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Food writer and photographer Naomi Duguid’s stunning books provide keen insight into the people and foods of the countries she visits. One of our favorites, “Burma,” includes a terrific recipe called Aromatic Chicken from the Shan Hills. It’s simple, yet has deep flavor. We wanted to finesse things to make this even faster and easier for the home cook. We swapped in boneless thighs for Duguid’s bone-in chicken and switched to a Dutch oven instead of a wok. She suggests a mortar and pestle, but we used a blender to make a paste of lemon grass, garlic, ginger and shallots. This meant we could skip a marinade and let the chicken season as it cooked. A dose of red pepper flakes added moderate heat, but traditional Burmese food can be fairly spicy; if you want more heat, increase the red pepper flakes or stir in a slivered jalapeño, serrano or bird’s eye chili with the cilantro. We liked the chicken over steamed rice or thin rice noodles.
ounces plum tomatoes (2 large), quartered
tablespoons grapeseed or other neutral oil, divided
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