This lovely dish is easy to prepare and a family favorite. It’s more of a modern Indian recipe but nonetheless, delicious. It’s perfect for a light lunch or as an accompaniment to any Indian meal. They also make perfect little appetizers while entertaining.
CASHEW AND RAISIN STUFFED CHICKEN
6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
3-4 garlic cloves, finely minced
1” piece of ginger, peeled and finely minced
2-3 small Thai green chilies, finely minced
¾ cup of raw unsalted cashew pieces
¾ cup of raisins (soaked in just a little warm water)
1 tsp ground cumin powder
½ tsp ground coriander powder
½ tsp garam masala
¼ tsp turmeric
salt & pepper, to taste
juice of 1 lime (or ½ lemon)
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
3-4 tbsp of oil (vegetable or canola)
freshly chopped cilantro leaves for garnish
fresh lemon or lime wedges for garnish
In a small skillet on medium low heat, add the cashew pieces. Let them toast gently and remove quickly when browned. Set aside until needed. To the same skillet, add 1 tbsp of the oil. When hot, add the garlic, ginger and green chilies. Stir and add the spices (salt, pepper, ground cumin, turmeric, ground coriander and garam masala). Stir fry and add the raisins. You can add a little of the raisin soaking liquid if there is any, it’s usually absorbed by the raisins. Add half of the lime juice and the freshly grated nutmeg. Stir to combine well, remove from the heat and let the mixture cool.
Preheat the oven to 350 deg F (180 deg C).
To prepare the chicken, place the chicken breasts between sheets of plastic wax; gently pound with a meat mallet to flatten evenly. Be careful not to tear or break through. Sprinkle the chicken breasts with a little salt, pepper and garam masala; fill with even portions of the filling mixture (about a tsp or so). Roll up and secure with toothpicks. Arrange chicken breasts in a shallow 3-quart baking dish, spooning any extra filling around the chicken rolls. Add a little water (½ cup) and the rest of the lime juice. Cover with aluminum foil and bake on the center rack for 10-12 minutes. Remove the foil and broil on low uncovered for another 4-5 minutes until browned. Remove from the oven, cover tightly with the foil and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board, carefully remove the toothpicks and slice into ½ inch thick slices. Transfer to a serving platter and arrange nicely, garnish with freshly chopped cilantro leaves and lime wedges. Serve warm with your favorite chutneys and sauces, this dish makes a great accompaniment to any Indian meal.
Instead of raisins, try using currants, dried cherries or dried apricots. You could also make this dish using almonds or pistachios. There are lots of combinations, so just use your favorites.