This is another one from Mark Bittman at the NY Times, and it was a big hit, really gorgeous. He's right - it is much easier than it seems. Though you do have to concentrate when you're measuring out the spices as it uses so many.
Haven't made anything this exotic before, and it opens up a whole new set of possibilities - I'm pretty limited with ordering things like this in restaurants because they're always made with garlic (can't eat it). So am now thinking to try making some Indian dishes too.
Note: Some veggie people on the blog had made it using root vegetables instead of chicken, which seems like a great idea.
Was disobedient in a couple of respects:
- Added at least a cup of water at the beginning - was using a stainless steel pan which tends to stick if you're not super careful, and was sure it would be doomed if I didn't add more liquid. Anyway, it worked out fine.
- Used white meat instead of dark, because it's what we had (about 1lb, cut into small-ish chunks), though maybe should have browned it first?
But did use a real vanilla bean - though looking at the comments on the Times blog, someone raised a question: she just stuck it in there, and so did I, but should we have done something different with it? (e.g. cut it open or something?)Almost didn't bother with the fresh cilantro, but it was worth it - gave the dish a lift, brought out the other flavors, and looked great too.
As usual, was cautious with the salt (just added a little towards the end) and substituted shallots for the garlic.
We served it with Israeli-style couscous, again because that's what we had on hand, but I think the regular kind would have been a bit nicer.
End of step 1
About half-way done
On the plate - cilantro looking pretty