i love indian food. i don’t know what it is but i just can’t get enough of it. the thought of cooking it has intimidated me for a while until i saw a video of Martha and Jamie Oliver making this dish. i couldn’t believe how simple it was. i took on the challenge and when i was finished i realized it wasn’t a challenge at all. now i will admit – i did cut a few corners. instead of making my own masala paste, i used Trader Joe’s masala simmer sauce. it is not as thick as paste and i erred in using the entire jar instead of half of it. the liquid in the dish was thinner than it probably should have been but it was still tasty! next time i make this (and i will) i will either make my own masala paste or use just half of the sauce. i also used fresh ginger for the first time. this too has intimidated me but really there was nothing to it. peeling it was simple as can be (i used a spoon to peel it) and the taste was delightfully refreshing.
note: there is no curry in this dish. not even in the masala simmer sauce. i was surprised at this finding. (that was for you, julia.)
you will need:
- 2 tablespoons peanut oil
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 2 medium onions, halved and thinly sliced
- 1 (2-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 small bunch fresh cilantro, leaves removed, stems finely chopped
- 1 jar of simmer sauce (or half cup of marsala paste)
- 4 boneless chicken thighs (any kind of chicken will work)
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes
- 1 (14-ounce) can of coconut milk
heat the peanut oil and butter in a large pot or dutch oven over medium-high heat. add onions, ginger, and chopped cilantro stems. cook, stirring occasionally, until onions soften and golden, about 10 minutes.
add marsala simmer sauce and chicken; stir to coat. season with salt and pepper. add tomatoes and coconut milk. fill one empty can with water and add to skillet; stir to combine. bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. cover and cook, checking sauce occasionally to make sure it does not begin to dry out and adding water, if necessary, until chicken is tender and cooked through, about 20 minutes. *
serve over rice and top with yogurt, cilantro and almond slivers if desired. i skipped that part and dove right in.
* i used frozen chicken thighs because i needed to get rid of them! they weren’t fully cooked after 20 minutes so i let it go a little bit longer. the longer i left the pot on the stove, the more flavorful and tender the chicken became. i think i kept it on for a total of 90 minutes and the chicken was falling off the bone.
besides the one “oopsie” of using too much simmer sauce, i think this dish came out well considering this was the first time i made anything like this. i will now delve into more exotic dishes with less fear after. i can’t wait!