By: Executive Chef Ben Pollinger Oceana Restaurant, New York City | Courtesy of #LobsterFromMaine
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon Colman’s mustard powder
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1⁄2 dried New Mexico chile, with seeds
- 1⁄2 dried chipotle meco chile, with seeds
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 red onion, cut into 1∕8-inch dice
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- One 28-ounce can whole peeled plum tomatoes (preferably organic), puréed with their juice 7 tablespoons firmly packed light brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon tamarind paste
- 3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon malt vinegar
- 2 cups Low-Stress Chicken Stock or store-bought low-sodium chicken stock
- 1 3⁄4 teaspoon fine sea salt
In a dry skillet, toast the New Mexico and chipotle chiles over medium-high heat until fragrant, swirling the pan constantly so that they do not burn, about 3 minutes. Let cool, then finely grind in a spice grinder; set aside.
Place a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the canola oil and heat until fluid enough to coat the bottom of the pan when swirled. Add the onion and cook without coloring, stirring often, until translucent, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook without coloring, stirring often, about 1 minute. Add the spice paste and cook, stirring often, until fragrant, about 1 1⁄2 minutes. Add the pureed tomatoes, brown sugar, tamarind, vinegar, and the ground chiles. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer over medium heat until the sauce thickens, about 45 minutes.
Add the chicken stock and return to a boil. Remove from the heat and set aside.