Chicken 65 is a very popular and appetizing dish in south India. It is a fried chicken, which is marinated with curd and spices and deep fried in the oil. In each house it is done differently. In my mother’s house in chicken 65, she adds chilli powder, curd, turmeric, ginger and garlic paste, but I add few more ingredients to get a new taste, I add colour, lemon juice or vinegar or 1 egg, or garam masala also. I love to garnish it with fried onions, green chillies and curry leaves. In chicken 65 itself there are so many variations, as in each house and in restaurants, it is prepared differently.
Chicken 65, the name has many stories and myths, but still do not know which one is the truth. Some say in chicken 65, 65 masalas (spices) goes inside and some say that in Chennai, in the military canteen menu board the 65th item was chicken fry, so it is called chicken 65, so this is how the chicken 65 got the name. Even my mother also do not know, we are just following the name and whenever it is cooked we call it as chicken 65, how we call chilli chicken or other names.
In our family, whenever biryani is prepared, Chicken 65 is served as a side dish with other dishes. You can have it with pulav or plain rice, rasam also.
- Chicken – 600 gms
- Curd (thick) – 7 tbsp
- Chilli powder – 1 1/2 tsp
- Ginger and garlic paste – 1 tbsp
- Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
- Salt - as per taste
- Onion – 1
- Green chillies – 3
- Curry leaves – 15
- Salt - a pinch
- Chop the onions, slice the green chillies, and keep it aside.
- Take a bowl add curd and other ingredients, mix well.
- Add the chicken pieces, mix well, and refrigerate it for 4hrs to overnight.
- Before frying, keep it out off the fridge for sometime, like 30min.
- While frying, do not mix the chicken pieces again as it is set in the marinade, after keeping in the fridge.
- The marinade is well coated with the chicken. It should be directly fried in the oil, by putting one by one each piece.
- Preheat the kadai with oil for deep frying, when it is hot, start placing the chicken pieces one by one in the oil.
- Do not turn the chicken immediately, as it’s marinate can come out, cook it on medium flame.
- Let the chicken cook for few min, till its colour turns to light reddish colour, then turn the chicken pieces.
- Cook the chicken till it is cooked well and good reddish or brownish colour comes on it.
- Fry the chicken pieces in batches, do not put all at a time and cook it. Put 2 to 3 chicken pieces at a time as per the size of your vessel.
- Keep the chicken pieces in a plate.
- Add the chopped onions, green chillies and curry leaves in the same oil and cook till it is golden brown and curry leaves become crispy.
- After frying the onion, add a pinch of salt on it and add on the chicken pieces.
- Garnish the fried onions, green chillies and curry leaves, on the chicken.
- After cooking, serve it with biryani or as a starter or as a side dish.
- Can squeeze lemon juice on top and serve as a starter.
- When you marinade the chicken pieces, and kept in the fridge, do not mix it again, fry it directly.
- Curd should be thick, not watery, can add more chilli if you like.
- The coating should be thick, so that when it is fried it will be crispy, juicy to eat from inside. Do not overcook the chicken.
- In the same marinate you can add lemon juice or vinegar or can add plain flour (2tsp) and colour(biryani orange).
- This chicken is not cooked on a very high flame; it is cooked on medium and while cooking the pieces should not be moved frequently.
- The oil which is left in the kadai after frying can be strained and used for making pulavs and other chicken dishes or frying dishes.