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Dinner Tonight: Cilantro Chicken (Dhania Chicken)

[Photograph: Nick Kindelsperger]

At first, this Kenyan recipe from Madhur Jaffrey's From Curries to Kebabs seemed like a mad cross between Hainanese chicken rice and Leo Maya's tomatillo chicken. It's a stewed chicken dish with a whole bunch of ginger and garlic, along with way more cilantro than I've ever used for one recipe before. I figured it'd be a perfect spring dish, but I was wrong.

It actually comes out tasting like a rich beef stew—a delicious beef-like stew, but still. I was initially taken off guard. I'd thank the high heat, which everything cooks over for most of the dish. Only at the very end is the heat turned down low. And by then the damage has been done.

The cilantro cooks down to a dark green sauce, thickened at the end by the yogurt. There's a little bit of tomato too, but it disappears into the sauce. I was a wimp and went for two jalapeƱos instead of three, but next time I'd toss in that extra one. This dish needs that grip of spice. Other than that, it's full-flavored, rich, and another stunning braised chicken dish.

Cilantro Chicken (Dhania Chicken)

Adapted from From Curries to Kebabs by Madhur Jaffrey

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