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Madras Curried Chicken

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    (shown with Spicy Basmati Vegetable Pulao)

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    Chicken simmering in a spicy Madras curry sauce makes a perfect main Diwali dish. Serve with assorted Indian breads and fluffy basmati rice—you’ll be less tempted to reach for the sugary sweets.

    Madras Curry Powder

    2 Tbsp (30 mL) fennel seeds
    2 Tbsp (30 mL) coriander seeds
    1 Tbsp (15 mL) cumin seeds 
    1 Tbsp (15 mL) fenugreek seeds
    2 tsp (10 mL) black peppercorns 
    5 whole green cardamom seeds
    4 whole cloves 
    1 small cinnamon stick, broken into pieces
    1 Tbsp (15 mL) turmeric

    Ginger Onion Purée

    1 in (2.5 cm) ginger root, peeled and coarsely chopped
    1 large onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
    6 garlic cloves 
    2 fresh red Thai chilies, ends removed

    Chicken

    1 Tbsp (15 mL) coconut oil
    6 organic chicken breasts, bone-in, skinned 
    Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
    1 - 28 oz (796 mL) can diced tomatoes and juice
    1 cup (250 mL) low-sodium chicken stock
    2 fresh bay leaves
    Splash of seasoned rice vinegar
    1 large handful fresh cilantro, finely chopped
    1 large handful fresh mint leaves, finely chopped

    For Madras Curry Powder, combine all spice ingredients except turmeric in dry frying pan. Toast over medium heat for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring steadily, until they begin to slightly smoke and release an aroma. Transfer to bowl to cool.

    Place Madras spice in spice grinder and grind to a fine powder. Remove to bowl and stir in turmeric. Set aside.

    To make Ginger Onion Purée, combine ginger, onion, garlic, and whole chilies in blender and process into a paste. Add splash of water if needed.

    For chicken, preheat oven to 350 F (180 C). Heat oil in sauté pan. Season chicken with salt and pepper and sear in hot oil for a couple of minutes, or until golden on all sides. Move to large casserole dish or roasting pan and place in single layer. Set aside.

    Reduce empty sauté pan heat to medium-low. Drain out chicken fat. Add Ginger Onion Purée to sauté pan, along with Madras Curry Powder, and gently fry over medium-low heat until blended and aromatic, about 2 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, stock, and bay leaves. Bring to boil. Pour over chicken. Cover tightly and place in preheated oven. Bake for 45 minutes, turning breasts halfway through baking until very tender when tested with fork.

    Place chicken on separate plate and cover to keep warm. Boil pan juices until thickened as you like. Taste and add rice vinegar.

    To serve, place chicken on each plate or in large shallow bowl. Spoon thickened sauce overtop. Combine chopped cilantro and mint and sprinkle overtop.

    Serve with chapatis or naan bread.

    Serves 4.

    Each serving contains: 120 calories; 18 g protein; 4 g total fat (2 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 5 g total carbohydrates (1 g sugars, 1 g fibre); 189 mg sodium

    source: "Celebrate Diwali", alive #373, November 2013

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    Madras Curried Chicken

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