The Greatest Chicken Dish in the World! (with video)

Last night we had dinner with some dear friends, Jessica, Kyle and their baby Hunter. (Remind me one day to tell you about the fun I had feeding lemons to Hunter).

We had dinner at Sitar Palace, an Indian restaurant in North Durham. Of course, all the items on their buffet were awesome, but the standout was a dish cryptically called Chicken 65. Move over Chicken Makhani, make room for my new favorite chicken dish, Chicken 65.

Shannon and I searched the Internet for a good recipe and found some rather interesting descriptions for this dish. Apparently, no one can be sure of the origin of the name.

Wikipedia on Chicken 65:

The number 65 is variously said to be the number of days taken to prepare the marinade or the year of the dish's creation. One account claims that the dish emerged as a simple meal solution for Indian soldiers in 1965. Others accounts claim that an "enterprising hotelier" targeted macho diners with a 65-chilli recipe and named the dish accordingly. It is generally acknowledged that no one knows which (if any) of these anecdotal theories are true.

Enter Vah Chef

Vah Chef is apparently an Indian Celebrity chef from Chennai who is absolutely hillarious. He is infectious with his energy and has a simple cooking style. Anyone who has ever tried to make Indian food knows it can be involved and require WAY more ingrediants than typical American food. Vah Chef has a very popular website with videos and recipes of popular dishes. If you like Indian foods and like to cook, Vah Chef is a must-see website.

Where's the video you promised us?

Vah Chef has a video on Chicken 65 where he demonstrates step by step how to make the delicious dish. While preparing, he enterains by going through the history and misconceptions of the dish as well.

Do you cook Indian food? Do you have good resources you'd like to share? What is your favorite dish?

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12/13/08 8:55 PM # Posted By Sami Hoda

Most people love Chicken Tikka Masala. There are hundreds of additional recipes that would blow your mind. Maybe I'll get them online someday.

12/16/08 3:27 AM # Posted By Ezra Parker

If you have a source for good-quality raw spices, I think that making your own garam masala makes a *huge* difference in home-cooked Indian food. You can find tons of different recipe variants for this -- I tend to like a really sweet mix, something like equal parts cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, black pepper and coriander.

Dry-roast the spices for about 10 minutes or so on medium to medium-high heat, then grind to a fine powder in a coffee grinder. I add a bit of this, and then adjust the "heat" to taste with cayenne or some other type of pepper.