Monday, March 12, 2012

chicken korma

In the spirit of St Patrick's day, I thought it would be appropriate to post a string of recipes from ethnicities that start with I. You know, Sesame Street Style.

Which is why I'm making a lot of Indian food.

It's fitting, right?

This dish is one of my mom's favorites. Mostly mild with just a a touch of cayenne, anything but short on flavor with a sauce loaded with ground almonds, pistachios and cashews (that I swore for the longest time was coconut, and only coconut; I have a lot to learn {yes Dad, sometimes I'm humble}), perfectly paired with a dish of fluffy basmati rice. As with other Indian dishes, judging by the ingredients above the recipe looks super involved. As with other Indian dishes, looks can be deceiving.

The hardest part of the recipe? Remembering to start the recipe early enough so you can marinade the chicken ahead of time. As impatient as I tend to be, I'll be the first to tell you this step is crucial. Take my word for it, and thank me later.

The best part? Nap time after dinner.

Chicken Korma (serves 4-6)

12 skinless chicken thighs
1 cup plain yogurt
1 teaspoon corn starch
1/3 cup blanched almonds
1/3 cup raw cashews
1/3 cup shelled pistachios
2 tablespoons unsweetened desiccated  coconut
1 tablespoon poppy seeds (ideally Indian, but regular work)
2 cloves garlic
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons coriander seeds
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoons saffron
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons oil
1 stick cinnamon (about 3")
6 whole black peppercorns
4 whole cloves
2 1/2 thinly sliced onions
1 lb pearl onions

Pat chicken dry. In a large bowl (ideally plastic or glass, not metal - it affects the flavor), mix together yogurt and corn starch. In a small pan over medium-high heat, toast coriander and cumin seeds for 1-2 minutes. Toss the seeds, plus the nuts, coconut, garlic, cayenne, salt and poppy seeds into a food processor and blend until it forms a smooth paste. Stir the paste into the yogurt, and then toss the chicken in the sauce. Marinade at room temperature for at least 30 minutes, or overnight in the refrigerator. 

When you're ready to cook the chicken, heat the milk and drop saffron in. Set it aside to steep while you cook. In a large pan or wok, saute cinnamon, black peppercorns and cloves in the oil over medium-high heat for 30 seconds to a minute. Add sliced onions and saute for 6-8 minutes until they are soft and begin to brown. Place chicken in the pan in a single layer (make sure you get all the marinade out of the bowl! That's the good stuff). Turn the heat down to medium low and cook, covered, for 15 minutes. Stir occasionally to make sure the sauce doesn't burn. After 15 minutes, add in saffron milk and pearl onions. Cook for another 20-25 minutes, until chicken is fully cooked through. Serve with rice.

Note: when cooking your basmati rice, throw in a few whole cardamom pods for a slightly fragrant flavor (if you have them around).

Check out the other fabulous bloggers participating in recipe madness!
The Cheesefries Stand Alone
Food Feminism Life

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