You will see variations on a coconut-curry-tomato theme all over Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. This combo is used to braise goat, simmer eggplant, and make a seafood stew. In my take, the tomato, and a whole lot more, comes from my trusty sofrito. All you’ll need to round out the meal is some plain rice but the Spinach Rice would be nice too.
- Yield: 6 Servings
- Preparation Time: 10 Minutes
- Cooking Time: 45 Minutes
- 2 small (about 3-pound) chickens, each cut into 10 pieces
- Kosher or fine sea salt and freshly ground pepper
- Vegetable oil
- 1 cup Sofrito
- 1½ teaspoons curry powder
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup chicken broth, homemade or store-bought
- One 13½-ounce can unsweetened coconut milk
- Pat the chicken pieces dry with paper towels. Season them generously on all sides with salt and pepper. Pour enough vegetable oil into a large Dutch oven (or other heavy pot with a lid) to cover the bottom of the pot. Heat over medium-high heat. Lay as many pieces of chicken in the pan as will fit without bumping up against each other and cook, turning as necessary, until browned on all sides, about 10 minutes. Adjust the heat as necessary during browning to keep up a lively sizzle, not an out-of-control sputtering. Remove the chicken from the pot and repeat with the remaining pieces.
- Pour or spoon off all but ¼ cup of the fat from the pot. Add the sofrito, curry powder, and cloves and cook until the liquid has evaporated and the sofrito is sizzling. Lower the heat and whisk in the flour, then continue whisking until the flour absorbs all the oil. Slowly pour in the chicken broth and coconut milk while continuing to whisk. Season lightly with salt and pepper and bring the sauce to a simmer over medium heat.
- Return the chicken to the pot, cover, and cook until the chicken is very tender (almost falling from the bone), about 25 minutes. Check the chicken a few times while it cooks to make sure the sauce stays at a gentle simmer. While you’re at it, turn the chicken pieces over and move them around so everything cooks evenly.
- Spoon the chicken into warm serving bowls or set the Dutch oven on the table and serve from it.