If the ones you've got in the pantry smell musty or you can't remember when you bought them, restock.

3 tbls butter or vegetable oil
6 chicken legs (drumsticks with thighs; about 1/2 kg)
freshly ground pepper
1 medium onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely grated
2 tbls finely grated peeled ginger
2 tbls tomato paste
2 tsp garam masala
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground turmeric
1 1/2 tsp ground coriander
3/4 tsp black pepper
3/4 tsp ground cardamom
8 cups low-sodium chicken broth
3/4 cup canned tomato purée
1/2 cup heavy cream
250g small potatoes, sliced 1/4" thick
Plain yogurt 
torn fresh mint 
naan, flatbread, or cooked rice (for serving)
salt to taste

1. Heat butter in a large cooking pot over medium heat. 
2. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Working in batches, cook chicken, skin side down, until golden brown (do not turn), 8–10 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
3. Add onion, garlic, and ginger to pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is very soft and golden brown, 8–10 minutes. Add tomato paste, garam masala, cumin, turmeric, coriander, cayenne, and cardamom and cook, stirring often, until tomato paste is beginning to darken, about 4 minutes.
4. Add chicken, broth, tomato purée, and cream to pot; season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, partially covered, skimming occasionally, until chicken is almost falling off the bone and liquid is slightly thickened, 1 1/2–2 hours.
5. Add potatoes to pot and cook, partially covered, until potatoes are fork-tender, chicken is falling off the bone, and liquid is thick enough to coat a spoon, 30–45 minutes. 
6. Remove skin and bones from chicken, if desired, and return meat to pot; season stew with salt and pepper.
7. Divide stew among bowls, top with yogurt and mint, and serve with naan, flatbread, or rice.

DO AHEAD: Stew can be made 3 days ahead. Let cool; cover and chill.

YIELD: Makes 6 servings


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