West Indian Chicken Curry
- SERVINGS: 6
This curry from Mustique is lighter and brothier than East Indian curries. Set out the colorful accompaniments in small bowls. The chicken needs to marinate overnight, so plan accordingly.
- 3 large onions, coarsely chopped
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup finely chopped garlic
- 1/4 cup coarsely chopped sweet pickled peppers or 2 tablespoons seeded pickled jalapeños
- 1/4 cup Madras curry powder
- 2 tablespoons minced ginger
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped thyme
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped chives
- 3 cups plus 2 tablespoons water
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 9 large whole chicken legs, skinned and cut into drumsticks and thighs
- 2 bay leaves
- For serving: raisins; roasted peanuts; mango chutney; sliced bananas; shredded fresh coconut; diced tomatoes, cucumbers, pineapple and mangoes
- In a large bowl, combine one-third of the onions with 1/4 cup of the oil, the garlic, pickled peppers, 2 tablespoons of the curry powder, the ginger, thyme and chives. Add 2 tablespoons of the water, 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 tablespoon of pepper. Add the chicken and turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate overnight, turning the pieces occasionally. Return to room temperature before proceeding.
- In a casserole, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil. Add half of the chicken and cook over moderately high heat until lightly browned all over, about 5 minutes; transfer to a platter. Repeat with the remaining chicken and add it to the platter.
- Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil and the remaining onions to the casserole and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until lightly browned, 7 to 8 minutes. Sprinkle the remaining 2 tablespoons of curry powder over the onions and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Return the chicken to the casserole and stir to combine. Add the remaining 3 cups of water and the bay leaves and bring to a boil, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom. Cover partially and cook over low heat until the meat is tender, about 40 minutes. Serve hot with the accompaniments alongside.
The strong flavors in the curry call for a concentrated wine with a bit of spice, such as a Minervois Les Barons.