SPICY CITY CHICKEN

3 pounds boneless chicken breasts and thighs Salt, freshly ground pepper 2 tablespoons vegetable oil 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice 6 scallions 2 tablespoons unsalted butter 6 shallots, diced 6 large mushrooms, sliced thin 1 bunch cilantro, stems and leaves separated 1 1/2 jalapeno peppers, chopped with seeds 2 tablespoons ground cumin 2 cups chicken stock 1 cup heavy cream 3 egg yolks 3 tablespoons palm sugar or brown sugar 1/4 cup red wine vinegar 2 cups basmati rice (available at Indian markets, health-food stores, or gourmet shops) Preheat broiler or prepare grill. Season chicken lightly with salt and pepper, since sauce will be spicy. Mix oil and lime juice in a small bowl and brush chicken and scallions with it.

Broil or grill thighs about 12 minutes, breasts about 9 minutes, scallions about 2 minutes per side. Always grill chicken skin-side down first.

Meanwhile, melt butter for sauce in medium skillet over moderate heat. Cook shallots and mushrooms until soft and golden, about 10 minutes. Add cilantro stems, jalapeno peppers, and cumin. Lower heat, and cook 5 minutes. Add chicken stock. Turn heat to high and cook until liquid is reduced by half. Add cream and return to a boil. Remove from heat. Puree in a blender, strain, and return to heat.

Whisk egg yolks, sugar, and vinegar together in a small bowl. Pour 1 cup pureed sauce into egg mixture to temper. Then combine egg mixture and puree and cook over low heat, stirring constantly until sauce is thick and smooth.

Arrange grilled chicken over a bed of basmati rice, prepared according to directions, and spoon sauce over all. Garnish with cilantro leaves and scallions, and serve immediately. Serves 6. -From `City Cuisine' (New York: William Morrow, $19.95). Used with permission.

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