Chicken Stew with Potato Sticks

(Sali Chicken)

Britannia & Co. purchases its sali (a.k.a potato sticks) from a local purveyor of fried, crisp snacks called Camy Wafers. French's potato sticks, available at most supermarkets, work just fine.

Chicken Stew with Potato Sticks
This is a classic Persian dish of chicken in a sweet gravy topped with crisp sticks of potatoes.
Yield: serves 4

Ingredients

  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1 (1/2") piece of ginger, peeled
  • 1 tsp. garam masala
  • 12 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 12 tsp. ground turmeric
  • 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 6 curry leaves
  • 12 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 2 large red onions, chopped
  • 2 serrano chiles, seeded and finely chopped
  • 2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 10–12), each cut into thirds
  • Salt
  • 3 cups fried potato sticks, such as French's
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 lime, cut into 8 wedges

Instructions

  1. Put garlic, ginger, garam masala, cinnamon, and turmeric into a mortar and work with a pestle to form a thick paste. Set spice paste aside.
  2. Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add curry leaves and cumin seeds and cook, stirring, until curry leaves become fragrant and cumin seeds begin to sputter, about 30 seconds. Add the chopped onions and chiles and cook, stirring, until soft, about 8 minutes. Add spice paste, stir well to combine, and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add chicken and stir until well coated. Pour in 2 cups water, season with salt to taste, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until chicken is cooked through, about 30 minutes.
  3. Uncover pot and continue to simmer until chicken is tender and sauce has thickened, about 30 minutes more. Season with salt to taste and transfer to a wide serving bowl. Scatter potato sticks in a thick ring around outer edge of dish. Serve with sliced red onion and wedges of lime on the side.