Coconut Curry Chicken
- SERVINGS: 6 TO 8
The recipe makes ample sauce for spooning over vegetables, rice or noodles.
- 15 medium dried red chiles, such as Kashmiri, Guajillo or New Mexico, stemmed and seeded
- 1 cup boiling water
- 10 medium garlic cloves, halved
- 3 stalks of fresh lemongrass, tender white inner bulbs only, minced
- One 3-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
- 2 medium shallots, chopped
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro stems and leaves, plus sprigs for garnish
- 1 tablespoon dried shrimp paste
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- Three 14-ounce cans unsweetened coconut milk
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1/2 cup Asian fish sauce
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 8 whole chicken legs, separated
- In a medium heatproof bowl, soak the dried chiles in the boiling water until softened, about 20 minutes. Drain well, reserving the soaking liquid. In a food processor, combine the chiles, garlic, lemongrass, ginger, shallots, chopped cilantro, shrimp paste, curry powder and salt and process to a smooth paste.
- Skim 1 cup of the thick cream from the top of the canned coconut milk. In a large enameled cast-iron casserole, cook the coconut cream over moderate heat, stirring, until it becomes oily, about 5 minutes. Add the chile paste and fry over moderately high heat, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the chicken stock, fish sauce, soy sauce and sugar. Stir in the reserved chile soaking liquid and the remaining coconut milk and bring to a boil. Add the chicken and simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, until cooked through, about 30 minutes. Serve the chicken curry garnished with cilantro.