Malay-Style Chicken Sweet Potato Stew with Coconut Milk, Ginger, and Chiles

Malay-Style Chicken Sweet Potato Stew with Coconut Milk, Ginger, and Chiles

1/2 cup arrowroot
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 2 1/2 pound chickens, cut up
2 large yellow onions, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons minced fresh chile of your choice
4 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 cup oil (approx)
3 tablespoons minced ginger
5 tablespoons prepared curry powder
2 quarts chicken stock
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk

1. In a small bowl, combine the arrowroot, cayenne, cinnamon, and cloves and mix well.

2. Dredge the chicken pieces in the spiced arrowroot. In a large, wide stockpot, heat the oil over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Add the chicken pieces in a single layer, being careful not to crowd the pan--work in batches if necessary. Cook until well browned, 3 to 4 minutes per side. As the chicken is browned, remove to a platter.

3. Reduce the heat to medium, add the onions, and cook until they just begin to color, about 5 minutes. Add the ginger, garlic, curry powder, and chile and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute more. Add the stock, the browned chicken, and the sweet potatoes, return to a simmer, and cook for about an hour, covered, until a peek inside one of the pieces of chicken shows that it is cooked through.

4. Add the coconut milk and continue to cook for 1 minute. Remove from the heat, add the cilantro, mix well, and serve. Serves 6 to 8 as an entree.

From: Big Flavors of the Hot Sun by Chris Schlesinger and John Willoughby
Adapted from: Bob Terwilliger in on June 4, 2009.
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