Curried Chicken with Raisins and Cashews

This dish offers the flavor of a complicated curry dish without all the effort. Part of its appeal is in customizing each portion by adding the accompaniments at the end. You don’t have to provide them all, so feel free to pick and choose as you like.

Serve the curry with steamed white rice, either on the side or as a bed underneath, and a green salad. The chicken can also be served cold, thinly sliced, on a bed of greens or in a sandwich.

Serves 6 to 8.

1½ cups buttermilk
2 garlic cloves, chopped or pressed
3 tablespoons curry powder
1½ teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
6 to 8 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 3 pounds), trimmed of fat and membrane, pounded to an even thickness
1½ teaspoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon olive oil

½ cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
¾ cup chopped cashews
½ cup raisins
¼ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
½ bunch scallions, cut diagonally into 1-inch pieces
½ to 1 cup prepared chutney

1. Place the buttermilk, garlic, curry powder, ginger, cinnamon, and cayenne in a medium-size bowl, or in a resealable plastic bag, and mix well. Add the chicken and mix again. (The chicken can be frozen at this point.) Cover and refrigerate 4 hours and up to overnight.

2. Drain the chicken, discarding the marinade, and pat it dry with paper towels.

3. Sprinkle the chicken with salt. Place a large nonstick or cast-iron skillet over high heat and when it is hot, add the oil. Add the chicken breasts one at a time, allowing the pan to reheat for about 30 seconds between additions. Cook until the chicken is deeply browned and the juices run clear, about 3 to 5 minutes per side, depending on the thickness. You will probably need to cook the chicken in two batches.

4. Serve immediately, with any or all of the suggested accompaniments in small bowls alongside.

From Warehouse to Your House: More than 250 Simple, Spectacular Recipes to Cook, Store, and Share When You Buy in Quantity (Simon & Schuster, 2006)