Curries can often be intimidating to prepare but not this one!
As we all know, divorce is a messy business. After all the emotional turmoil the practicalities also have to be dealt with. In terms of possessions, who gets what? For once, there was no petty squabbling and I took what I felt was rightfully mine and set up shop in a new house.
Six months later after a hectic week of responsibilities, routines and the daily hogwash that comes with it, I sat down in front of my computer. The kids have been picked up by their father and I had the weekend all to myself. Bliss. There was one thing in particular I was looking forward to and that was a chilled bottle of sweet German wine in the fridge. I’m more of a cider kind of a girl, an incredibly cheap date and only have about two drinks a month on average. These days the sexiest thing in my life is my bed but I do enjoy romantic walks to the fridge far too often. On this special occasion I opened the door, took out the ice cold bottle, fetched myself a glass and then… realised I had no bottle opener. I could have wept. One half-hearted attempt was made by sticking a wooden skewer into the cork, but alas, to no avail. Inconsolable, I called it an early night and went to bed, infinitely depressed.
Guess what I did first thing the next morning? I got very happy the next night.
A bottle opener wasn’t the only thing I realised was missing from my life. Sometimes I do some batch cooking and have a huge Le Creuset pot to make about 40 portions of food in. However, this is not always suitable for some dishes, e.g. lamb shanks. Can you imagine cooking 30 of them at once? Oh, and talk about the cost! No, lamb shanks once a while would do. Therefore, I was eternally grateful when Viking sent me a 5 litre Chasseur casserole dish for now I can make stews on a smaller scale.
In photos you’ll see the Chasseur pot with a black knob. Be warned that it will only stand a certain amount of heat before shattering. A brass knob came along with it and I immediately swapped it. One less thing to worry about. Quite honestly, I can’t tell the difference between Le Creuset and Chasseur. Only that the latter does its job equally well at about half the price of the former.
As for the chicken curry, it is super easy to make. If you love cinnamon, you can buy high quality sticks here. You can substitute the drumsticks with just thighs or chicken breast, or chop up a whole chicken or two for variety. If you like chunky sauces, don’t chop the onions, garlic and ginger mixture too finely. I prefer smooth sauces, that’s why I blended mine to oblivion. If you can’t get hold of fresh tomatoes, use passata or chopped tomatoes instead. Media’s modern recipes always make such a big deal that they’re quick to prepare. Trust me, cook the chicken slow and the meat will fall off the bone. The curry turned out with ample sauce, perfect to douse rice with or dip naan in.
That’s all for now, folks. Enjoy!
Cook More Curries At Home
- The Curry Secret: How to Cook Real Indian Restaurant Meals at Home
- The New Curry Secret
- How To Make British Indian Restaurant (BIR) Style Meals
- Rick Stein’s India
- Serves: 8
- Serving size: 300g
- Calories: 564
- Fat: 30g
- Saturated fat: 7g
- Unsaturated fat: 20g
- Trans fat: 0
- Carbohydrates: 18g
- Sugar: 6g
- Sodium: 477mg
- Fiber: 3g
- Protein: 52g
- Cholesterol: 204mg
- 60ml (4 tbsp) vegetable oil
- 12 cloves
- 8 green cardamom pods
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 4 onions
- 8 garlic cloves
- 8cm fresh ginger
- 10ml (2 tsp) ground turmeric
- 40ml (8 tsp) ground coriander
- 20ml (4 tsp) ground cumin
- 5ml (1 tsp) red chilli powder
- 150ml (5fl oz) water
- 500g (1lb) fresh tomatoes, whizzed in a blender
- 2kg (16) chicken drumsticks
- 500ml (1pt) chicken stock
- coriander leaves for decoration
- salt and freshly ground pepper
- Preheat the oven to 140°C/275°F/gas mark 1.
- Heat the oil in a large, lidded pan and, when hot, add the cloves, cardamom pods and cinnamon stick. Fry for about 3-4 minutes over a medium heat until you can smell their released aromas.
- Place the onions, garlic and ginger in a blender and chop to desired consistency.
- Add the onion mixture to the pan and fry for 10-15 minutes then stir in the ground spices and cook for 2 minutes.
- Pour in the water and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
- Add the blended tomatoes and cook for 10 minutes before adding the chicken pieces. Turn up the heat until the contents start bubbling gently.
- Place the pot in the oven and cook for 3 hours.
- [Optional] If you’d like the sauce to be a bit thicker, you can remove the cooked chicken, then thicken the sauce with cornstarch slurry.