Chicken Cafreal

Cafreal is one of those dishes where anything seems to go. I was given
many variants, except the one I wanted. A small restaurant in the back of
beyond served the most wonderful Cafreal, so good the locals were queuing
up for tables. The owner though, flatly refused to give me his recipe.
Cafreal is essentially chicken (whole or jointed) marinated in chilies,
lime juice (or vinegar) and spices, then either deep fried, barbecued or
roasted. The following recipe is my interpretation but I am still working
on it. I have used the roasting method as this produces a great gravy.
I also recommend that you make a stock from the chicken carcass, it adds
an extra dimension to a risotto.
1 chicken, prepared for roasting or jointed chicken pieces
juice of 1 lime
1 level tsp salt
5 dried red Kashmiri chilies, ground
3 green chilies, de-seeded
4 peppercorns, ground
1 Tsp coriander seeds, ground
1/2 inch piece cinnamon bark, ground
1/2 inch piece mace, ground
8 cloves garlic
1 inch piece ginger

Rub the salt and lime juice over the chicken (also inside if whole). Grind
all the other ingredients together and rub over the chicken. Cover and marinade
over night in the fridge.

Heat oven to 325C. Place the chicken in a roasting tray and cover with
foil (this is important – the chicken must be moist when done and the spices
must not burn).

For a 4lb chicken, cook for about 2 hrs (adjust the time to the size of bird or if chicken joints are used).

Baste several times during cooking. For the last 15 minutes of cooking, remove the foil.

Remove the chicken from the roasting tray and leave to rest. You now have two
options for the ‘gravy’. Either collect the pan juices as is (no don’t
skim the fat off) or skim the fat, deglaze and make a gravy as normal.
When I had it in India it was served just with the pan juices. Notes :-
If a whole chicken was used, then cut into two halves post cooking, do
not carve into slices ;- this is meant to be eaten with your hands. Serve
with plenty of bread to dip the juices up. Why not roast some root veggies
and garlic in the roasting tray while you are at it.

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