The Dabble

-food with a side of life-

Bowled Away with Peppery Chicken Curry

Good going, Saints! I was rooting slightly for the Colts but that’s ok by me. I’m just relieved not to hear more crying over the Vikes here in Minnesota. Make fun of me all you want but I watched Lark Rise to Candleford on the PBS/TPT station during a portion of the game, then a show about creepy looking creatures. I saw some of the Puppy Bowl as well…not a big sport’s fan.

Greg (my hubs) and I tuned for the halftime show, we like the Who and were not disappointed. Greg had the pleasure of watching them perform in college (5 or so years ago) with his brother and a few friends. He said it was very loud and remembers it fondly-I missed out.

The snow is back; just when the streets and sidewalks only had remnants to remind us that it’s still winter, not that we forget for too long with the temperatures. I can see large flakes right now, since my desk is beside the window, it’s lovely. For now, it’s soothing but I hope it ends without too much damage. As usual, I’m getting restless in this winter (my self-diagnosed seasonal affective disorder doesn’t help); I’m hoping spring really isn’t months away and eventually and inevitably, this new snow will depress me a bit more but not yet, it’s too pretty.

Nearly a few months ago, I mentioned that while I was visiting home for the holidays, I picked up a dozen or so cookbooks, a few being Food & Wine’s Annual Cookbook Awards publications. You should see my bookshelf, filled to the brim with these cookbooks and sticky notes marking every recipe that tickled my fancy…it might have been better for me to mark the ones I am not interested in because all I see from here are vivid notes peaking from the tops. I go through these every week for the following week’s recipe ideas. Last week, I made peppery chicken curry with basmati rice. I love Indian cuisine. (I made my first batch of paneer, an Indian soft cheese, one of my carry out favorites from a restaurant in town-Kurry Kabab. I will tell you about that at another time.)

Back to the pepper curry chicken from the cookbook Savoring the Spice Coast of India by Maya Kaimal. We thought this was a great, well-balanced dish, put together with ease. Like many a spice-enthused recipe, this was even better the second day, although it needed to be thinned with some broth and Greg requested more heat, provided by green curry paste-found in the specialty area of most grocery stores or you could use minced fresh Serrano or Thai chilies. I added canned chickpeas because I felt like doing so but do as you feel. Steam some rice, make or buy some naan bread and sit back and enjoy the snow (or whatever your weather may be).

Peppery Chicken Curry
Peppery Chicken Curry

Peppery Chicken Curry
Serves 6

2 tsp coriander
2 tsp cumin
½ tsp turmeric
1 ¼ tsp black peppercorns, coarsely ground
1 tsp salt
2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken thighs, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
4 tbsp vegetable or canola oil
2 cups onion, sliced
1 ½ tsp garlic, minced
1 ½ tsp ginger, minced (I used ginger paste found in the specialty aisle)
1 tsp (we put more) fresh, green chili (serrano or Thai), minced or green curry paste (found in the specialty aisle)
¾ cup canned unsweetened coconut milk
12 to 15 oz. canned, rinsed chickpeas-optional
1 tbsp butter (or ghee if you can find it)
½ cup raw cashews, halved or broken
1 tsp lemon juice
steamed basmati rice-optional
naan bread-optional

Mix the coriander, cumin, turmeric, black pepper and ¼ tsp salt in a large bowl. Rub the chicken pieces in the mix and refrigerate, in the bowl, for an hour.

Heat the oil in a large pan over medium heat. Sauté the onion until browned, add the garlic, ginger and green chili (or paste). Cook for 1 minute and then place the chicken pieces into the pan with the remaining ¾ tsp salt. Fry, stirring frequently until the chicken is no longer pink. Stir in ¼ cup of the coconut milk, chickpeas (optional) and ¼ cup of water, cover and simmer for 30 minutes over low heat.

In another pan, add the butter (or ghee) and sauté the cashews until golden brown, stirring constantly over medium heat. Set aside. When the chicken is cooked, add the remaining ½ cup coconut milk and bring to a simmer. Remove from the heat, stir in the lemon juice and taste for salt. Top with the cashews and cilantro and serve over rice with maybe some naan bread on the side.

Peppery Chicken Curry, Paneer Cheese and Basmati Rice
Peppery Chicken Curry, Paneer Cheese and Basmati Rice

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