Nigerian Chicken Curry

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There are curry variants all over the world, often in seemingly unlikely places, like Japan.  (Here is a good example of a Japanese curry:  Japanese Retro Beef Curry )  A week ago, the Wall St. Journal published a recipe for a Nigerian curry in their “Slow Food Fast” series, which means that it is suitable for a weeknight dinner.  The original recipe includes fried plantains as a side dish, and that is what is shown in the photo.  Carol and I both agreed that the plantains were OK, but did not really add anything to the meal.  Maybe that just shows that we did not grow up eating plantains.  In any event, here is how to make it, excluding plantains.

2 lbs. chicken thighs

3 Tbs. vegetable oil

1 red bell pepper, diced

1 red onion, diced

1 plum tomato, diced

2 Tbs. tomato paste

7 cloves garlic, chopped

1 Tbs. finely chopped peeled ginger

1 Scotch Bonnet (habanero) chili, stemmed

2 Tbs. curry powder (I used a Jamaican brand)

Salt to taste

Season the chicken thighs

Put in the bell pepper, onion, tomato, tomato paste, garlic, ginger, chili, and curry powder into the bowl of a food processor.  Puree it into a smooth paste.

Heat the oil in a large pot, and saute the chicken thighs until browned on both sides.  Remove the chicken to a plate.  Add the pureed vegetables and spices, and cook until fragrant, scraping the bottom of the pan to release any browned bits.  Return the thighs to the pot and stir them into the sauce.  Cover, and simmer until the chicken is tender, about 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Check for seasoning.  Serve with white rice.

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