Thursday, December 5, 2013

Chicken Curry

Mysterious spices traded amongst explorers and natives have long been the subject of legend and history. Fennel, tamarind, mustard seed, cumin, coriander, peppercorns, and many, many more varieties of spices were carried throughout the East and into far off magical worlds.  

With a mortar and pestle, the blending of these spices led to various curries. Some are wet while others are dry, and colors heightened by the various chilies continue to criss cross the world.  

The madras style yellow powder hails from the Tamil Nadu region of South India and includes an array of spices including turmeric (which gives the yellow color), fenugreek, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, tamarind, garlic, ginger, coriander, mustard seed, among others. Below is my version of a wonderful chicken curry in the Vietnamese style which includes plenty of french bread for sopping up liquid and on a bed of vermicelli.  Spicy, tart, sweet, and wonderfully rich, this is a mainstay of any Vietnamese household.  ENJOY!!!!

Ca Ri Ga- Chicken Curry
2 lbs. chicken thighs (bone in)

1 Thai Chili minced
2 tbsp curry powder
1 piece lemongrass- white part minced
2 cloves garlic minced

grind together in a mortar and pestle until it becomes a paste

2 tbsp canola oil
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1 piece lemongrass, white parts minced
1 piece ginger, 2 inches long, minced
1 lb fingerling potatoes, quartered
1/2 lb roma tomatoes, quartered
1 tbsp curry powder
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 can coconut milk
2 cups chicken stock
1 tbsp sugar
1 lime
salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste

garnish with Vietnamese coriander, cilantro, green onions, and lime
serve over vermicelli with plenty of French bread for dipping!!

Thoroughly coat the chicken thighs with the rub.  In a heavy bottomed pot, heat up the oil, and sear the chicken on all sides until nicely browned.  Removed the thighs from the heat and add onions, carrots, lemongrass, and ginger.  Sweat until tender and aromatic.  Add the potatoes.  Coat the potatoes in the oil and seasoning, then season with the curry powder and fish sauce.  Pour in coconut milk and chicken stock.  Bring to a simmer and add the chicken, tomatoes, sugar, and juice of a lime.  Cook for about 25-30 minutes until chicken is done but tender.   Adjust seasoning if necessary.  A dash of fish sauce or sugar might be the trick!  

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