One of my very favourite cookbooks is The Art of Asian Cooking, Recipes from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston one my father gave to me when he was visiting The Tattered Cover bookstore in Denver, Colorado, one year. Every recipe I have tried in here has been no less than utterly delicious.
I thought I’d share this pretty easy recipe for a Burmese chicken curry, or Chet-Tha-Hsi-Byan, as it is called, here, that I had cooked at a dinner party not too long ago. I think cinnamon, bay leaf and soy sauce are my new favourite combo. Okay, here we go!
1 (3lb) chicken cut into 8 pieces
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
3 onions, divided (I diced one and sliced the other two into rings)
4 garlic cloves, divided
1 (1-inch) piece gingerroot
1 1/2 tsp chili powder/2-3 fresh chilies
1/3 cup vegetable/olive/coconut oil
3 bay leaves
1 cinnamon stick
Put chicken pieces in a bowl with soy sauce, salt and turmeric; mix well. Place 1 onion (I diced this), 3 garlic cloves, ginger and chili powder (I like to use fresh chilies if I can) in a blender or food processor and blend to make a paste; rub on chicken. Cut 2 remaining onions (I sliced these into rings, for added fun!) and garlic clove into thin slices.
Heat oil (I used olive oil) in a large pan; add onions and garlic, sautéing 5-10 minutes, or until soft. Add chicken and any leftover paste; sauté 10 minutes until chicken is brown on all sides, stirring constantly. Add bay leaves, cinnamon and enough water to cover chicken; bring to a boil.
Cover; reduce heat and simmer for about 35 minutes, or until chicken is tender and curry sauce thickens. If too much liquid remains, boil uncovered, until reduced. Remove bay leaves and serve hot with rice.