11/02/2011 01:18 pm ET Updated Aug 31, 2012

Chicken Curry

In his series Marcus' Kitchen, chef Marcus Samuelsson shares dozens of recipes that prove "American" cuisine is really a delicious melting pot that draws upon flavors from all over the world.

To begin, Marcus adds pieces of both white and dark meat chicken to a pan. The dark meat has more flavor than the white meat, and stays moist even when cooked, so don't be tempted to leave it out. Marcus explains that "curry" means sauce or gravy, and his version is packed with spices. To the chicken, he adds curry powder, a bay leaf, whole cloves, star anise, fresh ginger and fresh garlic. Chopped carrots go in, too, for sweetness. He cooks this mixture down, and it essentially forms a paste. Chopped jalapeños go in next to provide a bit of heat.

To thin the mixture, Marcus adds water, then adds coconut milk for richness. After simmering the mixture, he adds in chopped tomatoes and cubed Asian pears. The pears are key. They'll release a sweet liquid into the mix, he explains, and the crunch will provide welcome texture. Can't find Asian pears? Any very firm pear, or even cucumbers or melons, will add fresh sweetness and liquid to the dish, and take some of the heat off of the curry. The final touch? A dash of lime juice for acidity.

Get the Recipe for Chicken Curry.