Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Recipe: Chicken Korma v 1.0

When it comes to Indian cuisine, we're suckers for a good chicken tikka masala. As often as we return to that familiar, favorite stand-by, we also do enjoy branching out. Today's recipe for chicken korma—with an almond-and-cashews-based sauce—is a good case in point.

At the recommendation of a co-worker, we headed to the town of Fishkill, New York to Tanjore Cuisine of India. In addition to two orders of tikka masala—one mild for the girls and one medium for us—we also placed an order for chicken korma. In short, it was delish: a smooth, creamy sauce of cashews and almonds; perfectly moist chicken; rich flavors. We knew we'd have to develop a version of our own.

Today's recipe is the first iteration of that process. I'm calling it version 1.0, because I anticipate there being a future, updated-and-improved version. Not that this version is inferior in any way, but we're going to continue to tweak it in search of a very particular flavor profile. But in the meantime, there's no reason why we—and you—can't enjoy the recipe as is.

Chicken Korma
Makes 6 servings

1 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken, cubed
1/4 cup cashews
1/4 cup blanched almonds
1/2 cup boiling water
1 onion, sliced
3 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp ginger, minced
1 1/2 tsp ground coriander
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1 1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp garam masala
3/4 cup diced tomato (fresh, canned, or frozen)
1 cup GF chicken broth
1 cup heavy cream

1. Lightly salt the chicken and cook over medium-high heat until it is cooked through. Add a tbsp of olive oil to the pan if necessary.
2. Meanwhile, soak the nuts in the boiling water for 15 minutes. Then, puree the nuts and hot water together in a food processor or blender until smooth.
3. When the chicken is done, remove from the pan. Add the 3 tbsp olive oil and onions to the pan and cook over medium heat until the onions are very soft, about 10 minutes.
4. Add the garlic and ginger, and cook until fragrant.
5. Add the spices, and cook for one minute.
6. Add cream, tomato, chicken stock, pureed nuts and water. Bring to a simmer, and cook for 10 minutes. Then use an immersion blender to puree the sauce until smooth.
7. Add the chicken back in, and simmer an additional 10 to 20 minutes, until you reach the desired consistency and flavor intensity.
8. Serve over Basmati rice.

If desired, garnish with chopped/crushed cashews.

Degrees of Free-dom
This recipe is: gluten-free, egg-free, peanut-free, fish-free, shellfish-free, corn-free, soy-free, refined-sugar-free.

Nutrition Info
Per serving (does not include Basmati rice): 400 calories, 28g fat, 8g carbs, 30g protein, 105mg sodium, 2g dietary fiber, 0g sugars, plus at least 60% RDA niacin, at least 30% RDA vitamin B-6, phosphorous, and selenium, and at least 10% RDA vitamins A and E, copper, iron, manganese, magnesium, riboflavin, and zinc.


- Pete

Recipe nutrition info approximate, calculated using SparkRecipes.


M Smith said...

When do the nuts get added back to the chicken? Is that the 'cream' reference in the instruction?

peterbronski said...

Hi M Smith... The nuts are right there in step 6: Add the cream, tomato, chicken stock, pureed nuts and water. The cream refers to the heavy cream in the ingredients list.

Cheers, Pete

gfe--gluten free easily said...

I bet this dish is wonderful, Pete! I know what you mean about continuing to tweak when you have something in mind though. It's better to share though (thank you!), because sometimes life takes on its own schedule and it can take quite a while to get to the version you are really going for. ;-) I'm sure that this dish could be made dairy free, too, by subbing a coconut milk/coconut cream combo for the cream. :-)


peterbronski said...

Hi Shirley... You're absolutely right! This dish could easily be made dairy-free with a sub as you propose! (In fact, we've made a lot of dairy-free coconut curries lately...)

Cheers, Pete

Lady Susan said...

We made this the other night and it was great. Thanks! As we are doing GAPS (grain free and cultured dairy only), I used homemade creme fraiche in place of the cream and served it over cauliflower "rice."

I am thinking it might be nice with just a touch of heat though.

peterbronski said...

Hi Lady Susan... So glad you enjoyed the recipe! We have an improved version 2.0 coming soon. I'm often an advocate for more heat in dishes such as this, though lately we've been keeping things mild for our young girls. Feel free to kick it up, of course!

Cheers, Pete