Thompson Falls Hydroelectric Project, Chicken House, On island between Forebay Channel & ClarkFord River, Thompson Falls, Sanders County, MT
CHICKEN COOKED WITH YOGURT (as adapted from one of Madhur Jaffrey’s cookbooks, it’s been so long I’ve forgotten which)
1 whole chicken breast, bone in, skin removed.
l/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons plain yogurt
5 medium size onions
2 cloves garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped
A piece of fresh ginger, about 1-inch cube, peeled and coarsely chopped
7 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/8-1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Skin the whole chicken breast (two sides) and cut into four pieces. Pat the chicken dry and set aside.
In a bowl, mix 1/2 cup yogurt with 3/4 cup water, a little at a time, beating with a fork to fully incorporate.
Peel the onions. Cut 4 in half, lengthwise, and slice into half rings, about 1/8 inch thick. Chop the other onion coarsely.
Put the chopped onion, garlic and ginger into food processor with 6 tablespoons of water, blending into a smooth paste.
Heat 5 tablespoons of oil in a 10-inch pot over medium heat. Add sliced onions and fry them, stirring, 8 to 10 minutes, until they have turned dark brown at the edges but are still limp. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
Add remaining 2 tablespoons of oil to the pot, bring the heat to medium-high and brown the chicken in shifts (do a few pieces at a time so as to not overcrowd the pan), removing to a plate to hold in reserve.
Turn heat to low and carefully pour onion/garlic/ginger paste into the pot, averting your face as it will pop and splatter somewhat. Scrape the bottom of the pot for browned meat juices and mix in scrapings with the paste. Raise the heat to medium and fry, stirring, 4 to 5 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon yogurt, scraping bottom of pot and continuing to fry and stir another minute. Add 1 more tablespoon yogurt, stirring for another minute.
Put the chicken pieces, yogurt/water mixture, salt, cayenne pepper into the pot with the cooked paste. Stir and bring to a boil, then cover it, lower the heat and let it simmer for 20 minutes.
After it has simmered for 20 minutes, raise the heat to medium and cook for 5 minutes to boil down some of the liquid, turning the chicken pieces carefully. You should be left with a thick sauce.
Add in the reserved fried onions, and continue cooking at medium heat for another 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Serve with rice. As a side dish, serve cucumber and tomato with lemon juice.