For Ruth Reichl, it isn’t enough for weeknight dinners to be fast and easy. They also need to seduce. That’s why she gravitates to simple chicken curries. “I love the way this simple dish tastes. But what I like even more is that it smells so enticing, it brings everyone into the kitchen, eager for dinner before it’s even out of the pan,” says the former editor-in-chief of Gourmet magazine and author of numerous memoirs. “First you smell the curry, then the sweetness of the onions, and somewhere, floating above it all, is the delicious scent of lemon.” To make our version of Reichl’s chicken curry, in a medium bowl, stir together ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil, 2 tablespoons curry powder, 1½ tea- spoons ground cumin, 1½ teaspoons dried oregano, 1 teaspoon ground coriander, 1 teaspoon sweet paprika, 3 medium garlic cloves (finely grated) and ½teaspoon each kosher salt and black pepper. Stir in 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs (cut into 1½-inch pieces) and 1 medium red onion (halved and sliced ⅛ to ¼ inch thick). In a 12-inch skillet over medium-high, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil until shimmering. Add the chicken-onion mixture and cook, uncovered and stirring occasionally, until the onion has softened and the chicken is no longer pink when cut into. Remove from the heat. Stir in 2 tablespoons lemon juice, then taste and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with fresh cilantro and serve with rice or naan.
Pati Jinich is on a quest to show people what Mexico looks like and tastes like.