Friday, February 05, 2016

Spicy Dinner

Last night's dinner.
West-Indian curries are distinctive and delicious. The Indian spices and spice blends they use were introduced to Caribbean cooking during the time that the British Empire included both India and several islands in the West Indies. Though I believe many of the people of Asian-Indian descent (whose grandparents settled in the islands long ago) have left the area, the spices remain in places like Jamaica, Trinidad, and Saint Lucia. Last night I made a West Indian chicken curry, using a recipe somewhat like the one I linked to in yesterday's blog post. I promised a couple of people that I would post the recipe.

West Indian Chicken Curry

3-4 tablespoons spice mixture (see below)
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
6 whole chicken thighs with bone in & loose fat cut off & discarded, some skin left on
1 chopped red onion
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
1 jalapeƱo pepper, seeds & pith removed, sliced (or hotter peppers if you prefer)
1 cup chicken broth
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 can of chick peas
1 single-serving container of Greek yogurt (like Fage)

Brown the garlic and ginger in the oil on medium high heat. Brown the chicken next, and sprinkle the spice mixture on it, being careful not to burn anything as you turn it. Add onion and  jalapeƱos, brown a little more. Add chick peas; stir a bit. Add stock & brown sugar. Simmer for 40 minutes or more. Remove the chicken and vegetables to a serving dish and reduce the sauce for a few minutes.

Off heat, stir the yogurt into 1 cup of the sauce, then add the remaining sauce slowly to keep yogurt from separating. Pour this sauce over the chicken and vegetables and serve with flatbread (such as West Indian Roti or pita bread or tortillas) or with French bread (which I used).

*Optional garnishes: sliced tomatoes, sliced hot and mild peppers, fresh cilantro sprigs, or other fresh vegetables; chutney.
*Alternate to yogurt: use coconut milk instead. Add this to the pot along with the stock and continue cooking as above.
*I used Whole Foods air-chilled chicken thighs. Cutting off the excess fat is very important because too much fat overwhelms the sauce.

My spices are in very miscellaneous containers
which I refill often from bulk spice sellers.

Spice Mixture

2 tablespoons ground turmeric
1 tablespoon crushed dried chili flakes (or smoked hot Paprika)
1 tablespoon cumin seeds or ground cumin
1/2 tablespoon coriander seeds or ground coriander
1/2 tablespoon whole or ground cloves
1/2 tablespoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon whole or ground allspice
1 tsp dried thyme
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons salt

Standardized recipes call for some spices to be used whole, others to be used pre-ground, and are usually very specific about the amounts to use. I use either ground or whole spice, depending in each case what was on my shelf. I grind up the whole spices and the salt with a spice-grinding mortar & pestle (which Arny & Tracy gave me for Christmas). I combine this mixture with the already-ground spices. I use amounts of each spice that look good -- around 3-4 tablespoons total spice mixture.


Beth F said...

Boy this looks and sounds sooooooo good. That spice mixture looks heavenly too. I'll have to add this to my dishes to try. We love curries.

Jackie Mc Guinness said...

This sounds very good. I am having a hard time finding chicken thighs here in Mexico and do miss the versatility of them.

Jeanie said...

I can smell it from here, Mae!

Vicki said...

I love Chicken Curry! We have an authentic Indian restaurant nearby and the food is amazing there. I've never made this version of Indian Curry so I'm pinning it. It looks really good.

jama said...

Love curry! Thanks for posting this recipe with your spice mixture.

Katherine P said...

Oh this looks amazing! I've actually had a chicken curry that I'm betting was a very similar recipe. I absolutely loved it but never quite figured what exactly was in it. I'm making this soon and really looking forward to it!

Claudia said...

Boy, I do love a good curry, and this one sounds great. Will have to put that spice mixture together.

Debra Eliotseats said...

So warming and comforting and yummy!

Carole said...

I like the look of that spice mix! Cheers from Carole's Chatter!

Deb in Hawaii said...

I love all the subtle nuances of curries from different countries and cultures--it is fun to experiment with them. This one looks warming and delicious--the perfect way to kick off the weekend. ;-)
Aloha, Deb from Kahakai Kitchen

Laurie C said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Laurie C said...

This sounds delicious! Thanks for sharing this recipe with the Weekend Cooking crowd!

Tina said...

I must admit to sing a huge baby about spices. A mild curry would work for me but alas, if it's too spicy heartburn will soon follow. I could adapt it though!

Sue Jackson said...

Mmmm...I love curries of all kinds, though we more frequently make Thai or Indian curries. This looks delicious! Thanks for sharing the recipe.


meigancam01 said...

Sounds out of this world!These flavors look amazing together!