Chicken Pickle or Achari Chicken is an Indian Street food typically served in a Paratha, it is heady with garlic and ginger and has a wonderful astringent backnote.
My love of spicy food and particularly Indian spicy food is well documented here. I have been obsessed with this chicken pickle recipe for a long old time.
I had never heard of it but came across it in a recipe book by Rik Stein, Rik is pretty much my favourite food writer.
Also known as Achari chicken, chicken pickle is apparently an almost ubiquitous street food in Punjab, India.
The first time I made it I knew I would be making it over and over again.
I messed with the flavour profiles a little and upped the chilli content a lot to please my desire for something with a real punch of heat.
The addition of vinegar in the cooking method makes it reminiscent of two of my favourite curry recipes. Both my pork vindaloo and chicken pathia recipes explore sour elements in curry. It always works a treat!
The flavour is delightful and the chicken stays almost unbelievably moist and juicy.
How To Cook Indian Chicken Pickle.
I have never come across a cooking process quite like the one used in this recipe.
Everything is cooked in quite a lot of oil, in this sense it is almost similar to confit as a cooking method.
Then vinegar is added to the hot oil as a result of that you need to be very careful, ensure you use a large pan!
It is then cooked a little more allowing all the flavours to come together.
The spices are then cooked in the oil after the chicken. It is a very similar technique to the tempering of the spices I utilised in my chicken korma recipe.
It creates a fantastic dressing for the chicken and turns this dish all the way up to 11!
Traditionally this allowed the chicken pickle to be kept for a long time without refrigeration as it was preserved.
As far as I am concerned chicken pickle is my dream filling for a wrap. I don’t even care what it is wrapped in, chapati, paratha or a plain old tortilla so long as it has chicken pickle I’m a happy boy.
Just add some crispy shredded lettuce and you are good to go.
However, it is not just a filling for a wrap or sandwich, it works fantastically well as a main course.
Served with something like Bombay potatoes or even spooned over plain rice and you have a fantastic Indian main.
If you are feeling really adventurous using this to replace the chicken mix in my biriyani recipe is heavenly!
- 500 g Chicken Thighs
- 1 Tbsp Chili Flakes
- 1 Tsp Coarse Sea Salt
- 1 Tsp Ground Turmeric
- 50 g Ginger, Grated
- 10 Cloves Garlic, Ground into a paste
- 1/2 Tsp Fenugreek Seeds
- 1 1/2 Tsp Mustard Seeds
- 1 1/2 Tsp Fennel Seeds
- 1 Tsp Garam Masala
- 300 ml Cooking Oil
- 5 Cloves Garlic
- 50 g Ginger
- 1/8 tsp Asafoetida
- 150 ml Cider Vinegar
- Cut the chicken thighs into strips around 5mm in profile and 5cm long.
- Peel and slice the garlic as thinly as possible.
- Peel and cut the ginger into batons as thinly as you can.
- Add the chilli, salt, turmeric ginger and garlic to the chicken and mix thoroughly and allow to marinade for 1 hour.
- Heat the mustard, fennel and fenugreek seeds in a dry pan until they become fragrant.
- Grind the seeds in a spice grinder or pestle and mortar and mix with the garam masala and set aside.
- Heat the oil in a LARGE deep heavy-based pan until hot but not smoking.
- Add the onions and cook for 10-15 minutes until a deep golden brown, stirring occasionally.
- When cooked remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
- Into the same oil batch fry the chicken for 3-4 minutes, be careful with hot oil if the chicken is a little wet it will spit.
- Remove each batch of chicken and set it aside with the onions.
- Add in the asafoetida and the spice mix we set aside in step 6 to the oil.
- Then add the garlic and ginger and fry for 2-3 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes.
- Very carefully pour in the vinegar, if the oil starts to spit it is too hot and allow to cool a little further.
- Then add in the chicken and onions we set aside earlier and return to the heat and cook for 4-5 minutes.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 972Total Fat: 72gSaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 57gCholesterol: 320mgSodium: 1616mgCarbohydrates: 22gFiber: 4gSugar: 2gProtein: 63g