Spicy Coconut-Chicken Curry

7 Dec

I discovered this recipe in one of those free healthy living brochures while in line at the grocery store.  I’m usually leery to try recipes that have not been rated, or at least recommended by someone, as I hate to waste good resources on a bad recipe.  However, this one turned out fabulously.  It’s one of our new favorites and a great way to use bone-in chicken.  If you like Indian food, you’ll love this.  If you’ve never tried a curried stew, prepare to be delighted.

Spicy Coconut-Chicken Curry

6 to 7 chicken thighs, drumsticks, or a combination of both (bone-in, skin-on)
Kosher salt
Vegetable oil
1 yellow onion, sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
a one-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
3 Tbsp curry powder, preferably Madras
1 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (I omit this if feeding kiddos or adults who shy away from spicy foods.)
1 can (14.5 oz) chopped tomatoes, drained
About 1 can (15 oz) light coconut milk, divided
1 cup frozen, thawed green peas
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

1. Rinse chicken and pat dry with paper towels.  Sprinkle both sides with salt.

2. Coat bottom of 5- to 7-quart Dutch oven with thin film of oil and set over med-high heat.  When oil shimmers, add chicken, skin sides down, without crowding; brown in batches if necessary.  Cook until skin is golden brown and chicken releases easily from pot, about 5-8 minutes.  Turn pieces over and cook until they brown.  Transfer browned chicken to plate.

3. When last batch of chicken has been removed, add onion, garlic, and ginger to pot.  Cook, stirring, until vegetables are soft and fragrant, about 3 minutes.  Add curry powder, cumin, cayenne, and 1/2 tsp. salt. Cook for 30 seconds until spices are fragrant.  Stir in tomatoes and 1 cup of the coconut milk.  Stir well and let come to boil.

4. Return chicken and any accumulated juices to pot.  Chicken should be surrounded by sauce, but not submerged in it, so that topmost skin is exposed.  (If there is not enough liquid in pot, add remaining coconut milk.)

5. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until chicken is opaque at bone, about 45 minutes.  Stir in peas and cilantro and cook until peas are hot, about 5 minutes more.  Serve over fragrant rice (basmati or jasmine).

Serves: 4 adults (plus a few kiddos)

Source: Braises and Stews by Tori Ritchie

Photo: Ben Fink

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