Chicken 65 is a favourite South Indian appetizer. It’s often served with lemon wedges, sliced red onions and yogurt based dips. There’s a bit of mystery behind why it’s called ‘chicken 65.’ Some claim it’s because the chicken has to be 65 days old and yet others claim because the authentic version has 65 spices. The version that makes the most sense is that it was the 65th item on the Indian Army mess menu. Whatever the back story is, it’s the taste that matters. This version foregoes deep frying and instead the chicken is baked to perfection in the oven. It’s so delicious and savory and zingy and spicy that you won’t miss the deep fryer. Let’s get started.
Chicken 65 – Recipe
- 2 chicken breasts, cut into chunks*
- Salt, to taste
- 1/2 lime, juiced
- 1 Tbsp. garlic, grated
- 1 Tbsp. ginger, grated
- 1 tsp. garam Masala
- 1 1/2 tsp. ground dried red chilies
- 1 tsp. ground coriander
- ¼ tsp. turmeric
- 1 cup yogurt
- Couple drops of red food colouring (optional)
* You can cut the chicken smaller, but I prefer to keep them a bit big so they bake nice and juicy.
- Make a couple of deep slits in the chicken pieces, add salt and lime juice and combine, set aside for 10 minutes.
- Combine rest of the ingredients together until mixture is smooth. Add to chicken and mix until well coated. Cover and marinate in the fridge for a few hours or overnight.
- When marinated preheat oven to 435 degrees on convection bake and bake chicken until tender, 25 minutes.
- Flip chicken over and broil for 5 minutes until darkened in places. Remove to plate.
Serve with lemon wedges and mint and green chili dip. It’s so savory, slightly spicy and goes perfectly well with the lemon and mint-chili dip that you’ll be smacking your lips. This is one of my favourite appetizers, but it can also be served as a main course with naan and a side salad topped with mint-chili dip. For cocktail parties, serves on skewers with lemon and mint-chili dip drizzled over. Yum!