This is a quick version of a spicy tomato chicken curry, a tangy and piquant dish for a cold night that’s terrific over white rice or couscous, with a cucumber salad on the side. This nods to traditional Indian curries, but it doesn’t go through the more labor-intensive steps of creating a real curry. It still gives you that fresh, spicy taste, though, with tender chicken and warm flavors.
BAKE TIME: 55 minutes
- 2 pounds (910 g) boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) vegetable oil, plus extra
- 2 medium onions, diced
- 6 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 piece (3 inches, or 7.5 cm) of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
- 2 tablespoons (12 g) curry powder
- 1 tablespoon (7 g) garam masala
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 whole dried red chile (optional)
- 1 can (6 ounces, or 170 g) of tomato paste
- 2 cans (14.5 ounces, or 410 g each) of diced tomatoes, with their juices
- 2 teaspoons salt
1. Preheat the oven to 325°F (170°C, or gas mark 3).
2. Cut the chicken into 1-inch (2.5 cm) pieces and pat it dry. Toss with salt and pepper.
3. Put the Dutch oven on the stove over medium-high heat and add a drizzle of the vegetable oil. When the oil is hot, add the chicken and lightly sear it on all sides, in batches if necessary. Remove the chicken from the pot with a slotted spoon and set aside.
4. Add the remaining vegetable oil to the pot and when it’s hot, add the onions. Turn the heat to medium and cook the onions, stirring frequently, until they are tender and translucent, about 8 minutes.
5. Add the garlic, ginger, curry powder, garam masala, cinnamon stick, bay leaf, and chile pepper, if using. Sauté the spices with the onions for about 5 minutes and then add the tomato paste. Sauté for another minute or two and then return the chicken to the pot. Pour the tomatoes over the top and bring to a simmer. Stir in the salt.
6. Cover the pot and bake for 45 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and tender. Remove the lid and cook for an additional 10 minutes to let the sauce thicken slightly. Serve hot.