We love Indian food, particularly chicken recipes that are receptive to spices. The flavor profiles are strong and there are so many variations of a recipe that it is practically impossible to eat the same dish twice even with the identical name. Also, there is a definite bias toward vegetables in Indian cooking which certainly makes for more interesting dining.
People tend to think that Indian food is spicy – as in “hot” spicy – but this is generally not the case. Sure, there are plenty of very spicy dishes like Vindaloo and most any competent Indian chef can add or subtract heat depending on your pain threshold. Personally, I like a hint of fire, but I don’t go overboard because it tends to mask the great and varied flavors in Indian cooking.
One of our “go-to” home recipes is Madras Curry Chicken. We pick up a can of “locally” prepared spices (no preservatives) at Whole Foods (see photo to left) and then simply follow the short recipe on the back of the can. I don’t know if you can find the same spice mix at your local grocer, but I am quite sure you can pick up something similar. In any event, this Madras Curry Blend has the following spices: Turmeric, cumin, garlic, ginger, onion and other spices.
We generally will prepare this quick and delicious meal in the evening served over brown rice with broccoli as a side dish.
West African Chicken Stew
Yield 4 Servings
A delicious but somewhat spicy chicken stew for the Paleo diet. It has quickly become a family favorite. We serve with shredded cauliflower to substitute for rice.
- 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- Salt and ground black pepper
- 1/2 medium onion, diced (about 1/2 cup)
- 1-inch piece fresh ginger, grated (about 1 tablespoon)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
- 1/2 tablespoon ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 cup canned crushed tomatoes
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup sunflower seed butter (no sugar added)
- 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- garnish: minced fresh parsley leaves, sunflower seeds
- Sprinkle the chicken enthusiastically with salt and pepper. Heat a large soup pot over medium-high heat, about 3 minutes. Add coconut oil and allow it to melt. Add the chicken in a single layer and brown well on both sides, about 10 minutes. (Don’t crowd the pan; cook in batches if you need to.) Remove the chicken to a bowl to catch the juices.
- In the same pot, cook the onions and ginger until soft, about 5-7 minutes. Add the garlic, coriander, cayenne, and bay leaf, and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes and water, stirring to combine. Nestle the chicken into the sauce, along with any juices it released. Increase the heat to bring the pot to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook, covered, for 25 minutes.
- Remove the chicken from the pot; it will be very tender. Break the chicken into large pieces with the side of a wooden spoon. Add the sunflower seed butter and vanilla to the pot and mix to combine. Return the chicken to the pot and cover. Heat through, about 5 minutes, then serve, sprinkled with parsley and sunflower seeds.
This recipe is a little spicy but delicious. It can easily be made ahead of time and reheated. This wonderful recipes is from Well Fed 2 by Melissa Joulwan, which features recipes for the Paleo diet.
Found below are some more great chicken recipes:
West African Chicken Stew – Great for the Paleo Diet