Sunday, October 21, 2012

Chicken with an Almond Yogurt Sauce

I'm a little behind and light on recipes this week thanks to an unwelcome head cold. Colds pretty much kill my appetite and interest in food, so when I tell you that I cannot stop thinking about how wonderful this dish is, you should probably take that as a strong compliment. The sauce is incredibly rich and hits with a strong dose of lovely cardamom flavour. I made a half recipe using only thighs and drumsticks.

One year ago: Braised Potatoes with Garlic and Bay Leaves
Two years ago: Tomato, Semolina, and Coriander Soup
Three years ago: Kung Pao Chicken

Chicken with an Almond Yogurt Sauce (from 660 Curries)

1/4 cup plain yogurt
2 tbsp ginger paste
1 tbsp garlic paste
1 chicken, skin removed, cut into 8 pieces
2 tbsp canola oil
1/2 tsp whole cloves
1/2 tsp black peppercorns
6 green or white cardamom pods
3 black cardamom pods
3 cinnamon sticks
2 bay leaves
1 medium red onion, cut in half and thinly sliced
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1 1/2 tsp coarse salt
1/2 tsp cayenne
2 tbsp finely chopped cilantro

1. Combine yogurt, ginger paste, and garlic paste. Place chicken in large bowl and smear mixture over chicken. Refrigerate covered for 1 hour - overnight.
2. Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle in cloves, peppercorns, both cardamom pods, cinnamon sticks, and bay leaves. Cook until they sizzle and smell aromatic, 1 - 2 minutes.
3. Add onion and cook until light brown, 5 - 7 minutes.
4. Transfer onion and spices to a blender. Add 1 cup water, almonds, salt, and cayenne. Puree until you form a paste.
5. Place chicken and marinade in skillet and cook over medium-high until meat is lightly browned, 4 - 6 minutes each side.
6. Add onion paste to skillet.
7. Pour 1/2 cup water into blender jar to get the last of the paste and add to skillet.
8. Bring mixture to a bubble, then reduce heat to medium-low and cover. Cook until chicken is done, 15 - 20 minutes.
9. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve.

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