musings, mutterings, and creative muddle. . .

Friday, February 19, 2010

Food Friday - ksyardbird's Chicken Curry

Straight and to the point today. . . . and in the skillet and the bowl - yum.  How about some Chicken Curry?

There's this great restaurant in Lawrence, KS called Zen Zero where I had my first taste of the most heavenly curry. . . I have collected multiple recipes and been tweaking for a bit more than a year. . . Last night I took my notes on a total of three remaining recipes, combined them and (By Jove!) I think I got it!

I was so intent on the creation that I didn't take time to take any photos.  Please accept my apologies for that oversight. . . The only one I have is of the leftovers.  Truly.  I'm sorry.  Get over it.  Need some hand holding while trying out my recipe?  Call me - I'm here!   I only ask for some photos in return.  Deal?  Deal!

So ~ without further adieu:

ksyardbird's Chicken-Curry

2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 green pepper - diced
7-8 green onions - sliced
1-1/2 tsp. fresh garlic - minced

1/2 tsp. dehydrated ginger - minced
2-1/2 to 3lbs chicken breast - cubed
2 tsp pepper flakes (adjust as per your taste. This makes a mild-medium heat)
1/4 tsp. coarse ground tellicherry pepper

1-1/2 c. baby carrots cut into thirds

14 oz coconut cream (look in the 'international foods' or baking aisle.)

1 c. chicken broth
2 Tbsp tomato paste
4 Tbsp yellow curry

2 c cauliflower, chopped
1 c frozen peas
1/4 tsp cardamom
dash ground coriander

In a large skillet or wok-style pan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat.  Add green pepper, green onion, minced garlic, and minced ginger.  Saute until vegetables are softened slightly.  Add chicken, pepper flakes, and black pepper - stir to coat.  When chicken has just turned white (but is not fully cooked), add carrots - stir to coat.  Finish cooking over medium-high heat until chicken is cooked through.

Add coconut cream, tomato paste, chicken broth, and curry powder to the pan.  Blend well and heat through. 

When bubbly, add cauliflower, corriander, cardamom, and peas.  Cook over medium heat until carrots are fork tender.

Serve warm over steamed jasmine rice or japanese noodles.  This should make about 6 servings. 

If someone wants their curry hot-hot, they can add some srirache to whatever level they want.  Have extra napkins near by for them to wipe their face, eh?

My biggest hint?  Have all the ingredients out, ready to be chopped, measured, and opened.  Makes the cooking of this dish go so quickly.  I can't give you an accurate estimate of prep time as I wasn't really organized, trying to combine three recipes and tweak as well, but I'm going to guess that the overall prep-time was about 20 minutes (the chicken, cauli, and carrots can be dealt with while the pepper and onions are sauteing) and overall cooking time was about 30 minutes.  So, on the outside, we're looking at an hour  from start to meal-time, at the most.

Oh!  The smells while this is cooking are absolutely out of this world.  It will be so fragrant that you can nearly taste it while it's cooking.  To reheat any leftovers, I'll add some of the leftover chicken broth to the pan and simmer-steam the curry until the chicken is warmed through.  Add the rice at this time for just a minute or two and it's heaven all over again.  Sigh. . . .

One final note, your spices DO make a difference.  You will notice that all the spices listed in all of my receipes have a link to The Spice House.  We have been buying all of our seasonings and extracts from them for at least 10 years.  Their service and quality are absolutely top-notch.  Their orange extract rocked my world. . . Their ground cassia-cinnamon sent me to the moon.  And who the heck knew that paprika actually has a taste?!  I get no kickbacks for talking about them here - I'm just glad to have discovered them! 

The prices are higher, you will no doubt notice that, but you use less of the spice than what you might otherwise use.  I know I would do a 'heavy' measure with grocery store spices, but not with The Spice House, I use right on.  Everything is ground fresh when you order it and the box smells divine when everything -packed in their little plastic bags and glass jars -arrives.

Bet I know what you'll be fixing this weekend. . . . let me know how it goes!  Bet I'll be forgiven for having only one photo. . . . . hehe.

Have a sweet-curry kind of weekend,

Robin Z

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