What did you expect me to do, come up with my own idea? What do you think they invented the internet for? That's right, so we don't have to think! That was my situation the other day. Stuck at work with no time to think with chicken thighs about to go over the edge in the fridge at home that needed to be cooked right now before they became their own biological weapons of mass distress. I also was feeling somewhat curryish, so threw Sergei and Larry the search terms "braised chicken thighs curry" and up popped this awesome recipe from the great blogsite Sunday Nite Dinner (this photo also came from their site, because my photos, well, sucked. So thanks in advance SNiD!). The SNiD site documents the eating adventures of a group of friends who take turns satisfying their culinary curiosities. They certainly took care of w and my appetites, and this was an easy recipe, based on one by ex-Food TV chef Ming Tsai, that totally over-delivered for the effort expended (even though I forgot to add the peas at the end...eh, no big deal). I only made one change, besides forgetting the peas, which was using bone-in chicken thighs (rather than the called for boneless) which I always find give more flavor. The only bad part of the whole meal was that I would even consider pulling out the braising pot in June, but with our endless, rainy, cold, winter-like, thoughts-of-suicide inducing weather, I may be braising 'til #^&*%#@ July!!!
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Braised Chicken Curry with Yams
Adapted from Blue Ginger: East Meets West Cooking with Ming Tsai
2-1/2 pounds skinless, bone-in chicken thighs, fat trimmed
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, finely chopped
3 tablespoons hot Indian curry powder
2 curry leaves or bay leaves
3-4 cups low-sodium chicken stock
3 large yams, peeled and chopped into 3/4 inch cubes
2 cups frozen petite peas
1) Sprinkle salt and pepper on the chicken. Heat oil in large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. When the oil shimmers, add the chicken pieces and brown them well on both sides, about 5 minutes per side. Don't skimp on this step; not only does it add color and flavor, it renders fat.
2) Remove the chicken and pour off excess fat, leaving enough to coat the pot. Add onions, garlic and ginger and sauté until soft, about 6-8 minutes. Stir in curry powder and cook until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. Add 3 cups chicken stock and bay leaves. Scrape the bottom of the pot to loosen any browned bits.
3) Add chicken thighs and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer gently until chicken is tender and pulls apart easily, about 30 minutes. Correct the seasonings to taste. Add yams and additional stock if necessary to just cover yams; cook through, about 20-30 minutes depending on their size. Add peas and heat through, about 1-2 minutes. Serve over jasmine or basmati rice.
Makes 6 servings