While we're all anxiously awaiting Spring, Winter weather is still in our forecast. Cold temperatures and Indian-inflected dishes seem made for each other. This dish, which appeared in last month’s Bon Appetit, really drives that point home. It’s a rich stew full of the aromas of the sub-continent but without most of the heat that gives Indian food its reputation for spice. It’s all in one pot and if you serve it with Naan, that’s all you’ll need. But Basmati Rice would make a great accompaniment too. I’ve been a fan of Indian cooking ever since I was kid and working in London for a summer. Believe it or not, the British national dish is said to be Chicken Tikka Masala, a colonial era import from, where else, India. One thing that seems universal in how Indians prepare chicken is that they inevitably skin the bird. Since I find this a very tedious thing to do, I was pleased to see that our local Whole Foods sells skinned chicken parts. Not just any chicken parts either but air-chilled chicken parts! (To see why that is important you only need read http://www.chewingthefat.us.com/2012/09/vinegar-braised-chicken-on-bed-of-leeks.html.) But as to why Indians always skin their chickens, I went to an expert.
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