Friday, July 27, 2007

Curried Black Chicken

Black chickens are slightly intimidating to cook. They generally are sold with beaks and claws attached. They have black skin and bones and their flesh is soft and gamey in flavor. The Chinese have been eating them forever and use them for their medicinal qualities. They are super high in anti-oxidants and are usually made into a broth that supposedly cures all kinds of ailments.

Okay, all of that aside. These birds are truly delicious. They taste like a cross between duck and pheasant and when braised are very succulent. The curry matched up to the birds flavor quite nicely and the beans and zucchini added a little crunch. Finished off with some chili garlic paste and fresh basil, this dish turned an ugly little bird into a beautiful dinner.

Curried Black Chicken with Fresh Wax Beans and Zucchini

2 lb black chicken, head and feet discarded, rinsed and quartered
1 quart chicken stock
1 cup dry white wine
1 Tbsp ginger, peeled and sliced
1 small onion, peeled and quartered
2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
1 tsp Chinese five spice
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 tsp peanut oil
1 tsp ginger, minced
1 tsp garlic, minced
1 tablespoon yellow curry powder
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 13.5 oz can coconut milk
1 zucchini, cut into long julienne
1/2 lb wax beans, ends trimmed
2 tsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp chili garlic paste
1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, chiffonade

In a small heavy-bottomed pot, combine chicken, stock, wine, ginger, onion, garlic, five-spice powder, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook, covered, for about 1 hour, until chicken is very tender. Remove chicken and set aside. Strain and reserve 1/2 cup of cooking liquid.

In a large saute pan over medium heat add peanut oil. Add 1 tsp ginger and 1 tsp garlic and sauté until fragrant, about a minute. Stir in the wax beans, curry, tomato paste and coconut milk. Turn the heat down to medium low and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the chicken, the 1/2 cup of cooking liquid and the soy sauce and simmer for another 5 minutes. Add zucchini and cook until the zucchini starts to soften and the sauce thickens (about 2 -3 minutes). Finish with the lime juice and chili garlic paste and remove from the heat. Garnish with chopped basil, and serve with steamed rice.


shannon said...

where do you buy black chickens? and did you have to chop off the beaks and claws? and why are there no pictures of that..hmmmm???

The Expedited Writer said...

you are possibly the first person I know to use black chicken in curries ...even I think black chicken are squeamish and I've been drinking herbal black chicken soup from my mom's kitchen ALL my life!

I bet it tastes lovely anyhow :)

shannon said...

i can barely butterfly a chicken without crying. will have to leave the black chickens up to the experts.