Our friend Chef Tsering Tamding has a wonderful Tibetan chicken recipe that is a creative variation on chasha ngoba (stir-fried chicken). Chef Tsering calls it Chicken Zemma — “beautiful” chicken :-) Battered with a flour and egg mixture, it is cooked both on the stove top and in the oven, which makes it beautifully crispy and delicious.
For 4 people
You will need: a skillet that can work both on the stove top and the oven, or a skillet and a baking dish.
- 2 pounds chicken thighs, each thigh cut in halves or thirds, if large
- ½ medium onion, sliced thin (we used red onion — any kind will do)
- 1 medium tomato, sliced thin
- 1 egg
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ tablespoon minced garlic (3-4 cloves)
- ½ tablespoon minced ginger
- 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric
- ½ tablespoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon emma or yerma (commonly called Sechuan pepper)
- 1 ½ tablespoon cooking oil (we use canola)
- Cut each chicken thigh into halves or thirds, if large
- Thinly slice tomato and onion
- Roughly chop cilantro.
- Mince ginger and garlic.
- Mix flour, turmeric, emma, salt, ginger, garlic and egg together in a largish mixing bowl. (We mix by hand.)
- Place the chicken thighs in the flour mixture bowl and coat well. (We mix by hand — this part is a little sticky and messy — but worth it!)
- Preheat oven to 375º
- Heat 1.5 tablespoons of cooking oil to high, in a skillet that can work on both stove top and oven. Or you will need to transfer to an oven-safe pan after cooking on the stove top.
- When oil is hot, add the chicken thighs.
- Cook first side of the thighs on high for 3 minutes until golden brown.
- Turn over, and cook additional three minutes.
- While the second side is cooking, add tomato, onion and ½ of the cilantro to the top of the chicken. (You will use the rest for garnish) Leave the tomato and onion out if you wish for more crispy chicken.
- Place the skillet with the chicken in the oven for 20 minutes at 375º, or until your chicken is thoroughly cooked. (When you poke the meat with a fork and the juices run clear, not cloudy or pink. Also, the meat should no longer be pink.)
- Remove from oven and add chopped cilantro for garnish. You can also squeeze a little lemon on before serving if you like.
Serve with rice. Feel the love of your friends and family :-)