Jan 31, 2013

IHCC: Give Me Comfort

Cream sauces.  I could drink them out of giant mugs.  That's my kinda cup-o-soup.  My kinda comfort.

Even though the cream sauce in Madhur Jaffrey's Chicken Breasts Baked with Green Chilies and Onion doesn't getting billing in the title, I'd ladle it into the biggest mug I could find.

I'm not saying I licked my plate.  But fingers were swiped across it.  And they were licked.

In private, of course.  I know how to be respectable.

Seriously.  This was insane.  So many flavors coming together in just the right way.  The ingredient list looks long.  There are a lot of spices going into the pan.  But that's what makes it so damn good.

Good enough for company.  Good enough to make it to my top 5 Madhur Jaffrey recipes.

There are several steps and if there was ever a time for mise en place this is exactly that time.  Sounds fussy, but it earns the right to be as fussy as it wants.

Visit I Heart Cooking Clubs for more Comfort Food from Madhur Jaffrey


Side note:
This recipe calls for 2 Tbsp of tomato paste.  If you don't buy your tomato paste in those squeezy tubes, it's kind of a pain to deal with the rest of a can.  Scoop it out by tablespoons onto a waxed paper lined small cookie sheet (or directly onto a small cookie sheet).  Pop in the freezer until frozen.  Remove from the waxed paper or pan and store in a freezer bag.  No waste and now any time you need some silly amount like 1 Tbsp or 2, you have a stash.


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Chicken Breasts Baked with Green Chilies and Onion
from Quick & Easy Indian Cooking by Madhur Jaffrey

For the sauce
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp garam masala
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
1/8-1/4 cayenne pepper
1 cup cream

For the curry
4 boned, skinned chicken breasts
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
4 Tbsp vegetable oil
2" piece cinnamon stick
6 cardamom pods, cracked open
6 cloves
1 medium onion, cut into fine half-rings
1" piece fresh root ginger, peeled and cut into fine slices, then into fine strips
1-3 hot green chilies, cut at a diagonal into fine strips, do not remove the seeds
½ tsp black or yellow mustard seeds
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
cooked basmati rice, to serve

Preheat the oven to 350F.
Put the tomato paste in a bowl, add one tablespoon of water, and mix.  Add all the remaining sauce ingredients, in the order listed, mixing as you go.

Salt and pepper the chicken pieces generously on both sides.

Put three tablespoons of the oil in a non-stick frying pan and set over a high heat.  When hot, put in the cinnamon, cracked cardamom pods and cloves.  Ten seconds later, put the chicken pieces in a single layer  and brown them lightly on both sides.  Remove with a slotted spoon and place in an ovenproof dish in a single layer.

Add the onions, ginger, and green chilies into the oil that remains in the frying pan.  Stir and fry them until they are light brown in color.  Remove with a slotted spoon and spread evenly over the chicken pieces.

Add the last tablespoon of oil to the pan and let it heat. Put in the mustard seeds. As soon as they pop - just seconds - put in garlic and stir.  As soon as it starts to brown, pour in the sauce.  As soon as the sauce heats up and starts bubbling, pour it over and around the chicken without displacing the onions.  Place the dish in oven, uncovered, and bake for 25 minutes.  Remove and discard the cinnamon stick, cardamom pods, and whole cloves.  Serve immediately.


  1. Okay, so I'm totally laughing out loud right now because I buy the tomato paste in the can and I do save the leftovers but now I realize what I do is ridiculous. I spoon it into a plastic bag (which is rather messy), label it, and throw it in the freezer. When I want to use some I have to defrost the whole darn thing and it's really messy. Guess who feels like a dummy? Ha ha! I'm totally stealing your method...and this recipe. I've been looking for more MJ recipes to try in the next few weeks and I'll have to do this one for sure. You know I love a cream sauce and this recipe has mustard...score!

  2. Love your perfectly practical tip regarding the tomato paste! Mmmmmm...cream sauce in a mug...

  3. Yum! On my to do list for sure;-)

  4. Hi Michelle~ This recipe looks so good! I think I found the perfect dish to make for the Super Bowl! (Just me and the hubby) I have been looking for a recipe like this! Thanks for sharing~ Lynn H
    PS I received some fig preserves for Christmas, think I'll try the recipe for Fig Cake too!

  5. This recipe sounds decadently delicious and you've persuaded me to give it a try.Thanks!

  6. Anonymous2/01/2013

    Michelle,thank you so much for sharing this recipe I'm with ya,I could slurp this right up,and gobble down with the quickness.YumO!

    Thanks for visiting LoblollyLane.
    I appreciated your visit and comments.
    Pop back by often.

    ~Jo @ LoblollyLane

  7. The spices in this sound amazing! This is some serious comfort food if ever I've seen it!

  8. Looks fantastic & flavorful, delicious.Thanks Michelle for visiting me and for your sweet words. I'm your newest follower :)

  9. Oh, I love, love Cajun and Creole food! Great flavors, and aromas. I like your blog too and will be looking around now.

  10. A girl after my own heart! I love green chilis! Yum!

  11. It sure looks like something my other-half would looooooooooove (I'm a vegetarian so it's not for me)
    Thanks for the recipe, I must buy (at last!) garam masala

  12. sauce does look amazing!

  13. Update: Michelle, I made this recipe for us (me and Big J) and it was wonderful!! We loved it~


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