The Splendid Table & Their Chicken Curry with Gentle Spices

Bon Appetempt is all grown up? A few months shy of two years old, and it's old enough to go out and get on the airwaves all by itself. And not just any airwaves—American Public Media's The Splendid Table and an interview with the inspiring Lynne Rossetto Kasper!

I'd previously admired her and Sally Swift's cookbook The Splendid Table's How to Eat Supper at my sister-in-law's house, but the moment after I was contacted by the show, I dropped this in my online shopping cart and pressed BUY. It was time to stop, in culinary-speak, waffling and time to learn how to eat supper.
I was drawn to many of the photographed recipes, but this cozy, mellow curry sounded perfect for the fall weather L.A. was experiencing a few days ago, right before our temperatures skyrocketed.

The Splendid Table's version:

our version:

I like when recipes don't just tell me what to do, but also tell me which parts of the process are a bit more significant than the others. Along the margins of the recipe, in big bold letters, reads: "Also essential to the curry are Steps 2 and 3 in the recipe: sauté the curry paste until the sauce 'breaks' (the oil separates out from the rest of the sauce) and reducing the first addition of yogurt. Please follow the instructions to the letter; in these two steps lies the success of the curry."

And if this is the first time you're making a curry like this, which it was for me, might I recommend that you do it with someone in a nearby room to whom you can continue to ask, "Do you think the sauce has broken?" "Do you really? I'm not sure if it has." But in retrospect, it's pretty obvious when the sauce breaks. It gets all splotchy and well, broken.
This curry was so flavorful. I was thinking of the leftovers all day at work today. And here it is on day two:
The sauce looks a little thicker, no? I would say the first time around, my sauce never really thickened. My guess is that having cooked it in a straight-sided 12-inch sauté pan like the recipe called for would have really helped on this front. Though I can't be sure, I think my nine-inch, curve-sided pan caused the ratio of sauce to surface-of-the-pan to be too high, and so the sauce never really had a chance to kind of dry out before I added the yogurt. Do you know what I mean? Matt says he doesn't know what I mean.

But honestly, thick or thin sauce, we both loved this meal. Twice.

Which brings us to thanking the Splendid Table crew, twice. Once for recognizing my little blog and then again for the curry.

And so for those of you who aren't my facebook friend or following me on Twitter, here's the interview. Enjoy!

Recipe via How to Eat Supper:

1 large onion, cut in half
6 large garlic cloves
One 3-inch piece fresh peeled ginger
generous 1/2 tablespoon blend of ground coriander, ground cumin, and fresh-ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 ground cinnamon
2 medium-sized ripe tomatoes; or 3 or 4 canned tomatoes
1 or 2 jalapenos, stemmed and seeded (or not, if you like it hot) *I used two not seeded and it was fantaaaasticly spicy**
1/2 cup water

cold-pressed vegetable oil
2 cups organic plain whole-milk yogurt
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs (organic if possible), ct into bite-sized pieces
1/3 cup water
salt and fresh-ground black pepper
2 tight-packed tablespoons fresh corander leaves, chopped

1. In a food processor, combine one of the onion halves with the garlic, ginger, spice blend, salt, cinnamon, tomatoes, jalapeno, and the 1/2 cup water. Puree, and set aside.
2. Thin-slice the remaining onion half. Film the bottom of a straight-sided 12-inch sauté pan with the oil, and heat it over medium-high heat. Add the sliced onion, and sauté until it begins to color. Add the curry paste, reduce the heat to medium, and sauté for 10 minutes, stirring often with a wooden spatula, until the oil separates from the curry. Don't rush this step. Thoroughly sautéing the curry paste sets up the foundation of the dish.
3. Blend 2/3 cup of the yogurt into the curry sauce and simmer, stirring and scraping up the curry paste from the bottom of the pan, until the yogurt thickens and then nearly cooks away, 8 to 10 minutes.
4. Stir in the chicken, and add the remaining yogurt and the 1/3 cup water. Bring the mixture to a slow simmer. Cook, uncovered for 8 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and tender.
5. Lift the chicken out of the pan with a slotted spoon, and place it in a serving bowl. Raise the heat until the sauce is boiling. Boil it down until once again it is so thick that the oil separates from the curry paste. Taste the sauce for seasoning, and pour it over the chicken. Sprinkle the curry with the fresh coriander.
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Heather Taylor said...

this looks absolutely delicious and i'm passionate about a good curry. will have to try soon. and mega congrats on SPLENDID TABLE interview! xoxox

Matt said...

This was AWESOME. Possibly even better on the second day? Congrats again on the interview. You were great!!!

Mary Anne said...

this is making me sooooo hungry for curry. i may have to make this as my first official Fall meal.

did you serve with rice?

amelia said...

heather: thank you!!!

mary anne: YES, serve with rice!! it was so good. still thinking about it.

Andrea said...

OK, we're trying this one again. Yours looks amazing!

And your interview was so great! Congratulations!!

Jodi said...

I know exactly what you mean.

Interview was adorable!

Frances said...

Loved the interview, and, upon following it up, felt a great affinity with your style. Hope you don't mind being featured on MY blog!

amelia said...

Frances: thanks so much! loved your thoughtful post. I hadn't heard of the word Marthette and hadn't seen that Jezebel article. All very intersting. And then of course: wow, 47,797 Amelias!

Anabel Fournier said...

Yours looks wonderful!

Kristin said...

Just heard your interview on The Splendid Table and immediately added your blog to my reader - yay for an awesome foodie blog! I was super exccited to hear that you plan on doing more with Saveur, as I am also a devoted Saveur fan. Glad to be aboard for the ride...

The Jar and Staple said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Jar and Staple said...

I just found your blog yesterday, having heard you on The Splendid Table. Wonderful concept, and a really great read!