You may or may not know this- but I really, really like Indian food. The colors of the spices used in Indian dishes turmeric, basil, lemongrass, fresh coriander, saffron-just to name a few, are not only vibrant in color, they also add a depth of intense flavors to the dish. If you want to see a list check out this link http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Indian_spices.
My Sunday Dinner Plate was originally titled Sweet and Sour Chicken- but I think of those Chinese food take-out places that give you a sticky sweet sour sauce in a Styrofoam cup with fried chicken nuggets. This recipe did not even resemble that. I renamed it to capture 1. the audience and 2. present an image other than what we know from take-out places.
It was AMAZING. I changed the recipe to show more of what I had on hand, yet also tried to keep the flavors of the Indian dish. I thought it was an easy dish for the average cook. It was also economical. I will show the adaptations in parenthesis. Check it out and tell me what you think.
4 chicken leg quarters
5 long red chili peppers (any kind will work), seeded and chopped
2 tsp Dried red Chili flakes
2 stalks of Lemongrass (can substitute ginger and lemon juice-not as great but will work in a pinch)
2 garlic cloves, chopped
5 Shallots. sliced
1-15 oz can coconut milk (lite or unsweetened)
Red Curry Paste (my addition-cause I had on hand and wanted to use it- you can can use this if you do not want to go to the trouble of chopping and blending peppers, garlic and shallots).
salt and pepper
Salt and pepper chicken and place in skillet with 2 Tbls. oil and sauté for 10 minutes or until browned on each side. Once done, place on a plate and set aside.
Combine chili peppers, garlic, lemongrass, and 2 shallots and purée. Add Puree to skillet and cook for about 5 minutes. Add Curry paste if you have. Add the coconut milk, stir in and add chicken to the skillet and completely cook until chicken is done. I would occasionally spoon sauce over the chicken.
While chicken is cooking, slice the remaining 3 shallots. In a small saucepan add 4 tablespoons oil and heat on medium high. Add shallots to oil and fry for at least 5-7 minutes or until browned.
Serving Suggestions: Rice. Plate Rice, then chicken and sauce and top with crunchy shallots. Enjoy!!!