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Sunday, March 23, 2014

Indian Chicken Curry

My old friend Dane first got me started with Indian cooking. In my first few years in Boston, she'd have a bunch of us from work over to her house for 'real Indian food.' Dane's from Bangalore and would whip up curries for us from her mother's and grandmother's recipes. Heaven. And knowing I like to cook, Dane recruited me as sous-chef for these large gatherings, giving me the important job of chopping onions. I mean, LOTS of onions. I'd ask her how many and she'd throw a few bags in front of me with a knife saying she'd let me know when I could stop. But oh how delicious the curry would be. This recipe from Bon Appetit is very reminiscent of dinners at Dane's. If you've ever made anything Indian - you'll have most of the spices in your cabinet. If you haven't, don't be afraid, this is an easy one pot meal that just has a lot of ingredients.

Heads up though - this is a Sunday dinner. It takes 2 hours (only 15 minutes of actual work time) so make sure you have a little time! Also - this recipe originally called for cream, which I substituted for plain yogurt.

3 tbsp canola oil
4ish chicken legs (drumsticks with thighs - as many as will fit snugly together in your pot)
1 onion, finely chopped
4 cloves of garlic, grated or minced
2 tbsp fresh grated ginger
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 tsp garam masala
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp tumeric
1 1/2 tsp coriander
3/4 tsp cayenne
4/4 tsp cardamom
8 cups chicken broth
3/4 cup crushed tomato (~half of a 14 oz can)
1/2 cup plain yogurt
3 Yukon Gold potatoes, 1/4 inch cubes

1. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper and add to pot, skin side down, cooking until golden brown (8-10 mins). Transfer to plate (don't flip in pan).

2. Add onion, garlic and ginger and stir until onion is soft. Add tomato paste and the rest of the spices through the cardamom, stirring often until paste begins to darken.

3. Add the chicken back to the pot, skin side up, the broth, and crushed tomato. Season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce and simmer, partially covered, for 1 1/2 - 2 hours.

4. Add potatoes and cook another 30-45 minutes, partially covered. When potatoes are fork tender and chicken is falling off the bone - it's done. The sauce should have thickened as well.

5. Remove the skin and bones from chicken add the yogurt. Stir and simmer for another 10 mins or so. Serve over basmati rice and a bunch of cilantro.

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