Thursday, 2 February 2012

Rich Chicken Curry

I always find tomato-based chicken curries far inferior to their lamb counterparts. Lamb, however, is comparatively expensive, so my student curries inevitably consist of some chicken and lots of vegetables. This time, I decided that I would not settle for second place, and would make a tomato-y chicken curry which could rival the rich and deep flavours of its superiors. I made it for a few friends of mine, who ate it all up instantly, so no pictures of the meal. Here's some pretty spices though.

Note from pedantic Rachel: the saffron pictured was used in the rice,
not the curry itself.

Serves 4-5 hungry students
6 Chicken thighs (with bone and skin)
1 Cauliflower
3 Tins of chopped tomatoes (although fresh would be better)
3 Onions
4 Cloves of garlic
1 1/2" Piece of ginger
Chilli peppers to taste (Scotch bonnets go best)
6 Cloves
1 tsp Ground allspice
6 Green cardamom pods
2 tbsp Cumin seeds
2 tbsp Coriander seeds
2 tbsp Tumeric
2 tbsp Garam masala
1 tbsp Paprika
25g Parmesan cheese (honestly)
50g Dark chocolate
Rice to serve

Bone and skin the chicken thighs, keeping the bones and skins for later. Boil 1 litre water. Rub the skins with salt. Heat a small amount of oil in a frying pan, add the skins and adjust heat until the oil is sizzling slightly. Remember to move the skins around in the pan every once in a while. Put the water and bones in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Lower to a simmer and cover.

Chop the onions, garlic, ginger and chillis. Heat some oil in a large heavy-based saucepan. Add the chopped ingredients and the chicken. Stir on a medium-low heat until the chicken is white all over and the onions are soft. Add the tomatoes. Set to a low simmer.

Crush necessary spices and combine them in whatever you have handy. By this point, the chicken skins should be crispy, but not burnt. Remove the skins and set them aside or eating later, or throw them away. Fry the spice mix very quickly in the chicken oil, being careful not to burn them, and add the whole thing to the large saucepan. Season with salt and pepper and stir.

Chop the cauliflower into florets. Take the bones out of the water and add the water to the large saucepan. Add the cauliflower, parmesan and dark chocolate and stir. Leave to simmer (stirring occasionally), uncovered, until the cauliflower is soft and the sauce is thick.

Serve with rice.

— Simon

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