Me: “Hey what are you making for dinner tonight?”
Ellen: “Coconut chicken curry”
Me: “Oh wow! I’m so impressed… that’s out of my league.”
Ellen: “Uh, are you sure? All you really do is pour and stir… which I know you are capable of.”
For some reason I’ve had a mental block around cooking with coconut milk despite the fact that I have actually made a chicken curry once before. Opening the can of coconut milk, the consistency always catches me off guard. I wonder is it a milk or a paste or a juice? Can it boil?
So, after a rejuvenating yoga class I came home with an appetite for something healthy as well as an open mind to try something new. As I prepared this dish I was using this recipe here at Epicurious. I chose to skip the cashew recommendation but I do think that something like cashews or almonds would add a nice crunch to this dish.
In the end this meal was not perfect. The sauce broke a bit (perhaps over boiled) and I used ground ginger rather than whole, but overall I was impressed with the flavor and reminded that this technique is not one I should be afraid of. I served the curry over some cooked farro which worked well with the dish.
Question – do others use curry spices or curry paste? What other tips and tricks do you utilize when making dishes like this? [I need to go back and re-read all of my fellow-blogger’s posts on curry with my new open mind.]
Also, somehow in a mere 17 days I will be celebrating the 2 year anniversary of this blog! It is amazing how fast time has passed, how much I have learned, and how many things are still on my ‘to make list!”
Onward – to the kitchen!
- 1/2 onion – diced
- 3 carrots – diced
- 2 large chicken breasts -cut into large chunks
- 2.5 teaspoons of sweet curry powder
- 3 large garlic cloves
- Ground ginger (or 2 1/2 inch fresh piece)
- 15 oz can of coconut milk
- Mustard powder – optional
- 3 large handfuls of fresh spinach
Steps and Notes:
- Combine the curry, salt and pepper to make a simple spice blend.
- Place the raw chicken into a large bowl and sprinkle the spice blend evenly over the chicken mixing well to ensure even coating
- In a large sauce pan saute the onions and salt in oil and season with salt. Cook on medium until soft.
- Add the carrots and continue to mix well and cook on medium heat.
- In a food processor (or blender) blend the coconut milk, garlic, and ginger
- Note: I also added a few pinches of mustard powder to this sauce as well
- Add the chicken to the pan and brown for 1 minute constantly stirring.
- Then, add the sauce and simmer (don’t boil) for about 15 minutes until the sauce thickens
- Turn the heat to low and add spinach. Stir constantly for 1-2 minutes until wilted.
Thoughts for next time:
- Add some cracked red pepper for a bit of heat
- Experiment with veggies
- Learn how to make a thicker sauce
- Experiment with curry paste?