Chicken vindaloo is a delicious Indian style dish centered around (you guessed it) chicken. It is quite spicy and has a very exotic flavor, at least for my American palate. If you use some shortcuts, it's also quite simple to make.
It's also worth mentioning that chicken vindaloo is the favorite dish of Lister from the television series Red Dwarf. So, if you've ever been curious, here's your chance to find out what it tastes like.
As the always-attentive Quizro pointed out, this delicious dish is also celebrated in the song I Just Want To Have Something To Do by The Ramones.
Super Easy Chicken Vindaloo
This is the easiest way to prepare the dish. The only catch is that you may have to search around a bit for the pre-made vindaloo paste; luckily, there is a grocery in my town that stocks it. If you don't have access to vindaloo paste, my best guess is to attempt to order it from an online grocer. It might be expensive, but it makes making chicken vindaloo substantially easier. Even though I think the more difficult way tastes better, this is mighty good and much, much simpler.
1 cup chopped onion (I like mine nice and thick, but cut them to your own whim)
2 Tbsp cooking oil (again, whatever you like)
1 pound boneless chicken, chopped (I actually dice mine into small pieces, so there is more chicken distributed throughout)
4 Tbsp Patak's vindaloo paste (this ingredient may be hard to find; netgrocer.com sometimes has it)
3 medium potatoes, cubed
2 cups water
rice (however much you want; chicken vindaloo is served on rice so prepare this beforehand)
Fry the onions slowly in the oil until they are lightly brown. If you have a wok, that makes it easier; if not, try a saucepan and keep a careful eye on it. Add the chicken, turn up the heat, and keep it up until the chicken is white. At that point, add everything else but the rice; stir it a bit, cover it, and let it simmer over medium heat for twenty five minutes or so. When it's done, pour it over the rice and eat. I usually prepare my rice while the vindaloo is simmering.
Ultra Smegging Hard Chicken Vindaloo
This way is much harder. This recipe was given to me by a worker at a local grocery; I modified it just a little bit to make it easier to do. It is very difficult to get this to turn out right, at least for me; I am far from an adept cook. However, the one time I got it to turn out right, it was utterly delicious. Be warned, though: it is very easy to mess this up if you aren't adept at cooking.
2 tsp whole cumin seeds
2-3 dried red hot chili peppers
1 tsp black peppercorns
1 tsp cardamom seeds (leave out the pods!)
1 3-inch cinnamon stick (don't use ground cinnamon; 'tis better just to skip it if you can't find a stick)
2 tsp whole black mustard seeds
1 tsp whole fenugreek seeds (this is optional, but they add a nice aroma)
5 Tbsp white wine vinegar
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp brown sugar
10 Tbsp vegetable oil (whatever you like)
2 medium onions, peeled and chopped
1 1/2 cups water (if you have some good chicken broth, that is extra tasty, but not vital)
2 pounds chicken breast, chopped
1 1-inch cube of fresh ginger, chopped (peel it first!)
1 small head of garlic, separated out and peeled (take a garlic head, peel it until the cloves fall out, and save everything)
4 medium potatoes, cubed
1 Tbsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground tumeric
rice (however much you want; make enough for several servings, though)
Hopefully, you can find most of this stuff on the spice rack at your local supermarket.
Grind the cumin seeds, red chili peppers, peppercorns, cardamom seeds, cinnamon stick, black mustard seeds, and fenugreek seeds all together in a coffee grinder. If you don't have a grinder, one can also use the old Ziploc-and-rolling-pin technique for crushing them. Put the ground spices in a bowl and add the vinegar, salt, and brown sugar. Set this spice mix aside.
Get the biggest pot you have and heat the oil in it over a medium flame. Put in the onions and fry them to a nice brown crisp, then take out the onions and put them in a blender. Add about 3 Tbsp of water to the blender and puree them. Add this thick, brown puree to the spice mix. This is your vindaloo paste.
Clean out the blender and then blend together the ginger and garlic with about 3 Tbsp of water until you have another paste. This should fit into a small bowl, so put it in a small bowl and set this garlic paste aside.
Now, put the chicken into the pan with the oil and turn up the heat until all the chicken is white. Remove the meat, then add the garlic paste to the pan and turn the heat down to medium. Stir this for fifteen seconds or so, then add the coriander and tumeric. Stir this for fifteen seconds or so, then add the meat back in (with whatever juice it has) along with the vindaloo paste and whatever other ingredients you have left over (the water or broth and the potatoes). Let this simmer for about an hour or so.
This usually makes enough for two or three meals for me, but I have a rather hearty appetite.
And now you have two ways to make chicken vindaloo.