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Stuffed Chicken Masala Recipe

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Stuffed tandoor chicken masala, Palolem, Goa, India

This rich, hearty dish screams out “comfort food” to the tummy, and should be an essential in any family recipe. Western cooking concepts collide with Eastern spices to create a simply irresistible meal. Specifically, the Indian spice garam masala, made from peppercorns, cloves, cinnamon, cumin seeds, and cardamom pods, gives the dish its distinctive taste. For the chef up to the challenge, garam masala can be made from scratch; for the cook in a rush, buy the pre-made spice in a bottle.

This recipe uses minced meat and spices as a stuffing. However you can also substitute minced meat for a cheese stuffing with ½ cup smoked provolone cheese, 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese, ½ cup bread crumbs, 1/3 cup sour cream, garlic, red pepper flakes, and sun-dried tomato flakes. For healthier options you might also consider a vegetarian stuffing made out of stir-fried spinach, mushrooms, ginger, garlic, cumin powder, and of course, garam Masala.

To complete the dinner, pair the dish with sides such as creamy mash potatoes, a refreshing salad, or warm, fluffy naan for the complete Indian feel. Serving stuffed chicken Masala during celebrations like Christmas would put a creative spin on tradition, and would certainly wow your guests.

Ingredients Stuffed Chicken Masala

For the Chicken and the Marinade
1 whole chicken (1kg); or substitute with 1kg skinless boneless chicken breasts
2 tbsp unsweetened yogurt
2 tbsp lime or lemon juice
2 tsp garlic paste
1 tsp ginger paste
½ tsp red chili powder
½ tsp turmeric powder
Salt and pepper to taste

For the Minced Meat Stuffing
3 tbsp cooking oil
2 onions finely chopped
2 tsp garlic paste
1 tsp ginger paste
1 tbsp coriander powder
1 tsp cumin powder
¾ tsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp garam masala
300 g minced meat, preferably beef or lamb
2 tomatoes chopped
1 cup peas
1 cup potatoes peeled and chopped
1 tsp lime/lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste

Cooking Instructions

1. Wash chicken and carefully remove innards. Pat dry with a towel.
2. Mix marinade ingredients in large bowl. Coat whole chicken well in the marinade and keep in refrigerator for 2-3 hours with cling wrap over the bowl.
3. To prepare stuffing, heat cooking oil in pan on medium heat.
4. Add cumin seeds and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add onions and fry till a pale golden color is achieved. Add ginger and garlic pastes and fry for 1 minute.
5. Add minced meat and the spices coriander, cumin, and garam masala. Add a pinch of salt to taste. Brown minced meat for 5-7 minutes, and keep stirring to avoid burning.
6. Add chopped tomatoes, peas, potatoes, and fry until soft.
7. Turn off the flame and sprinkle the lime juice.
8. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 175 C or 330 F.
9. Remove chicken from refrigerator and stuff stomach cavity with the meat mixture. Attempt to squeeze in every bit of the stuffing for all that yummy goodness!
10. Place chicken in baking pan and drizzle the more cooking oil over the chicken.
11. Roast chicken for 1 hour and 20 minutes until golden, or until done to your preference.
12. Serve your stuffed chicken Masala with sides of your choice, and relish the meal.

Watch a video How to Make Chicken Masala