My husband's birthday was earlier this week so I've been making dinners that I know he loves to give him a "week of Jim" sort of birthday. He retired from the Navy in 2008 and I remember him talking fondly of the curry dishes he would have whenever he deployed. I have experimented many times making curry. Most were good, but not exceptional. I was looking for real, authentic flavors and heat and I think I've nailed it this time.
There's an Indian grocery in Poughkeepsie that I pass all the time so I decided to stop in there last week to see what I could find to make my curry. They had a couple varieties of curry powder. I picked up some Hot Madras curry powder, Indian red peppers (they look like little tiny super skinny red jalapenos), and fresh curry leaves!
Begin by heating a dutch oven, or a skillet - whichever you have. Heat over medium high heat and add some oil -- preferrably ghee. Season chicken thighs and legs with salt and pepper and sear in the heated oil. Once they're beautifully browned on both sides, remove and set aside.
You shouldn't need any oil as the fat from the chicken has rendered into the pan. Add the following aromatics and vegetables in the heated pan:
3-4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 1/2 to 2 onions, halved and sliced
4-5 Indian red peppers
5-6 curry leaves
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 cups red or gold potatoes, large cubes
2 cups carrots (I use the little mini snack sized carrots and leave them whole or if they're really big, cut them in half)
Saute all of these vegetables together for about 5-10 minutes. When the onions begin to wilt and become transparent, season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the top of the vegetables with curry powder (I used quite a bit to get lots of flavor in there) and half cup flour. Stir everything up and continue to cook for about 5 minutes.
If you're using a dutch oven, return the chicken to the pot. If you aren't, put your vegetables in an oven safe baking dish (that has a lid, perferrably -- or seal tightly with foil). Top the veggies with the chicken. *Note: I also largely diced one tomato and put those on top before putting in the oven.
Add 1 can coconut milk and 2-3 cups chicken stock -- enough to almost cover everything in the pot. Cover with lid or foil and pop in a preheated 300* oven. Let this cook for 2 1/2 to 3 hours. This dish can also be made the day before and reheated. The flavors will be amazing the following day!
Serve over cooked rice. Enjoy!