15 medium dried red chiles, such as Kashmiri, Guajillo or New Mexico, stemmed
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
How to Make It
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.
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