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Classic Cookbooks: Chicken with Sliced Lemon and Fried Onions

One of the first Madhur Jaffrey meat recipes I ever tried was a goat stew. Although she recommends that Americans replace the goat with lamb, I’m open to new meats, and someone at the Greenmarket was actually selling goat for stew, so I thought, why not?

Well, my adventuresomeness was not rewarded. I don’t know if it was the recipe (which included at least 8 tablespoons of oil) or the goat (which gave off a lot of fat), but the stew tasted mostly of grease and gristle.

Presumably much has changed in both India and the United States since An Invitation to Indian Cooking was written more than three decades ago, but Jaffrey tells us that Indian meat is leaner and tougher than what we find in America. (She also vividly recalls the days when you bought chicken live from a barefoot man who brought a basket of “indignant” poultry to your house, and she describes vegetables and gardens that will make you cry if you bring them to mind while shopping for produce at your supermarket.) Until I can find some really lean goat to give that stew another go, I’ll happily stick with chicken, such as chicken with sliced lemon and fried onions. This recipe yields very tender chicken and a thick, delicious onion gravy; it would, I think, be an excellent gateway dish for people who think they don’t like Indian food.

About the author: Robin Bellinger recently escaped a career in book publishing, which was cutting into her cooking time. Now she's a freelance editor and can bake bread on Tuesday afternoon if she feels like it. She lives in Midtown Manhattan with her husband and blogs about cooking and crafting at home*economics.

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