Thursday, 25 November 2010

Goan Chicken Curry with Roasted Wings, Crispy Skin and Indian Flatbreads Recipe

An authentic adaptation of a curry from the west coast. The addition of the wings worked out great with the roasted meat flavour contrasting the delicate, creamy, spiced curry. The crispy skin adds a new texture whilst the slightly charred breads are the perfect edible mop for that sauce. However, if this all looks a bit much, the curry on its own served with Basmati Rice is well worth your time.


Spice set 1

3 dried red chilies or more if you like it really hot
½ tsp turmeric
½ tsp garam masala
1 tsp ground cumin powder
1 tsp ground coriander powder
salt, to taste

Spice Set 2

2 tbsp desiccated shredded coconut (unsweetened)
3 cloves
7 black peppercorns
1 stick of cinnamon
2 cardamom pods, crushed (use inner seeds only)

The rest of the curry ingredients

4-6 Chicken Thighs, skin on and bone left in
4 Chicken Wings
1 medium onion, grated
3 large garlic cloves grated fine
1” piece of ginger grated fine
300ml proper full-fat coconut milk (don’t mess about with reduced fat stuff, it is rubbish)
1 ½ tsp tamarind pulp, soaked and mashed into ¼ cup of boiling water. Strain this brown juice through a sieve and set aside
2 tbsp oil, vegetable oil or groundnut oil
A large handful freshly chopped coriander
Salt and Pepper to season again if needed
½ tsp Garam Masala

Preheat oven 200c

For the Flatbreads (Chapattis)…

140g Chapatti Flour
85ml tepid water
1 Tbsp Butter or Ghee
½ tsp Salt

Put all of the ingredients into a large bowl. Add the water bit by bit, stirring until you have a non-sticky dough, knead by hand for 10 mins or in a food mixer for 3 or 4 minutes. Form into a ball, wrap in cling and set aside to rest. (Yes, Chapatti dough gets tired when you beat it up).

Take off golf ball sized pieces from your dough and roll them into thin pancake sized discs. Heat a large non-stick frying pan on a very high heat and place the flatbread in the pan (no oil required here, it’s all done dry). Leave it until air pockets start to appear and expand on the top side. This means it’s ready to flip. Flip it and cook the other side for a further minute, pressing out the bubbles. Remove, cover with foil to keep warm (and to stay soft) and repeat the process for the other 3.

For the Goan Chicken Curry, Wings and Skin…

Grind together spice set 1 into as fine a powder as possible using a pestle and mortar or coffee grinder, set aside until needed. Do the same for spice set 2 and set aside in a separate container.

Heat a casserole pot or large wok. When searingly hot, add your oil and the chicken thighs (skin side down). You may need to do them in two batches. Season them with salt. Leave the skins to brown nicely, when they stop sticking as much, turn them over and cook the bottom for a further minute. Remove. Brown the chicken wings all over in the same pan as the thighs and season them with salt as you go. Once they are browned, place only the wings in the oven at 200c for about 15 minutes.

When the chicken things are cool enough to handle, peel the golden skin away and place the skin in the baking tray with the chicken wings (softer side down). Leave the thighs to one side. Season the skin with a small amount of salt. Bake for about 15 minutes with the wings. Make sure you have everything ready for your curry so that the curry is complete at the same time the wings/skin are ready to come out of the oven.

In the same pan, add a little more oil if needed. Add the onion. Sweat on a low heat in the chicken juices (from the browning process) for about 5 minutes. Add the ginger and garlic, cook for a further 2-3 mins. Add spice set 1 to the pan. Stir and let the spices cook very gently for a few minutes before adding the chicken pieces along with spice mix 2. Coat all of the chicken pieces with the spices and aromatics by stirring.

Now add the coconut milk, bring to a light boil, reduce the heat, stir thoroughly, cover and let simmer for about 5 minutes. Then add the strained tamarind juice you made earlier. Keep stirring every now and then as you simmer for a further 10 minutes to reduce the sauce and get a more intense flavour. The chicken will remain moist as the thighs have a better marbling of fat than the breast. Turn the heat off and stir in ¾ of your chopped coriander along with the ½ tsp Garam Masala. TASTE the curry. Check the seasoning. If it could do with more salt, add more. Seasoning bit by bit as you go is the best way to keep a handle on this aspect of any dish.

Serve with Basmati rice and the Chapattis. Place the crispy chicken skin on your rice and your wings on top of the curry, drizzled with a little more of the sauce. Sprinkle everything with the remaining chopped coriander and enjoy something that will leave your local Indian bereft of your custom indefinitely… or at least for tonight.

Flatbread with an air pocket ready to be flipped

The finished dish. I know, it looks like a whole chicken. The wings have just been strategically placed.

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