tinkered with the recipe, using only one tablespoon of butter and a bit of olive oil -- which were more than sufficient -- adding a thinly sliced onion and some garlic, and spatch-cocking then braise-roasting the bird in a large cast iron skillet. Delicious! (Even with just one tablespoon of butter, the onion sauce was rich and tasty.) I had to make a special trip, a bit out of my way, to find the black cardamom, but it was well worth the effort. Thanks for another outstanding recipe, gingerroot!! ;o)

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about 3 years ago TheWimpyVegetarian

And thanks to AJ's generosity, I too now have a little supply of black cardamom. I love the smokey aroma it has and can't wait to use it and try this recipe!!

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about 3 years ago gingerroot

So happy you tried this - and tinkered - and enjoyed! Thanks, AJ!! PS, Thanks for sharing your black cardamom with ChezSuzanne too...: )

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about 3 years ago AppleAnnie

This could be subtitled "Chicken for the Gods." I loved it! To thicken the sauce I ground added almond meal (ground almonds) which I think works very well with chicken pan juices. One other adaptation, I used a very dry hard cider instead of the chicken stock (it became chicken stock during the roasting), and its subtle bouquet blended beautifully with the other flavors.

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about 3 years ago gingerroot

Thanks AppleAnnie! I'm thrilled you tried it and enjoyed it. I also love your addition of almond meal to thicken the sauce - I will definitely have to try that. I also like your use of dry hard cider - a great complement to the other flavors.

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about 3 years ago SallyCan

Beautiful recipe, Gingerroot! I'm with you on the black cardamom ;)

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about 3 years ago gingerroot

Thanks so much Sally!

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about 3 years ago FrenchPressMemos

What a beauty! I might have to pick up a chicken to try this ....tonight! Flawless photo- it looks perfectly crisp and equally juicy.

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about 3 years ago gingerroot

Thanks FrenchPressMemos...I hope you enjoyed it if you tried it!

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about 3 years ago Midge

Oh man, what I wouldn't give to be having this for dinner in HNL tonight. Yum!

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about 3 years ago gingerroot

Thanks so much Midge! Let me know what you think if you try it. Btw, your lemony lima dip is fabulous!! I could eat it by the spoonful. : )

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about 3 years ago Midge

I'm so happy you liked it!

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about 3 years ago healthierkitchen

This looks so,so good!

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about 3 years ago gingerroot

Thanks, healthierkitchen!

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about 3 years ago Lizthechef

Fabulous recipe - that is all there is to it!!

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about 3 years ago gingerroot

Thanks so much, Liz! I hope you try it. : )

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about 3 years ago edamame2003

a braised chicken?! brilliant--looks so delicious. i had to read this twice and realized it was simply genius! thank you gingerroot--and BTW, I will be there for dinner! :)

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about 3 years ago gingerroot

Wow, Eda, thank you! The best thing about cooking a whole chicken this way is that the meat is moist and tender, but the skin is crisp and browned. I hope you try it. I look forward to cooking and eating with you someday!

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about 3 years ago TheWimpyVegetarian

Wow! This sounds seriously delicious, gingerroot!!!! I'm a big fan of cardamom, but must confess I haven't worked with black cardamom, only the green. Is it generally found in the dried spices where I find the green variety?

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about 3 years ago gingerroot

Thanks so much ChezSuzanne! Actually, the first time I bought black cardamom, I was looking for the green. I think WF (where I found it) or any store with bulk spices would carry black cardamom. I hope you try it!

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about 3 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Gorgeous photo, too! I just want to go make some right now and eat it tonight. Cannot wait (!!) to try this. ;o)

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about 3 years ago gingerroot

Thanks so much AJ! : )

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about 3 years ago dymnyno

This really sounds seriously delicious!! I am going to make this for my weekly chicken.

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about 3 years ago dymnyno

One question: When the chicken is first cooked until golden, is it cooked all the way or just browned?

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about 3 years ago gingerroot

Thanks so much, dymnyno! I hope you enjoy it as much as we did. Let me know what you think. To answer your other question, it is just to start to crisp up the skin and give it some color. It will actually get quite a bit darker and crispier in the oven, as well as cook all the way through. I also edited the amount of butter used - the butter I used was from a big block and was probably more like 6T instead of a whole stick.

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about 3 years ago gingerroot

Thanks everyone for all of your lovely comments. You are all officially invited over for dinner! : )

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about 3 years ago aargersi

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We are the types that show up, too!

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about 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Yes! There are direct flights from PDX to HNL.

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about 3 years ago gingerroot

Seriously, how fun would that be?!?

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about 3 years ago AntoniaJames

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I'm in. ;o)

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about 3 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Sort of a Ginger's Kitchen event, Hawaii style . . . because you don't really think we'd just show up for dinner, without getting a bit more, er, shall we say, "involved" in the kitchen, as in coming up with a bunch of new recipes together (all due credit to aargersi and friends for the brilliant concept)!! But of course this would be Gingerroot's Kitchen . .. ;o)

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about 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

love it, AJ! i'm sure the midwesterners and east coasters would love a break from the snow storm headed their way.

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about 3 years ago gingerroot

I totally knew what I was getting into when I said that...that you all will show up someday, and we'll have a fabulous time cooking and eating together! : )

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about 3 years ago nannydeb

Sounds like you need some good bread to sop up the sauce too! Yum!

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about 3 years ago gingerroot

Definitely! I sometimes forget about the bread since my husband is gf.

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about 3 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

I'm going to adapt this recipe the next time I spatchcock a chicken. Sounds beautifully aromatic. Thanks for developing and posting this!! ;o)

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about 3 years ago MegB

Made this tonight and the chicken was very moist and aromatic! I had a little trouble with the sauce... mine was quite thin and a little oily; not sure if that is how it "normally" comes out. As a bonus, I loved the one-pot cleanup.

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about 3 years ago gingerroot

Hi MegB, I'm thrilled you made this (kind of incredible since in Hawaii it is only 10:24 am and I made it last night). The sauce is on the thinner side, although with some whisking mine was not overly oily. I did add a note above that for a thicker sauce you could make a slurry with some of the cream and a tablespoon or two of cornstarch and thoroughly whisk that in with your burner on...that might take care of the excess oil as well. Thanks for your thoughtful feedback, I'm a big fan of only cleaning one-pot too.

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about 3 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Wondering if you really need a full stick of butter, and if using less might help . . . . ;o)

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about 3 years ago gingerroot

That is a great point, AJ! The more I think about it, since I used butter from a big block, I think it was probably more like 6 T rather than a whole stick, which may be why my sauce was not overly oily. I bet you could even get away with using a little bit less. I've edited my recipe to reflect this change.

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about 3 years ago hardlikearmour

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This sounds incredible! You really should invite us over for dinner.

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about 3 years ago mrslarkin

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Yum. Can I come over?

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about 3 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

wow

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about 3 years ago Sagegreen

Love!