Smoky Indonesian-Style Chicken Curry

Is it just us or does Daylight Savings Time feel like the unofficial kickoff of winter? Evenings are darker, the chill in the air is undeniable and hibernation sounds more and more like the only reasonable way to deal with it. Instead of curling up in a cave, try curling up with a bowl of this aromatic, soul-warming stew. It serves four by itself, but can be stretched to serve eight with the addition of jasmine rice and a side.

5 dried pasilla or New Mexico chiles,
stemmed and seeded
1 small shallot, quartered
2 Tbsp. thinly sliced lemongrass
2 Tbsp. tomato paste
2 Tbsp. sweet smoked paprika
1 Tbsp. minced peeled fresh ginger
1 Tbsp. packed dark brown sugar
1 Tbsp. sambal oelek
1 ½ tsp ground cumin
1 ½ tsp dried coriander
Kosher salt
6 Tbsp. low-sodium chicken broth
8 bone-in chicken thighs (about 3 ¼ lb.),
skin removed
Freshly ground black pepper
1 ¼ lb. waxy potatoes, such as Yukon Gold,
cut into 1-inch pieces (about 3 ½ cups)
½ lb. green beans, trimmed and cut into
1-inch pieces
2/3 cup thawed frozen peas


  • Put the chiles in a medium bowl and cover with boiling water. Set aside to soften for 20 minutes. Drain, then transfer to a blender.
  • Add the shallot, lemongrass, tomato paste, smoked paprika, ginger, brown sugar, sambal oelek, cumin, coriander and 2 tsp salt.
  • Blend the mixture until smooth, drizzling the broth through the hole in the lid and stopping occasionally to scrape down the inside of the blender.
  • Generously season the chicken with salt and pepper and spread evenly with the chile mixture.
  • Layer the potatoes in the bottom of a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker and arrange the chicken in an even layer on top.
  • Cover and cook until the potatoes are fork tender and the chicken is tender, but not falling off the bone (2-3 hours on high or 6 hours on low). If you’re not serving immediately, the curry can stay on the keep-warm setting for up to 3 hours.
  • About 45 minutes before serving, turn the slow cooker to high (if on low or keep-warm setting). Sprinkle the green beans evenly over the top, cover and cook until crisp-tender, about 30 minutes. Add the peas and cook until heated through, about 10 minutes. Stir to combine, season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.

Fine Cooking, February/March 2015