6 large shallots, coarsely chopped (1-1/4 cups)

4 large garlic cloves, coarsely chopped

one 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped

3 tablespoons water

one 3-pound chicken, cut into 8 serving pieces, rinsed and patted dry with paper towels


2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 tablespoons curry powder

0ne 14 ounce can unsweetened coconut milk

1-1/2 cups chicken stock or store-bought low-sodium broth

1 jalapeno chile, slit lengthwise in 4 places

one 3-inch cinnamon stick

1 whole clove

1 star anise

3 medium-size Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into eighths

1/3 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro to garnish

cooked white rice to accompany

1. Finely chop shallots, garlic and ginger in a food processor, scraping down the sides frequently. Add water and puree to a paste.

2. Season the chicken with salt. Heat oil in a 5-quart wide pot over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking. Brown chicken in 3 batches, turning occasionally, about 10 minutes per batch. Transfer to a large plate.

3. Reduce heat to moderately low, add shallot paste and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Add curry powder and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add chicken, with any juices accumulated on the plate, and remaining ingredients, cover and simmer very slowly, turning chicken once, until just cooked through, 20 to 25 minutes (if you add more pieces of chicken, or if your chicken pieces are large, increase the braising time).

4. While chicken braises, bring water to a boil in a steamer and steam potatoes until barely tender, about 10 minutes.

5. Transfer chicken to a plate. Simmer sauce, whisking occasionally, until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Discard jalapeno, cinnamon stick, clove and star anise. Add chicken and potatoes and heat through, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve with rice.

adapted from The Gourmet Cookbook

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