Fragrant Braised Chicken

January 31, 2011

Author Notes: I have been wooed by black cardamom. While both types of cardamom 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 to 3 1/2 pound whole chicken, preferably organic
  • 1 pinch sSea salt, to taste
  • 1 pinch freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 splash extra-virgin olive oil, as needed
  • 1 piece ginger, peeled, cut into four pieces, and smashed with handle of knife (2-inches)
  • 4 black cardamom pods
  • 1 teaspoon whole coriander seeds
  • 1 orange, zested
  • 2 1/4 cups chicken stock
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup chopped cilantro, leaves and stems
In This Recipe


  1. Adjust oven rack to the lowest position. Preheat to 375° F.
  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 that's 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 from the pot. Either discard fat or reserve it for another use. Return chicken into pot, along with ginger, black cardamom, coriander, orange zest, and chicken stock. Cover pot with lid and place in oven for 45 minutes, basting chicken once halfway through. After 45 minutes, remove lid and cook chicken for 25 to 35 additional minutes, until a meat thermometer registers an internal temperature of 165° F.
  5. Remove from oven. Take chicken out and allow to rest 10 to 15 minutes before carving. Discard neck. Meanwhile, place Dutch oven on stovetop and whisk in cream and cilantro.
  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 alongside the chicken.

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Cardamom|Chicken|Cilantro|Coriander|Milk/Cream|Braise|Cast Iron|Dinner|Entree