Curries of all types are popular in California and have been for decades. In the forties and fifties, they formed the theme for dinner parties known as "curries." Today, the approach is less kitschy and more traditional, as ingredients for South Asian, Southeast Asian, and Caribbean curries have become readily available in most areas. Curries should be served with condiments that offer contrasts in taste and texture. Include a sweet chutney, along with yogurt, raisins, and roasted peanuts, if you like. Serve with Steamed Rice or Jasmine Rice.
Serves 4 to 6
2 tablespoons curry powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
Pinch of ground cardamom
1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour
2 boneless and skinless chicken breasts, cut in half
3 to 4 boneless and skinless chicken thighs
3 tablespoons clarified butter
1 large yellow onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 serrano or jalapeño chilies, stemmed and minced
3/4 cup chicken stock
1 cup coconut milk
Mix together in a small bowl the curry powder, cumin, turmeric, cayenne, and cardamom. Place half of the mixture and the flour in a plastic or brown paper bag and shake to blend well. Cut the chicken into bite-size pieces and add the chicken, in 2 batches, to the bag of spices, shaking each time to coat the chicken thoroughly. Place the chicken in a shallow bowl and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 3 hours before cooking.
Heat the clarified butter in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, and cook it until it is very soft and fragrant, about 15 minutes. Add the garlic and chilies, and cook for 2 minutes more. Stir in the remaining spice mixture, and add the chicken. Increase the heat to medium-high, and cook the chicken, stirring occasionally, until it begins to turn opaque. Add the stock, reduce the heat to low, and simmer, covered, for about 20 minutes, until the chicken is fully cooked. Stir in the coconut milk, and season with salt. Remove from the heat, and serve immediately.
From: California Home Cooking
by Michele Anna Jordan
Harvard Common Press
$16.95 paperback, ISBN: 1-55832-119-5
$29.95 hardcover, ISBN: 1-55832-118-7
illustrated, 528 pages, 1997
Recipes and photos reprinted by permission.
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This page originally published as part of the electronic Gourmet Guide between 1994 and 1998.
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This page modified February 2007
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