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Anytime my husband Jack travels for the week for work (and I have the kitchen all to myself) I often cook foods that I love, but Jack does not particularly like. For example – today’s delicious Chicken with Vindaloo Spices.
I’ve mentioned before that Jack is not a huge fan of Indian cuisine – and in particular, foods with curry. And it really is too bad, because so many Indian foods are absolutely delicious, but he won’t even try them!
This whole thing is also a little ironic because I’m not really a spicy food person (and Jack definitely loves his spicy foods!) – but I just love the complexity of flavors in Indian foods like this Chicken with Vindaloo Spices – even when it is a bit spicy!
Interestingly – vindaloo spices have roots in Portuguese cuisine. “Vinh d’alho” is a spicy curry stew that was originally brought to the Goa, India region by Portuguese colonists. And now, so many Indian restaurants serve some type of Chicken Vindaloo – sometimes spicy and sometime mild – that it is considered a classic dish on the menu.
Today’s recipe is adapted from this recipe by TV celebrity-chef Andrew Zimmerman clipped from the pages of a recent issue of Food and Wine magazine. I decided to use boneless, skinless chicken thighs – both because it’s easier to eat than the bone-in variety, and it’s what I had on hand already in my refrigerator.
The chicken with vindaloo spices is a creamy yogurt and tomato-based sauce with ginger, garlic, lemon, jalapenos (you can leave those out if you want less heat), cinnamon and of course, the “vindaloo” spice mix. (You can buy it online here, or at some supermarkets.)
Served over rice, this Chicken with Vindaloo Spices is zesty, creamy and wonderful! (Jack is totally missing out!) 😉
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- 1 cup full-fat Greek yogurt
- ¼ cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 1/3 cup Vindaloo spice (or use equal amounts of cumin, turmeric and Garam Masala)
- 3 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 4 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced (see Step 1 below)
- 1 cup raw cashews, toasted and chopped coarse (see Step 2 below)
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 stick butter (quarter cup)
- 1 pound yellow onions diced
- 1 tablespoon fresh garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced or grated
- 2 tablespoons jalapeno, seeds and stem removed (about one pepper)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¾ cup chicken stock
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 ½ cups heavy cream
- ½ cup cilantro chopped plus more for garnish
- Basmati rice, to serve with chicken
Night Before Serving
- In a medium bowl, mix yogurt, lemon juice and Vindaloo spices. Start by placing a few pieces of chicken in a gallon zip bag and as you fill the bag, alternate marinade and chicken to make sure each piece gets coated. Seal the bag and squeeze the contents around to make sure all pieces are covered. Refrigerate overnight.
Day of Serving
- To prepare the tomatoes, place a strainer over a bowl. Cut tomatoes in half the long way and squeeze them over the strainer, fishing out seeds with your fingers. Discard seeds then dice tomatoes and add to the bowl with the juice.
- To prepare the nuts, cook over medium heat in a dry fry pan until golden then chop or place in a 425 degree F oven for five minutes, shaking halfway through then chop.
- About an hour before serving, melt the butter with the oil in a very large skillet or sauté pan over medium heat. Throughout the cooking, you will never raise the heat higher than medium.
- Add the onions and cook for five minutes, or just until they start to brown.
- Add garlic, ginger, jalapeno, salt and cinnamon. Cook for five minutes.
- Add tomatoes and cook for five minutes.
- Add chicken pieces along with all of the marinade, nestling the pieces into the mixture.
- If you are serving over rice, start cooking that now.
- Mix the tomato paste in the stock and pour over the chicken and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes, turning the chicken over a few times during cooking.
- Add cream and simmer ten more minutes, being careful to not let the mixture boil.
- Remove from heat and stir in the cilantro.
- To serve, place rice on a serving dish, top with pieces of chicken and sauce and finish with chopped cilantro and chopped toasted cashews.
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