I’m not sure what inspired me to make this dish. I enjoy curries, and I’ve been braising a lot, so I suppose this was a logical dish. I found one of Ming Tsai’s recipes (http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ming-tsai/braised-chicken-curry-with-yams-recipe/index.html), and it was quite simple. I figured I’d give it a try. I didn’t want to make one of those packaged sauce curries that you add as a sauce to your meat – you miss out on a lot of the flavor. Here, where the chicken meat and bones cook for a while in the curry, makes a much more flavorful dish.
* Canola oil
* 2 pounds chicken legs and thighs
* 2 large white onions, chopped
* 1 tablespoons minced garlic
* 1 tablespoons minced ginger
* 1/3 cup madras curry powder
* 2 bay leaves
* 4 cups chicken stock
* 3 large yams, peeled and chopped
* Salt and black pepper to taste
In a hot stock pot coated with oil, season the chicken and brown all sides. Put chicken aside. In the same stock pot, remove chicken fat, leaving only a coating of oil and saute onions, garlic and ginger. Caramelize well, then add the curry powder. Mix quickly for 2 minutes making sure not to burn the curry powder. Add back the chicken, banana bay leaves and chicken stock. Check for seasoning. Bring to a boil and simmer slowly for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. During the last 30 minutes of cooking, add the yams. Serve on white rice or with toasted pita bread.
I used this recipe as a base, and modified it according to my personal preferences. I was able to find Madras curry at Whole Foods, and used a combination of that and ‘regular’ curry powder, as Madras can be fairly spicy. Instead of yams, I used a combination of carrots and potatoes – the carrots would add sweetness, and I just love potatoes in my curries.
I caramelized the onions, added ginger, garlic, and the curry powder and added them to my dutch oven. Then, I added the chicken stock, chicken, and carrots to start the braise.
In almost 2 full hours of cooking time, the chicken meat was just falling off the bone, and the potatoes were ready.
Finally, I plated my curry over brown rice, with a sprig of fresh parsley from my garden.
I was quite pleased with my first attempt at a curry. The curry wasn’t too spicy, but was a nice flavor. The chicken was tender, and cooked pretty well, I thought. Maybe a little overcooked, but that’s hard to judge in a braise. Close enough. I would make this again, and I wouldn’t change too much.