These incredibly addictive mouth-watering chicken bits are a celebration of spices.  Coated in a blend of pepper, turmeric, cayenne pepper, cumin, dried thyme, garlic powder, paprika and salt they simply dance around on your taste buds.  In fact, my non-chicken eating, non-spice eating daughter went crazy for them.  I was pleasantly surprised.  

These chicken bits can be served on their own as an appetizer, but I chose to make a meal out of them and serve them over rice.  We loved these chicken bits.  Next time (which may even be as soon as tomorrow) I will make a double batch of them.  This is a fantastic recipe!  I urge you to give it a try!


  • 1-¼ lb. boned, skinned chicken breasts
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme, or 1/2 teaspoon ajwain seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon bright red paprika
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil


1. Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Cut each chicken breast piece lengthwise into thirds, and then crosswise into 3/4 inch to 1-inch segments. Put in a bowl. Add the black pepper, turmeric, cayenne pepper, cumin, thyme or ajwain, garlic powder, paprika, salt and 1 tablespoon of the oil. Mix well and set aside for 10 minutes or longer.
2. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a wok or large, nonstick frying pan over very high heat. When the oil is very hot, put in the chicken. Stir and fry quickly until the chicken pieces are lightly browned or turn opaque on the outside. Put in a baking dish, cover loosely with lightly oiled wax paper (which should sit inside the dish and directly on the chicken pieces) and bake for 8 - 10 minutes or until the chicken pieces are just cooked through. If not to be eaten immediately, remove the chicken pieces from the hot baking dish to prevent them from drying out.


Madhur Jaffrey


4 servings