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Name:Grilled Chicken Vindaloo Contributor:Martin Golding
Description:A vile American corruption of a lovely English adaptation of a traditional Indian dish Posted:1998-07-05
Key words:chicken, Indian, grilled Category:Main Dishes
ID:435 Updated:2005-11-28 00:29:16
Ingredients:Curry paste:
1/4 medium onion
1 Tbsp garlic powder, or a handful of garlic cloves (1)
3 Tbsp vindaloo curry powder (2)
1 tsp cayenne to taste (OPTIONAL (3))
juice of 1/2 lemon, or 2 Tbsp vinegar
1 Tbsp olive oil

4 boneless skinless chicken thighs (4)

Curry sauce:
1 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp flour
1 c milk
1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
Preparation:Process the onion (and fresh garlic, if used) until smooth. Add the rest of the paste ingredients, and blend well.

Smear the paste thoroughly over the chicken, leave to marinate. A few minutes is enough, more is better. This is the kind of thing that whips together well as one is doing tonight's dishes, so ones tomorrow's dinner can lurk redolently in the fridge all day.

When the grill is hot, shake or scrape the excess marinade off the chicken and reserve. Toss the chicken onto the grill. Meantime, heat 1 tablespoon butter in a saucepan until bubbling begins to subside, sprinkle in flour and stir until smooth, then add the reserved curry paste. Keep stirring until the paste gets dry enough to sizzle and begins to smell redolent of spices (but don't forget to turn the chicken), then add milk and salt to taste. Simmer gently while the chicken finishes.

Turn the chicken onto a platter, the sauce into a sauceboat, and serve. If you had started a batch of rice before you had begun, it would be done just about now.


(1) If you're not passionate about fresh garlic, dehydrated garlic helps to thicken the paste. And it's easier to peel.

(2) I've made my own vindaloo curry powder from an English recipe. It takes a great deal of toasting and grinding and sieving, and is only slightly better than Penzey's, pound bags of which they will happily rush you by air courier. What a Country(tm)!

(3) Classic vindaloo *hurts*. So it's at least entirely proper, if not nearly mandatory, to add enough cayenne to the mix to bring strong men to their knees. However, this dish is already a vile corruption, so if one is feeling kind and generous towards ones guests, or is simply not feeling up to engaging in battle with ones dinner, one need not. Generally, we don't.

(4) Skin-on chicken pieces don't absorb nearly as much flavor, and take a great deal more care to cook. Skinless breasts cook dry, and lack flavor. We make most of our chicken things out of frozen boneless skinless thighs, your preferences may certainly vary.
Notes:I am reasonably sure that the 'aloo' in 'vindaloo' means potatoes. So to properly call this vindaloo, one ought to parboil a couple of large potatoes, toss them with the curry paste or a little extra vindaloo powder, and grill them along with the chicken. We haven't, but someday we might.

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