Kienyeji chicken is top of the range in flavour town. Every other chicken pales next to it! Now throw in sweet honey and tangy mustard and you’ll propel it to stratospheric flavour heights.
Kienyeji chicken, for those who do not understand, is free range organic chicken. The one that is left to roam free and almost wild. It needs very little attention and maintenance because it can forage and cater for itself. All you have to do is just ensure that you keep a constant supply of water for it within the compound and a handful of grains every now and then. Otherwise, it is quite happy fending for itself by scavenging for worms and other plants.
All the above mentioned activities result in chicken that has very well developed muscles, is lean and quite frankly more flavour development. This recipe can work with broiler chicken if it’s the only one that you have available, just don’t be disappointed if the flavour isn’t all that.
First things first, kienyeji chicken is not exactly known for its tenderness, so it does need some help to tenderize. Maziwa mala or fermented milk is an ideal choice here. You could also use buttermilk as a substitute. The lactic acid is a very effective tenderizer for meat. I normally marinate my chicken in it overnight or if I’m pressed for time I go for a minimum of two hours.
I used dijon mustard for this recipe although you can go for yellow mustard or any mustard of your choice. The initial taste is very sharp and can sometimes get overwhelming. But, as you cook it, it will mellow out and result in a very pleasant flavour.
This is honey mustard kienyeji chicken after all and honey has to also be a prominent ingredient in this recipe. I used a third of a cup. You can use more or less to accommodate your individual preferences. Personally, I do not mind sweet chicken.
Another ingredient that I think is worth mentioning is Royco mchuzi mix. This is totally optional and you can leave it out. I love using it in most of my meals because of the flavour profile that it brings. If you reside in Kenya or the Eastern Africa region then you must be very familiar with it. It’s available online, Amazon, for those who do not have easy access to it.
Something else worth bringing to your attention is my method of cooking this honey mustard kienyeji chicken. I do not add any oil to it because in my opinion I feel like it has enough oil of its own without adding any more to it. I also just start by simmering the chicken along with all its marinade in the sufuria instead of going the normal route of frying onions followed by the rest of the ingredients.
The final results are a curry like consistency courtesy of the maziwa mala.
The video below is a summary of all what I’ve mentioned above, please, watch it of jump right to the written recipe below it.
Kuku kienyeji / free range organic chicken has such a deep flavour that you'd be hard pressed to ever go broiler after tasting it. This honey mustard kienyeji chicken is just the right balance and blend of flavours to get you totally hooked.
- 500 Ml Maziwa mala / fermented milk - substitute can be buttermilk
- 1 tsp Curry powder
- 1 tsp Red chilli powder
- Salt to taste
- Freshly cracked black pepper
- 1 tsp Royco - optional
- 1/3 cup Honey - reduce or add the quantity to suit your preferences
- 1/3 cup Dijon mustard - use any mustard of your choice
- 1 Tbsp Ginger, garlic, green chilli paste - the ratio of these three ingredients within the paste is your choice
- 1.5 Kg Kienyeji / free range chicken - you can use broiler chicken as a substitute
- 1 Large onion - finely sliced
- 2 cups Blended tomatoes - you can grate or chop them very finely using a knife
- Handful of green hoho / bell pepper - optional
- Handful of dhania / coriander leaves - optional
Wash thoroughly and pat the kienyeji dry chicken then place in a bowl.
Add all the ingredients for the marinade into the bowl and massage them thoroughly into the chicken.
Cover and leave to marinate over night or for a minimum of two hours.
Pour the chicken along with all the marinade into a sufuria, cover and leave to simmer on medium heat for forty five minutes.
Add the onions and simmer for five minutes.
Add the tomatoes and leave to simmer while covered for fifteen minutes.
Add the hohos, cover and simmer for about a minute or two and then as a final touch add the dhania and then finally turn off the heat.
Check for seasoning and then serve.
- Maziwa mala has lactic acid which helps to tenderize the chicken which will result in it cooking faster. Kienyeji chicken is known and loved for its flavour, the texture not so much. It does need a little help in that department.
- If you decide to use broiler chicken for this recipe, then, cut down on the cooking time. Broiler chicken is much softer than kienyeji and takes about twenty five to thirty minutes to cook fully.
- Substitute the dijon mustard with any type of mustard that you have at hand.
- Royco can be bought from online stores, especially Amazon for those who do not have ready access to a physical store.