Friday, June 16, 2017

Jill St. John's Chicken Curry Madras-Style

Jill St. John's Chicken Curry Madras-Style

For the stock:
1 small chicken, about 2 to 2 1/2 pounds
4 cleaned chicken feet (optional)
Bottled spring water
1 large peeled yellow onion, cut in chunks
6 bruised peppercorns
Celery leaves from 2 stalks
3 sprigs of parsley
2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon monosodium glutamate
1 teaspoon salt
2 chicken breasts, each weighing about 3/4 pound

Remove breasts from carcass and set aside. Cut rest of chicken into frying-size pieces and place in stock pot with enough water to cover chicken. Add onion chunks, peppercorns, celery leaves, parsley, bay leaves, monosodium glutamate and salt. Cook slowly uncovered about 2 hours. Skim off scum and fat during cooking. Add all chicken breasts. Cover and simmer about 15 minutes or until fork tender. Remove chicken breasts to plate. Cool. Skin and strip chicken from bones. Cut into bite-size pieces. Strain stock and reserve. Use leftover chicken for salads and stuffing.

For the sauce:
5 tablespoons sweet butter
2 small yellow onions, peeled and minced
2 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon curry powder
One hot red Indian pepper, crushed (or cayenne or Tabasco)
Pinch of ground ginger (or coriander or cumin), optional
Salt to taste
1 tart apple (Pippin preferably), peeled and grated
About 2 cups strong chicken stock
1/2 cup heavy cream
Cooked, cut-up chicken breasts
Good squeeze of lemon (about 1 teaspoon)

Melt butter over low heat until foaming; skim off milky substance. Saute onions lightly, blend in flour, cook over low heat 1 minute, stirring. Blend in curry powder (add more as taste dictates), pepper, ginger and salt. Gradually add chicken stock and cream, stirring. Cook over low heat until thick and smooth (about 15 minutes). Correct seasonings, add chicken and lemon. Heat through. Spoon over cooked rice. Serve condiments in side dishes, pass in large tray, allowing each person to choose their own. Serves 4.


Onion Sambal (prepared by mixing minced, salted onion with chopped fresh mint leaves. Marinate a few hours with a little lemon)

Cucumber Bhurta (peeled, very thinly sliced cucumbers squeezed to remove exceed liquid, soaked in a small amount yogurt spiced with crushed red Indian chili or flavor with Tabasco)

Chutney (top quality bottled mango or homemade such as coriander chutney made as follows: Put into blender 4 spring onions, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 red Indian chili [crushed], 2 teaspoons lemon juice, 1 teaspoon curry powder, 2-3 cups fresh coriander leaves, and a pinch of sugar. Blend 1 minute.)

Shredded fresh or packaged coconut, chopped green scallions, pine nuts, toasted slivered almonds, peanuts (peeled), chopped ripe banana (squeeze with a few drops lemon juice to prevent fruit from turning brown), raisins (plumped in water or sauteed in butter), dried currants, tomatoes (peeled and chopped), poppy seeds, grated peeled tart apple (add few drops lemon juice), crisp bacon bits, sieved hard-cooked egg, cauliflower or lime pickle.

Jill's Thoughts: Curry should be flavored according to individual taste. Step up "hotness" by adding more curry, ground ginger, cumin, coriander or mace. Red Indian chili peppers are not to be confused with the Mexican variety. They are small and red. If not available, substitute dried Japanese pepper, cayenne or Tabasco.

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