- 1/2 cup tamarind pulp with seeds (4 ounces)
- 1 cup boiling water
- 10 black peppercorns
- 6 dried red chiles, such as Kashmiri or New Mexico, seeded
- 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- One 1 1/2-inch piece of cinnamon stick
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- One 3 1/2-pound chicken, cut into 8 pieces
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 large onion, minced
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 1/2 tablespoons finely grated fresh ginger
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 2 green fresh hot chiles, such as jalapeños, seeded and minced
- 3 cups water
- 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
- In a heatproof bowl, soak the tamarind pulp in the boiling water, covered, until softened, 30 minutes. Strain through a coarse sieve; discard the seeds.
- Meanwhile, in a small skillet, combine the peppercorns, dried red chiles, coriander seeds, cumin seeds and cinnamon and toast over moderate heat until fragrant, 1 minute. Transfer to a spice grinder to cool. Grind to a fine powder.
- Heat the oil in a large enameled cast-iron casserole. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Add half of the chicken to the casserole and cook over moderately high heat until browned, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and repeat with the remaining chicken.
- Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the fat from the casserole. Add the onion and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 6 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, turmeric, ground spices and green chiles. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, 3 minutes.
- Stir the water and the strained tamarind pulp into the casserole. Return the chicken to the casserole and bring to a boil, then simmer over low heat for 20 minutes. Transfer the chicken breasts to a plate. Add the coconut milk and simmer for 20 minutes longer. Transfer the remaining chicken to the plate and simmer the sauce until very flavorful, about 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Return the chicken to the sauce. Simmer the chicken until heated through before serving.
A spicy, fruity Gewürztraminer will harmonize with the sweet, aromatic spices in the curry. Look for a New World bottling from Washington State or Sonoma.
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Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.