I made my tamarind puree from scratch by shelling one pound of pods and soaking in water to cover over night, then straining to remove seeds and any additional bits of shell. This yielded approximately 2-1/2 cups of puree, and I used 1-3/4 cups in this recipe. For the convenience-minded, I have substituted reconstituted tamarind paste in the recipe, but by all means start from scratch if you are game!
4 oz tamarind paste
1-1/2 cups boiling water
6 oz dry white wine
Hot pepper sauce, to taste
2 tsp kosher salt
Small bunch of parsley
4 lbs chicken thighs, bone-in (or legs and thighs)
2 yellow onions, grated
2 Tbsp butter (or margarine)
4 cloves garlic, minced
Dissolve the tamarind paste in boiling water to make a smooth puree, adding water as needed to reach the consistency of tomato sauce. Chop the parsley leaves, reserving stems, and set aside. Separate the scallion greens from the white parts. Leave the greens whole and chop the white parts. Set aside.
Mix the tamarind puree, white wine, hot pepper sauce to taste (go easy -– you can always add more later) and salt to make the marinade. Tie the parsley stems and scallions greens in a bunch (to make a bouquet garni) and add to the marinade. Pour the marinade over the chicken pieces, mix well, and let marinate for at least 2 hours or overnight, in the refrigerator. I recommend marinating overnight, if time allows.
Preheat oven to 325°F.
In a large frying pan, brown the grated onions and chopped white parts of the scallions in the butter (or margarine). Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Remove the bouquet garni from the chicken, add the chicken pieces to the onion/garlic/scallion mixture and mix well.
Arrange the chicken pieces in a single layer in a baking pan, and spoon the marinade over the chicken. Bake in a 325F oven, turning the chicken and basting from time to time to allow even browning, until the meat is tender and the sauce is nice and thick, approximately 50-60 minutes. If the sauce seems to be thickening too quickly, add a bit of chicken stock or water during the cooking, as needed.
Garnish with chopped parsley. Serve with fresh creamed corn and additional hot pepper sauce on the side.