December 13, 2011

Engage Your Senses - Chicken Curry in Coconut Sauce

This is one of my absolute favorites. Before I give you this very simple recipe, if you're familiar with this blog, you know what my only condition is - if you're a new reader - all I ask of you is to feed one hungry person (or more), every time you try out one of my recipes.

As some of you may know by now, I like it simple, quick and easy...I love cooking but I don't like spending much time in the kitchen. So the following recipe is guaranteed to give you flavor, tastiness, aroma, exoticism, and you can really impress your guests, in less than 30mn.

For 2 you will need the following ingredients :

- 2 pieces of boneless, skinless, chicken filet cut in small chunks. (boneless/skinless means less cooking time and less fat)

- 1 to 2 Celery sticks chopped in smallish pieces

- 1 large carrot, peeled and cut in small pieces (not tiny just small)

- 1/2 cup of frozen peas

- 2 small potatoes peeled and cut in smallish chunks

- 3 cloves of garlic - crushed

- 10 branches of fresh cilantro/coriander - mince the leaves

- 1 tablespoon of cooking oil

- 1 cube of chicken stock

- about 3 to 4 (flat/small)teaspoons of medium/hot curry (you can always opt for mild curry if you're not into spicy)

- 1 teaspoon of turmeric/curcuma

- 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon

- 2 to 3 tbs of yogurt

- salt

- garlic powder (optional)

- coconut milk or grated dried coconut (you can find both ready made)

- 1/2 tsp of grated fresh ginger /otherwise use powder ginger

Preparation :

- cut the chicken filet (you can also use turkey) in small chunks and marinate them in the yogurt + 1 tsp of curry + 1 tsp of turmeric + 1 tsp of garlic powder and some salt - best overnight in the fridge or at least for a couple of hours.

- steam all the above vegetables (peas, carrot, potatoes, celery) until half cooked. If you don't have a steamer, just boil them until half cooked (it's quicker if you do so, since you're using chicken filet and chicken filet cooks real fast unlike raw vegetables - you don't want the chicken to cook before the vegetables - logic!)

- meanwhile : in 1 tbs of cooking oil, fry the minced garlic and the fresh coriander for about 2 mn, add your marinated chicken, stir it in and let it cook until a little golden on medium fire

- add your steamed/half boiled vegetables, and cook for another 2 mn.

- add enough coconut milk to cover your stew in which you will dissolve 1 cube of chicken stock for extra flavor + add a little water so it does not become too thick.

- add the remaining 2 tsp of curry, 1/2 tsp of cinnamon and 1/2 tsp of fresh ginger. Mix well and let it simmer for another 7 to 10 mn on medium fire. If sauce gets too thick, add some water. (you will know when it's cooked - when the vegetables are)

- if you opt for dried coconut instead of coconut milk- use about 3 Tablespoons and add more water, as dried coconut makes the sauce thicker -

- extra tip : if you are using coconut milk add one flat Tbs of dried coconut for extra flavor.

- Decorate with a few cilantro leaves and serve with saffron rice.

As a rule of thumb : Always check for taste, texture and aroma - you don't want it too liquid nor too thick - nor do you want to suffocate it with spices or coconut. I taste often while cooking because the measurements are not always exact - not even in applied Sciences!

Saffron rice :

For two

- 1 large cup of Basmati rice, well washed and drained
- 1 to 1 1/2 cup of BOILING water
- 1/2 tsp of saffron powder or a large pinch of saffron threads
- 1 flat tbs of cooking oil
- 2 tbs of sultanas (dried raisins)
- 3 tbs of shredded skinless (unsalted) almonds (you can also use whole skinless almonds)
- salt to taste


- heat the oil, add the washed drained rice, salt, sultanas and mix well
- add the saffron powder diluted in boiling water, mix again and lower heat to minimum until all liquid is absorbed.
- in a separate small non stick frying pan, put a little oil, and fry your almonds till golden
- decorate the rice with almonds and serve with the chicken.

NB : If you can't find Saffron, just proceed as above without it. So it will be white rice with sultanas and almonds.

Enjoy !