I’ve been delving into Indian food lately. An easy way to be influenced by India at home is to apply Indian spices, herbs and ingredient combinations to dishes you’re already familiar with. Before grilling meats, rub them with ground spices and aromatics you’ve never tried. Sautee broccoli with whole mustard seeds. Simmer lentils with curry powder and lots of garlic, ginger and chiles and have them over rice with a handful of cilantro on top. Be aggressive with flavor.
With that in mind, I made a rub for simple boneless skinless chicken breasts with ground cardamom (one of the spices I’m least familiar with), ground coriander, salt, red pepper flakes, garlic, lime juice and a little vegetable oil.
Man, broiled on both sides until deep brown, then deglazed with a little liquid and allowed to finish cooking, these were a nice escape from typical. The flowery, lemony bite of the cardamom was beautiful with the rich juicy chicken. I served them with Indian-influenced sauteed cauliflower (recipe to follow) and basmati rice.
Here’s the recipe:
For the rub:
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 teaspoon ground coriander
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1 teaspoon lime juice
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 whole boneless skinless chicken breast (2 halves)
1/2 cup chicken stock or water
1. Preheat the broiler to medium-high and put the oven rack 8-10 inches below it. Pulverize the ingredients for the rub any way you can: In a bowl, combine the ground spices with the minced garlic and the remaining ingredients, then stir to combine (or pound them together with the bottom of a spice bottle). Or, put all the rub ingredients into a mortar and pestle and pound until smooth.
2. Put the chicken in a small oven-safe broiling pan and rub the spice mixture evenly all over it.
Broil the chicken about 8 minutes per side, until it’s deep brown and reaches 155F in the thickest part. Pour the stock or water around the chicken halfway through cooking on the second side.
3. Remove the chicken to a plate and let it rest 5 minutes before serving.