Preparation / Directions:
To make the Curry Powder, in a small, heavy skillet, combine the coriander, cardamom, and cumin seeds, peppercorns, and cloves. Place over medium heat and toast, stirring or shaking the pan frequently, until fragrant, 3 to 5 minutes; do not allow to burn. Transfer to a spice grinder or heavy mortar with a pestle, add the turmeric, chile flakes, bay leaf, and nutmeg, and grind to a fine powder. Set aside.
In a saut‚ pan or heavy stew pot such as a dutch oven, melt the oil and 1 tablespoon of the butter over medium-high heat. Add as many of the chicken strips as will fit comfortably without crowding the pan and cook, turning frequently, until opaque all over. Using tongs or a slotted utensil, transfer the chicken to a plate. Cook the remaining chicken in the same manner.
Add the remaining 2 tablespoons butter to the pan and melt over medium-low heat. Add the shallot and the reserved Curry Powder and saut‚ until the shallot is soft, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with the flour and saut‚ about 3 minutes longer.
Stir in the coconut milk and stock or broth and bring to a simmer. Return the chicken to the pan. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer until the sauce thickens to the consistency of heavy (whipping) cream and the chicken is opaque all the way through when tested by cutting with a small, sharp knife at the thickest portion, about 10 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasonings.
Offer the condiments at the table.