Chicken Curry

Inspired by The Best International Recipe Cookbook from the editor’s of Cooks Illustrated I made this chicken curry. Full of spices it is very flavorful and delicious. For the chicken, you will need two pounds worth. I roasted a whole chicken  with some lard, salt, and pepper, then shredded with my fingers once it cooled and used about two pounds  (just over half of the meat as this was a large chicken). The rest of the chicken can be saved for a different dish, or put into the freezer for later use. Cooks Illustrated says they enjoy the recipe with chicken thighs.

2-1/2 tsp. garam masala *recipe below
1-1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1-1/2 tsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. ground turmeric
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. mustard seeds
1/4 tsp. ground fennel
Pinch cayenne pepper

3 Tbsp. fat of choice (I used lard here)
2 medium onions, chopped fine
Salt (to taste)
Ground black pepper (to taste)
6 medium garlic cloves, or about 2 Tbsp.
1 Tbsp. minced fresh ginger
1 jalapeno chile, seeds and ribs removed, minced (seeds added in if you like a little extra heat in your curry)
1 Tbsp. tomato paste
2 pounds cooked chicken, shredded or torn into bite sized pieces
1 c water
2 plum tomatoes, chopped (or about 1/4 c canned tomatoes or frozen tomatoes)
1/2 c frozen peas, thawed
1/2 c coconut milk

Combine all the spices. Grind into a powder if necessary using a mortar and pestle or coffee grinder reserved only for spices. Set aside. Heat the fat in a skillet and add the onion, cooking over medium heat until the it becomes soft. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for one minute longer. Add the spices and cook for one minute, stirring to let the spices toast a bit. Add the rest of the ingredients, bring to a simmer, and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Serve with rice (the Rice Pilaf with Dates, Ginger, and Parsley is excellent with this dish).

*Garam Masala Recipe (enough to make 1/4 cup)
1 Tbsp. ground cumin
1-1/2 tsp. ground coriander
1-1/2 tsp. ground cardamom
1-1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg

Combine all ingredients in a small empty spice jar (or a 1/2 pint sized jelly jar). If some of your spices are whole while others are already ground (cinnamon is usually ground, for example) you can also combine all of the spices in a coffee grinder used soley for grinding spices and herbs. This makes the freshest garam masala possible. Look at your local thrift shop, you may find a used coffee grinder for a couple of dollars.


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Farmer, Yoga Teacher, and new mom.

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