Spicy Peanut Mascarpone Chicken Curry Recipe
To make mascarpone chicken, I marinated chicken breast cubes that I tenderized overnight using buttermilk. For the thick gravy, I made a mixture of mascarpone and coarsely ground peanuts and turmeric.
Since the dish is a little heavy, I suggest serving it with leafy greens and steamed rice. It’s not the healthiest way to eat chicken, but it is quite delicious. Also, I’ve found that even finicky kids love it. That should be enough to get over any guilt you feel. It works for me!
Yields: 6 servings6 chicken breast halves (about 1-½ pounds), boneless and skinless
½ teaspoon baking powder (optional)
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3-½ cups buttermilk, up to 4 cups
6 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon Kosher salt (or regular salt)
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 teaspoons ginger garlic paste (click on the link for the recipe)
½ teaspoon cumin seeds
½ teaspoon ground coriander
2 shallots, chopped
½ teaspoon garam masala
2 teaspoons ground ginger
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
10 ounces mascarpone cheese
1 teaspoon honey
3/4 cup peanuts, pre-boiled and shelled
2 cups homemade chicken stock
3/4 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
juice of 1 lemon
3 tablespoons cilantro
One day ahead...
Marinating the chicken:
Trim the fat around the bottom of the breast if there is any. Wash the chicken breasts and pat them dry using paper towels. Cut into 1-½" cubes.
Season the chicken with 3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper. Add the baking powder and cover with buttermilk. Toss well. Place the chicken in a large bowl or a sealable zip-top bag. Drizzle with about 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Marinate in the refrigerator overnight.
The next day, pat the meat dry one more time using paper towels.
In a large non-stick pan, heat about 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the shallots and cook on high heat until slightly golden. Lower the heat to medium-low and cook until soft and tender, about 6 minutes. Transfer the caramelized shallots to a bowl. Set aside.
Using a fine mesh strainer, sprinkle flour over the chicken cubes and shake off the excess flour.
In the same pan, add the rest of the olive oil. Once the oil is hot, pan-sear each side of the pieces for about 1-½ minutes (a total of about 9 minutes) until golden. Season with salt and finish with a drizzle of lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of chopped cilantro. Quickly transfer the chicken to a platter, leaving as much oil as possible in the pan. At this point the chicken isn't cooked completely; it will finish cooking in the creamy sauce.
Prepping the peanuts:
Coarsely grind the peanuts in a mortar and pestle or blender. I use the VitaMix Dry Blade Container. I's okay if there are some larger pieces.
In the same pan, add the garlic and cumin seeds; cook until slightly golden. Add the ginger garlic paste, red chili powder, garam masala, ground coriander and ground ginger. Add the chicken pieces and the chicken stock. Bring to a full boil, then lower the heat to medium-high. Add the mascarpone and turmeric. Cover with a dome-shaped lid to enable the steam to fall back in the saucepan. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring often. Check seasoning. Add more salt, honey and black pepper. Cook for another 6-8 minutes. Thicken the sauce with the coarsely ground peanutsfor an even homogenous.
Taste the sauce. Depending on how thick you like the consistency of the sauce, you can add more chicken broth or buttermilk. Finish with lemon juice. Stir well.
Garnish with sprigs of cilantro.
Serve immediately with saffron rice and greens.
In place of the mascarpone, you could use other creamy products such as sour cream, cream cheese, crème fraîche or even goat cheese.
Baking powder and buttermilk are both great meat tenderizers.
I used Bulgarian cultured buttermilk. I buy it at my local Middle Eastern market. If you live in the Bay Area, check out the Rose Market -1060 Castro St, Mountain View, CA 94040.
Dredging the chicken in flour keeps in the moisture and makes a golden outer crust. Once you add the flour, pan-sear the meat immediately. If you wait too long, the moisture from the chicken will become a glue-ey, soggy mess.Published By: on June 3, 2010.