One of the best gifts in the world to give or receive is a book (or books!). Both of us have been fortunate enough to receive some awesome craft and cooking books over the last couple of years. Its tough, though, after you flip through books and see all the great ideas to remember exactly what you have access to throughout the year. We’ve made it a goal this year to make at least ONE thing out of each cookbook and craft book that we have received. No strict goals or deadlines, but i want to make sure i’m using all the awesome books i have and not just going to fall back favorites all the time.
The other night, i was home a little earlier than usual and ruminating on what to make for dinner. Not much in the cupboards after holiday cooking sprees, so i went and stared at the pantry for ideas. What i saw that caught my eye was a can of coconut milk and some white rice. Hmm…we always have frozen chicken in the freezer, and an array of asian spice in the kitchen, so i went and grabbed a cookbook off the shelf that we’ve only used once before. And wha-lah, chicken curry (modified for my sparse ingredient list, but also beefed up with some frozen veggies too).
Fragrant Chicken Curry
Adapted from Thai: The Essence of Asian Cooking by Judy Bastyra and Becky Johnson
3tbsp oil (i like to mix sesame and peanut)
1 onion coarseley chopped
half a shallot minced
2 garlic cloves minced
2 tsp yellow curry powder (I might use more next time, it was a little lame on spice)
16 oz canned coconut milk (the can actually was only 13.5 oz so i filled out the rest with water)*
1 tbsp dried lemongrass
2tbsp apricot jam (admittedly i forgot this, but i do think it would have been good so i think i’ll try and include next time)
2 lb boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into bite size pieces
1/2 cup frozen corn
1/2 cup frozen peas
1 cup frozen spinach (we freeze extra leaves in the summer before they go bad)
salt and pepper
instant white rice (or jasmine rice if you’re fancy)
1. Heat the oil in large pan (I used by 5.5 qt le creuset oven). Add onion and garlic and cook over medium heat until soft.
2. Add chicken and saute until lightly browned.
3. Stir in coconut milk, then curry powder, lemon grass, apricot jam, and salt and pepper.
4. Cover and simmer 10 min to allow chicken to cook through.
5. Add frozen veggies and stir. Cover and simmer another 5-10 minutes to warm veggies through and blend flavors.
6. Prepare your rice of choice (for instant, one part rice, one part water. Bring water to a boil, add rice, turn off heat, cover and let stand for 5 minutes). Serve the chicken and sauce over a bowl-full of rice with a garnish of fresh cilantro if you have on hand.
Note: the recipe calls to puree the sauce (to better incorporate the onion flavor i suppose) then add back in. you COULD brown the chicken, remove from pan, make the sauce then puree, then add chicken and veggies back in. Buuuut, i like chopped onion and frankly, thats an additional 10 minutes and food processor to wash, so. . . .
*The recipe called for 2/3c greek yogurt in addition. I didn’t have any, so i just used the coconut milk and i thought it was PLENTY rich and thick. So, i’m not sure i would add this in, but if you want it even thicker you could try.