Chicken 65 (Baked version)

 

Chicken 65 is a popular dish in South India, mostly served as an appetizer/entrée. Bone in or boneless chicken chunks are marinated in a flavorful and spicy marinade and deep fried. Of course, anything fried HAS to be tasty!! Period! In most cases, red food color is added to the marinade, which gives this dish an even more appetizing look. Today, I’m happy to share with you this rather healthier, baked version chicken 65!


So why the name Chicken 65 ??? Chicken 65 was a dish introduced in 1965 at the Buhari Hotel restaurant in Chennai by its founder A.M.Buhari. They also offer Chicken 78, Chicken 82 and Chicken 90, introduced in 1978, 1982 and 1990 respectively. Another account claims that it is a dish containing 65 chilli peppers devised by an enterprising hotelier.As explained by food enthusiast Mr. Aniruddha Chande, ” The dish was at 65th number on the menu of the hotel, that’s why the name.” (Source- Wiki )

I would prepare this dish using ready-made chicken 65 masala packets, which I’d pick up from my trips to India. But a quick look at the ingredients, made me realize I could easily just make these at home from scratch instead since I had all the required ingredients. I just shallow fried them rather than deep frying. While it works fine, it can never really be compared to its crispy deep-fried counterpart. So like always, I thought I’d bake this as well, and you can see how beautifully it has turned out. Perfect crisp exterior, the main attribute of deep-fried foods, and tender and succulent on the inside. I have prepared this dish countless times, and I thought I ought to share it now!

I’ve used Kashmiri red chilli powder in the marinade and the tempering to give that reddish tinge. Do give this healthier Chicken 65 a try. I am sure you will definitely love it and that too without all the extra calories and food color. For a vegetarian version, simply use Paneer/ tofu/cauliflower/potato or even bread cubes. You can skip the egg and use yogurt for the marinade instead.

You may also like these chicken appetizers-

Step by step instructions

1.Transfer chicken chunks to a mixing bowl and add all the ingredients listed for the marinade in a bowl except for the egg, cornstarch, and rice flour and mix it well. Coat chicken pieces well with the marinade. For best results let it marinate overnight, however, I would recommend marinating for a minimum of one hour.

2.Preheat the oven to 400 F. After the chicken has marinated, add in the beaten egg, cornstarch, and rice flour. Mix well. ( The batter should coat the chicken pieces well, if there is too much moisture, add more rice flour or cornstarch, if it’s too dry, sprinkle very little water, enough to let the flours coat the chicken well).

3.Place the chicken pieces on a greased wire rack above a baking tray. You can also place them on a greased baking tray or a greased parchment paper/foil. Brush the chicken pieces with oil and bake for 18- 20 minutes turning once in between or until the chicken is cooked through. Broil the chicken for an additional 3-4 minutes. Cooking times may vary depending on your oven and the size of the pieces, so keep an eye. You can serve it as it is now with some lemon wedges and onion rings, or continue a step further to make the sauce to coat the pieces.

4.When the chicken is almost done, start with the tempering. First in a bowl combine the red chilli sauce, tomato ketchup, garam masala,  sugar, salt, and pepper. Whisk well to combine everything.

5.Heat oil in a wok, add mustard seeds, when they splutter add minced ginger, garlic, slit green chillies, and curry leaves. Sauté until curry leaves, chillies are crisp and raw smell of ginger-garlic disappears.

6.Add Kashmiri red chilli powder, cook on medium-low heat for another 15 seconds.

7.Immediately add in the prepared sauce mixture along with 1/3 cup water, cook on medium heat until it bubbles and thickens a little. Now add lemon juice/ vinegar and mix.

8.Add in the cooked chicken pieces and toss to coat evenly with the tempering and sauce. Sprinkle some chopped cilantro, and serve immediately with some onion rings and lime wedges.

Notes

1.This dish is fairly spicy, reduce the chilli powder, pepper powder and chilli sauce for a milder version.

2. For an Andhra style Chicken 65, make the sauce for the coating in the following way-

  • In a mixing bowl, add 3/4 cup yogurt, 3 tablespoons red chilli sauce. 1 tablespoon tomato ketchup (optional), salt to taste, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper powder, 1 teaspoon cornstarch (to prevent the yogurt from splitting once added to the tempering), whisk well to make a smooth and lump free batter.
  • After you follow step 5 & 6 i.e the tempering, lower the heat and add in the prepared yogurt mixture, stir continuously until the sauce is bubbly and thick.
  • Then add in the baked/deep-fried chicken pieces, mix and stir until the chicken has absorbed all the sauce mixture. Serve hot with onion rings and lime wedges.

3.You can add some red food color to the marinade and the sauce mixture.

4.You can deep fry the chicken instead of baking.

Measuring cup used, 1 cup = 250 ml,  1 tsp = 5 ml

Chicken 65 (Baked version)

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Serving Size: 6 people

Chicken 65 (Baked version)

A popular Indian appetizer, hot and spicy Chicken 65 (baked).

Ingredients

  • 1.5 lbs chicken thighs/breasts, cut into bite sized chunks
  • For the marinade
  • 1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp Kashmiri red chilli powder
  • 2 tsp red chilli powder/ cayenne pepper, adjust as per desired heat
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala powder
  • 1/2 tsp pepper powder
  • 1 tsp salt, or to taste
  • 1.5 tbsp lemon juice/vinegar
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped cilantro (dhania) leaves
  • For the outer coating
  • 1 nos. egg, beaten
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp rice flour
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • For the sauce
  • 1/4 tsp mustard seeds
  • 4 large garlic cloves, finely minced, or 10-12 small garlic cloves
  • 1 inch ginger, finely minced
  • 3 to 4 nos. green chillies, slit lengthwise
  • 3 to 4 nos. dry red chillies
  • 18-20 curry leaves
  • 2 tsp Kashmiri red chilli powder
  • 3 tbsp Red chilli sauce, you can also use chilli garlic paste instead
  • 2 tsp lemon juice/vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tbsp tomato ketchup
  • 1/4 tsp sugar (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • Salt, to taste
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 2-3 tbsp finely chopped cilantro

Instructions

  1. Transfer chicken chunks to a mixing bowl and add all the ingredients listed for the marinade in a bowl except for the egg, cornstarch, and rice flour and mix it well. Coat chicken pieces well with the marinade. For best results let it marinate overnight, however, I would recommend marinating for a minimum of one hour.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400 F. After the chicken has marinated, add in the beaten egg, cornstarch, and rice flour. Mix well. ( The batter should coat the chicken pieces well, if there is too much moisture, add more rice flour or cornstarch, if it's too dry, sprinkle very little water, enough to let the flours coat the chicken well).
  3. Place the chicken pieces on a greased wire rack above a baking tray. You can also place them on a greased baking tray or a greased parchment paper/foil. Brush the chicken pieces with oil and bake for 18- 20 minutes turning once in between or until the chicken is cooked through. Broil the chicken for an additional 3-4 minutes. Cooking times may vary depending on your oven and the size of the pieces, so keep an eye. You can serve it as it is now with some lemon wedges and onion rings, or continue a step further to make the sauce to coat the pieces.
  4. When the chicken is almost done, start with the tempering. First in a bowl combine the red chilli sauce, tomato ketchup, garam masala, sugar, salt, and pepper. Whisk well to combine everything.
  5. Heat oil in a wok, add mustard seeds, when they splutter add minced ginger, garlic, slit green chillies, and curry leaves. Sauté until curry leaves, chillies are crisp and raw smell of ginger-garlic disappears.
  6. Add Kashmiri red chilli powder, cook on medium low heat for another 15 seconds.
  7. Immediately add in the prepared sauce mixture along with 1/3 cup water, cook on medium heat until it bubbles and thickens a little. Now add lemon juice/ vinegar and mix.
  8. Add in the cooked chicken pieces and toss to coat evenly with the tempering and sauce. Sprinkle some chopped cilantro, and serve immediately with some onion rings and lime wedges.

Notes

1.This dish is fairly spicy, reduce the chilli powder, pepper powder and chilli sauce for a milder version.

2. For an Andhra style Chicken 65, make the sauce for the coating in the following way-

In a mixing bowl, add 3/4 cup yogurt, 3 tablespoons red chilli sauce. 1 tablespoon tomato ketchup (optional), salt to taste, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper powder, 1 teaspoon cornstarch (to prevent the yogurt from splitting once added to the tempering), whisk well to make a smooth and lump free batter. After you follow step 5 & 6 i.e the tempering, lower the heat and add in the prepared yogurt mixture, stir continuously until the sauce is bubbly and thick. Then add in the baked/deep-fried chicken pieces, mix and stir until the chicken has absorbed all the sauce mixture. Serve hot with onion rings and lime wedges. 3.You can add some red food color to the marinade and the sauce mixture.

4.You can deep fry the chicken instead of baking.

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Regards,

Freda

12 comments

  1. hummingbirdthyme says:

    This chicken looks amazing! What’s more, my mouth is watering just reading the list of lovely spices and chile peppers in this . I’m tempted to make up a bunch of this spice mixture and keep it on hand!

    • Freda Dias says:

      Thanks Laura. These are pretty basic Indian spices- red chilli, cumin-coriander, turmeric and garam masala. If you have these in your pantry, you can pretty much make a lot of Indian dishes 🙂

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