Saturday, August 8, 2009

Pollo al Curry (Spanish Style Curried Chicken)

Your probably wondering why I referred to this dish as "Spanish Style Curry" well I saw a recipe for this type of curried chicken at Pilar Lechuza's blog, "La Cocina de Lechuza", and based on the many comments from fellow Spaniards it seemed to be a favorite dish, I read many of the variations some commentors had to say. The commonality between all of them was they used garlic, onions, chicken, salt, half and half, and curry powder (Pilars recipe only uses that and is the most basic).

Some variations included adding 1 teaspoon of sweet smoked spanish paprika. Other's in addition to the sweet smoked spanish paprika added cubed apples and raisins for a crunchy and sweet contrast.

Living in Southern California with so many cultures I've had many types of curries (Veitnamese, Indian, Thai, Japanese, and even the Mexican Mole sauces pronounced mol- ay are in a way a type of curry each of these cultures has their own distinct way of preparing it with many variations.

Pilar's recipe appealed to me for it's simplicity, I used her recipe as a guide line but used my own proportions and added 1 heaping teaspoonful of delicious sweet smoked Spanish paprika.

-2 1/2- 3 lbs. boneless, skinless, chicken leg meat (or breasts I have preference for leg meat)
-1/2 head garlic very finely minced, or mashed to paste through mortar or press
-1 large onion finely minced
-extra-virgin olive oil
-2 cups half and half
-1 tablespoon curry powder (I use Madras Curry powder)
-1 teaspoon sweet smoked spanish paprika (optional I love it though)
-salt to taste

(1) Firstly, cube chicken meat into 1 1/2 inch pieces, season with salt to taste, and mix well with all the garlic, set aside to let marinade while you prep everything, or if your in a hurry start browning the chicken. Heat olive oil on medium high heat (high but not super high) and when oil is how brown chicken. After chicken is browned (maybe 10 minutes) set aside.
(2) In the pan drippings, sautee onions until translucent (maybe 6 minutes), add chicken back, throw in curry powder and paprika, stir until the spices are fragrant. Then add half and half, more salt to taste if necessary and incorporate well, when mixture comes to a boil turn off heat your done.
(3) Serve with fluffy white rice. Pilar serves it with some rice that she prepares my heating some olive oil, sauteeing some garlic, adding rice then chicken broth. ( I think)

This dish is very very fatty and rich so be warned if your paranoid of fat. I'm not.