Country chicken has a texture that mimics mutton and also take quite longer to cook as compared to farmed 'broiler' chicken. So, it's preparation is similar to that of a mutton curry. In Odisha, it is pan cooked for a long time till the chicken gives up some juice and takes on a shiny texture.
1onion - large, +1/2 of a medium onion, the chopped onion should be equal in volume to the mutton pieces
1 1/2tbspgarlic paste - coarse
1 1/2tbspginger - coarsely chopped
3-4dry red chillis
salt - to taste
6tspmustard oil - + 1 tsp for the marination
Wash the chicken pieces and drain away all the water. Add salt, turmeric and 1 tsp mustard oil. Mix well and keep aside.
Cut the onions into medium sized pieces. Crush lightly using a mortar and pestle. Keep aside. Also crush the ginger and garlic in the same way but just a little more fine. Cut the potatoes into big chunks.
Heat the oil in a pressure cooker. Add the potatoes and fry till golden brown. Remove and keep aside.
Add the red chilis followed by the cardamom, bay leaf and cinnamon sticks to the hot oil. Fry till they turn fragrant.
Add the onions, ginger and garlic. Fry them on low flame till they turn quite red in color. (This is a sign that the onions have started turning sweet due to the caramelization process)
Next add the chicken pieces. Fry them till they stop oozing water. You do not have to stir continuously.
Keep the lid on the cooker without completely closing it. Stir once every few minutes. This process takes a long time so keep patience.
Once you see that the chicken pieces start leaving oil ( a sure sign that the water had dried up ) and take on a shiny coat, add 1 1/2 - 2 cups of boiling water along with the fried potato pieces.
Adjust salt. Close the lid and cook for 1-2 whistles. Remove from flame.
Allow steam to escape before opening lid. Check if the chicken is done. Else add another half cup water and cook for another 1 whistle or two.
Serve hot with rice/rotis.
While it is advisable to make this curry with mustard oil, you can substitute it with rice bran or sunflower oil !