Chicken Curry

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  • Total: 1 hr 15 min
  • Prep: 15 min
  • Cook: 1 hr
  • Yield: about 4 to 6 main course servi
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5 cloves garlic

One 3-inch chunk peeled, fresh ginger

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1/4 heaping teaspoon whole cloves 

10 green cardamom pods 

8 whole allspice

1 cinnamon stick, broken in half 

1 bay leaf

1 medium yellow onion

2 teaspoons Madras-style curry powder

1/2 jalapeno, or more to taste

3 pounds mixed skinless, bone-in chicken thighs and drumsticks (separated)

1/2 cup whole, peeled, canned tomatoes (with puree), roughly chopped

2 cups cold water

Serving suggestion: Basmati rice and chutney


  1. In a small food processor (mini-chopper), combine the garlic and ginger and puree to a paste. 
  2. Heat the oil in a stew pot or Dutch Oven over medium-high heat. Add the cloves, cardamom, allspice, cinnamon stick, and bay leaf and cook, stirring constantly, until dark and fragrant and the cinnamon stick unfurls, about 30 seconds. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic-ginger paste, curry powder, and jalapeno and cook, stirring, until lightly browned and fragrant, about 1 minute. 
  3. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Add the tomato and chicken and cook, stirring, until the oil begin to separate and there is a distinctive crackling sound as the ingredients "re-fry" in the oil, about 6 minutes. Continue to cook, stirring, until the chicken is lightly browned, about 7 minutes more. 
  4. Add the water and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to maintain a simmer, cover, and stew for 15 minutes. Uncover and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is cooked through and tender and the liquid thickens into a sauce, about 30 minutes more. Transfer chicken curry to a serving bowl and serve with rice and chutney.