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Nick’s chicken curry



2 litres water
8 chicken legs
100ml vegetable oil
1 large onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 thumb-size piece ginger, finely chopped
1 tablespoon garam masala
1 tablespoon turmeric
1 tablespoon curry powder
800ml coconut milk
200g crème fraiche
½ bunch mint, leaves picked and chopped
½ bunch coriander, leaves picked and chopped
2 tbsp. chopped peanuts or pine nuts
Basmati rice
800g basmati rice (soaked in water for 15 minutes)
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
2 red onions, sliced
2 bay leaves
5 cloves
½ cinnamon stick
7 cardamom pods


Put the chicken legs in a saucepan and cover completely with at least 1 litre water. Add a little salt and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 15-20 minutes, skimming off any foam that rises to the surface. Test to check if the chicken is cooked by removing one of the legs and twisting it – if the bone pops out the meat is ready. Remove the remaining legs with a slotted spoon and leave to cool. Strain the cooking water into another pan – this now becomes the stock for the rice. Once cool enough to handle pick the meat from chicken, discarding the skin and bones. Place in a bowl and cover tightly with cling film. Set a large pan with the vegetable oil over a low heat and add the onion, ginger and garlic. Cook until the onions have softened but not coloured, then stir in the spices and a pinch of salt. Cook for five minutes, stirring often, then pour in 500ml chicken stock and reduce to around 100ml. Add the coconut milk, bring to the boil and cook for 5 minutes more until thickened.  Whisk in the crème fraiche and set aside. To cook the rice, bring 800ml of the chicken stock that you made earlier to the boil. In a separate large saucepan heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil over a medium heat. Add the red onion, cloves, cardamom, cinnamon and bay leaf and cook for 3-4 minutes. Tip the soaked rice into the pan and stir well to coat. Carefully pour in the hot chicken stock and simmer for 15 -20 minutes, stirring every few minutes, until the rice is cooked. Drain well. Just before you’re ready to serve add the chicken to the pan with the curry sauce and reheat. Serve the chicken curry and rice garnished with the chopped herbs.


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