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updated: Jun 28, 2014, 11:00 AM
By Rosie Sullivan
So I know this is not exactly hot weather cuisine, but I recently made a super tasty curry and thought I'd share my recipe.
I was basing this meal on a recipe that uses lamb but I substituted that for chicken. One could certainly use tofu instead, too.
Curry: A basic and classic Indian dish, way simpler to make than you might think!
2 -3 lbs bone-in chicken parts (I only had 3 chicken breasts when I made this the last time and it turned out delicious, just not quite as tender as when using chicken on the bone)
Salt and pepper
1 large onion sliced
Garlic (1 T plus, minced)
Ginger (mince about 1 T fresh ginger. I suppose powdered will do but there's always a lady at Farmer's Market with ginger, garlic, and other herbs so I'm never without)
2 T Curry powder (if your spice rack is low, grab some at TJ's or Cost Plus)
½ tsp Cayenne (this is optional but it's such a small amount I say go ahead and throw it in)
Potatoes (I cut up 6 small red tots)
Carrots (4-5 chopped into 1-2 inch chunks)
1 c Water or vegetable or chicken stock
½ c Yogurt
Cilantro - for garnish
In case you've never braised anything, here is a little information. Braising is a slow cooking method that uses a lot of liquid and, ideally, results in rich flavour. The end goal is to get super tender meat (or poultry, fish, or vegetables). First you must brown the ingredient (in this case the chicken) in a little fat. To sear, turn the food to brown all sides. Then you add the liquid to partially submerge the food. Cover it and let the foods cook at a gentle bubble. When it is tender enough to slide off a fork, you are done! This might take several hours but it with minimal attention.
Step one is to put some oil in a large pot over a medium-high flame. When hot, add about half the meat and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Cook and turn as needed so the pieces don’t burn. Be sure to give the chunks of meat space so that they brown, not steam. Working in batches is your best bet, so simply rotate pieces in an out of the pan as they cook, seasoning as you go.
Next turn the heat down a tad and add the onion for about 3 mins or until they begin to soften.
Now it’s time to add all the spices! In go the garlic, ginger, cayenne, and curry powder. Stir constantly for about a minute, until the mixture is fragrant.
Stir in the stock or water and add the browned meat.
The braising liquid needs to come about halfway up the sides of the meat. You can always add more liquid now or boil some off in the end if it is too liquidy. Raise the heat and bring everything to a boil. Then lower it so it is barely bubbling. Cover and cook until the meat is tender! This will take at least 45 minutes and possibly up to 90.
After 15 minutes of cooking, add the potatoes and carrots.
Lastly, remove from the heat and add your yogurt.
Taste and adjust if necessary then serve immediately.
This will serve 4 - 6 people and I served it over rice with a nice side salad.
Also, if you're into peas, those go nicely in a curry. As does cauliflower!
Another variation - lamb or chicken curry with coconut milk: instead of the stock or water, use 1 can coconut milk and skip the yogurt.
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