Northern Indian Chicken Curry
Serving Size / Yield
- 1 whole roaster/fryer chicken, cut into 12 pieces, skin removed
- 3 Tbs. salt
- 4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 C. ghee or clarified butter
- 4 medium onions, sliced
- 3 to 4 Tbs. sugar
- 3 Tbs. minced garlic
- 3 Tbs. minced ginger
- 2 Tbs. minced green jalapeno chili
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 Tbs. Garam Masala (recipe follows)
- 4 C. diced tomatoes
- 1 Tbs. tomato paste
- 1 1/2 lb. boiling potatoes, cut into 2-inch cubes
- 6 C. good-quality canned chicken broth
- Steamed basmati rice, for serving
- Finely chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish
- Garam Masala:
- 1/4 C. dried small red chilies
- 3 Tbs. whole cumin seeds
- 3 Tbs. whole coriander seeds
- 1 Tbs. plus 1/2 tsp. whole cardamom seeds
- 1 Tbs. black peppercorns
- 1/2 Tbs. whole cloves
- 4 cinnamon sticks, each about 3 inches long
- 1/2 Tbs. freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/2 C. ground turmeric
Season the chicken pieces all over with 1 Tbs. salt and 1 tsp. black pepper. Set aside at room temperature.
In a large saucepan, heat the ghee or clarified butter over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté them, stirring constantly, just until they turn glossy, 1 to 2 minutes. Season with the remaining salt, 2 tsp. black pepper and 3 Tbs. of sugar. Continue to sauté, stirring, until the onions have turned soft but have not yet browned, about 5 minutes.
Add the garlic, ginger, jalapeno, bay leaf and Garam Masala. Sauté, stirring, until the spices turn aromatic, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the seasoned chicken pieces, tomatoes, tomato paste, potatoes and 4 C. of the chicken broth. Slowly bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.
As soon as the mixture boils, reduce the heat to maintain a gentle simmer and cook until the chicken is cooked through, about 30 minutes, adding more chicken broth as necessary to keep the curry moist. Taste and adjust the seasonings with salt, pepper and more of the sugar if necessary.
To serve, mound basmati rice on individual serving plates, spoon the chicken and sauce on top, and garnish with cilantro.
To make Garam Masala: In a large sauté pan, combine the dried chilies, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, cardamom seeds, black peppercorns, cloves and cinnamon sticks. Over medium heat, cook, stirring constantly, just until slightly toasted and fragrant, about 1 minute, taking care not to brown the spices. Turn off heat and instantly stir in the grated nutmeg and turmeric.
Immediately transfer to spices to a food processor fitted with a stainless-steel blade. Process, pulsing the machine on and off, until the spices are ground to a fine powder.
Place a fine-meshed strainer over a mixing bowl. Pass the spices through the strainer, discarding any fibers. Let the mixture cool to room temperature. Transfer to an airtight jar and store at cool room temperature. Makes about 1 1/2 C..
Yield: 4-6 servings
(Chef Wolfgang Puck’s TV series, “Wolfgang Puck’s Cooking Class,” airs Sundays on the Food Network. Also, his latest cookbook, “Wolfgang Puck Makes It Easy,” is now available in bookstores. Write Wolfgang Puck in care of Tribune Media Services Inc., 2225 Kenmore Ave., Suite 114, Buffalo, N.Y. 14207.)
©2007 TRIBUNE MEDIA SERVICES, INC.