"Backstretch Chef"-inspired Curry Chicken

By • January 31, 2011 13 Comments

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Author Notes: You never know what you will come across on the backstretch at Saratoga Race Course. Outside one barn, we stumbled across two fellows cooking up a storm at 9 a.m. At first, considering the hour, we thought it was oatmeal, until we got a whiff. Wow! Curry Chicken! Did that smell great! Even better than the horses! We've toned it down a bit (eliminating the scotch bonnet peppers and adding some fruit) but it cleaves to the original in spirit.
Here's a link to "Backstretch Chef": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ppYoTOt3870


Serves 6-8

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed and chopped
  • 8 good-sized pieces of chicken (breasts, thighs, legs, what-have-you) on sale
  • 5 stems fresh thyme
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons turmeric
  • 1 heaping teaspoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 heaping teaspoon ginger
  • 2 heaping teaspoons cardamom pods, crushed
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cups water, or to cover
  • 6 red potatoes, peeled and chunked
  • 1 6-ounce can tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1 banana, chopped
  • 2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and chunked
  1. Melt butter into vegetable oil in a large pot; add onions, garlic, chicken, thyme, turmeric, coriander, cayenne, cinnamon, ginger, and cardamom and cook, stirring, over high heat for a few minutes.
  2. Add salt, pepper, and water to barely cover, bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer, covered, for about 12 minutes.
  3. Stir in potatoes and tomato paste; cook until water is reduced and potatoes are tender, about 12 minutes
  4. Stir in raisins, bananas and apple and simmer 5 more minutes. Serve with hot brown rice.

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