This cilantro-and-mint marinade imparts big flavor, but the method for garlic-ginger chicken from Indian-ish author Priya Krishna is one for the books.
"This chicken, which is the brainchild of my aunt Sonia, is legendary among our cousins," Priya says. "Until I wrote this [Indian-ish] though, no one knew what, exactly, went into it. Whenever my aunt would make it on a family vacation, she'd disappear for a half hour and reemerge with a Ziploc bag filled with the marinade and the chicken breasts. No one—not even her only daughter, Isha—was allowed to know the contents. After much negotiation, I have finally pried that chicken recipe out of Sonia's hands. Both the marinade and the cooking method—low and sort of slow—feel ingenious to me, and the payoff is huge: Charred, spicy, slightly funky, juicy chicken that is equally wonderful by itself or rolled up in a roti, taco-style and served with various salads and chutneys."
Pro Tip: Priya says to use freshly ground coriander seed, because it's the best!
Adapted from Indian-ish by Priya Krishna. Copyright © 2019 by Priya Krishna. Used with permission by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.
- 8 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh mint leaves, plus more for garnish
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves, plus more for garnish
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, from 1 lemon
- 1 tablespoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- ½ teaspoon red chile powder
- 1 teaspoon amchur (dry mango powder)
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, ½ to ¾ pound each
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
Make the marinade: In a medium bowl, mix the garlic, ginger, mint, cilantro, olive oil, and lemon juice into a paste.
In a small bowl, mix together the coriander, turmeric, red-chile powder, amchur, and salt, then add the mixture to the garlic-ginger paste and stir well to combine. Transfer the marinade to a large resealable bag.
Make the chicken: Place the chicken breasts in the marinade and seal the bag tightly. Use your hands to gently massage the marinade onto the chicken breasts, making sure to evenly coat each breast. Refrigerate the chicken for 2 hours.
Warm a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once the pan is quite hot, add the oil, swirling the pan to coat the entire surface. Reduce the heat to medium, remove the chicken from the marinade, and add it to the pan. Cook the breasts, undisturbed, until they turn lightly golden on one side, 1 to 2 minutes, then flip to cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until they start to become golden on the second side. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook the chicken for 10 minutes without peeking. Turn off the heat (if you have an electric stove, take the pan off the heat) and let the chicken sit, covered, for 10 for 15 minutes, depending on the thickness of the breasts. Don’t lift the lid, or you’ll release the hot steam that cooks the chicken.
Check to make sure the breasts are cooked through – there should not be any pink in the middle and, if you have a meat thermometer, the chicken should register at least 165°F. Place the chicken on a cutting board and slice each breast into strips. Garnish with mint and cilantro.