It may not look like it from the picture, but this was really good (taking appetizing pictures of stewed chicken can be mighty tricky).
The library recently acquired a copy of the book 660 Curries by Raghavan Iyer. I checked it out, we made two recipes out of it and promptly bought our own copy. It’s a great book, written in a humorous, comfortable tone and full of a huge selection of curries from all over India. I knew I had to have it when I had counted something like 15 different recipes for okra.
Last weekend at the farmer’s market we were thrilled to find fresh lemongrass at the Hedlin farmstand. This was exciting enough that we searched our cookbooks looking for something that would really show off the flavor, and we landed on this lemongrass-lime leaf chicken curry from the new book. J made it while I was at work, and let me tell you – the house smelled really good when I got home. He also took all these pictures, since I wasn’t around – so yeah, I’m really just the reporter on this one.
First he marinated whole boneless chicken thighs in ginger, garlic and salt. He used the little food processor to pulverize the lemongrass, lime leaf (which we keep in the freezer) and serrano chiles. The chicken was browned in a hot skillet, then the lemongrass paste was added, along with chopped fresh red and yellow tomatoes (from the farmer’s market – no salmonella).
With the pan lid on, the added moisture from the flavor paste and the tomatoes allowed the chicken to braise. The last step was to remove the cooked chicken from the pan and boil down the remaining liquid, then add cream. Once the sauce was thickened, it was poured over the chicken thighs.
The chicken was fragrant and so tender it fell apart just from being touched with a fork. The sauce was gorgeous with basmati rice, not too rich, but redolent with the sharp scent of lemongrass. Lunches were really good for the next couple of days.