Two of the best braised dishes
I know are Shanghai red-cooked pork and Greek green beans simmered
with tomatoes. Most of the braised dishes you know probably have
foreign origins, from coq au vin - French - and osso bucco -
Italian - to pot roast, which was Americanized from French boeuf
à la mode and German sauerbraten. Many Indian dishes are
braised, including this one. It uses onions two ways - puréed
in a spicy sauce, and sliced to cook on top of the chicken. Draining
the yogurt first before it is stirred into the sauce at the end
makes this dish creamier. I suggest using a Greek- or Turkish-style
yogurt. Thicker and richer, even when reduced-fat or fat-free,
they have become increasingly available at supermarkets.
Indian-Style Braised Chicken - Makes 4 servings.
1 container (6 oz.) low-fat
plain yogurt, preferably Greek-style
1 medium yellow onion, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup orange juice
1 Tbsp. grated or finely chopped ginger
2-3 garlic cloves
1 tsp. ground coriander
1/2 tsp. turmeric
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
4 skinless and boneless chicken breasts or thighs
1 Tbsp. canola oil
Salt and white pepper, to taste
1 Spanish onion, quartered and sliced thinly
Place the yogurt into a fine
strainer lined with a paper towel and let drain while preparing
the other ingredients. (The yogurt can also be drained overnight,
In a blender or food processor,
purée the onion, garlic, ginger, coriander, turmeric,
cayenne pepper and orange juice. Set aside.
Heat the oil in a medium skillet
over medium-high heat. Brown the chicken on all sides, about
8 minutes. Season chicken with salt and pepper to taste and transfer
to a plate.
Reduce heat to medium. Carefully
pour the puréed mixture into the pan to avoid sputters.
Bring it to a simmer. Return the chicken to the pan. Cover tightly
and simmer gently 15 minutes. Turn chicken, cover, and continue
to simmer. When chicken is almost done, add onions, cover and
simmer until the meat is thoroughly cooked through. Place the
chicken on a serving plate and cover with foil to keep warm.
Turn off heat under skillet
to allow mixture to cool slightly. Stir in the drained yogurt.
Reduce heat to low and continue stirring until mixture is hot,
taking care not to let it boil or the sauce will separate. Spoon
the mixture over the chicken and serve.
Per serving: 237 calories, 6
g. total fat (1 g. saturated fat), 15 g. carbohydrate, 31 g.
protein, 2 g. dietary fiber, 115 mg. sodium.