Writing about what feeds me.

NIGHT AT THE IMPROV: featuring Mr. Chicken Curry (1st POST)

Ok, so this was actually more like a mid-afternoon improv situation.

Here in the DDO (aka Dollard-des-Ormeaux) suburbs, we have lots of time on our hands before we teach our evening classes.  So if you come over to the pad, you’ll find us cooking at any random time of the day and night.

I had defrosted some chicken breasts two nights before and absolutely had to use them or else put them back in the freezer (and that is a no-no).  During a recent Adonis grocery visit I found coconut cream (unfortunately, the kind that has added salt and other crap) because that is what was called for on this IGA grocery recipe card we had laying around.  This recipe promised some kind of quick, 15-minute version of “Mango Chicken Curry”, but its directions gave me the feeling that it would yield a simple, not-so-rich flavor.

Soooo… I did some quick Googling and found this recipe, and this one as well, in order to give me some inspiration on various techniques and approaches.  I learned that onions are key and pretty much everything else is all simmer-and-stew.  Or, stew-and-simmer – however you want to call it.  Now, mind you, I’ve made curry before, but for some reason I couldn’t remember almost anything about how I did it that time.

After reading back and forth between the two recipes and sort of a third one, I just decided to ignore the steps in all of them and do more or less the following:

– browned almost one large chopped onion for at least 10-15 minutes while chopping other ingredients
– added 3 chopped garlic cloves and about 1.5 tsp of minced ginger
– approx 3 tbl curry powder
– more than 1/2 chopped tomato
– add 2 cups chicken broth and approx 1/2 cup coconut cream
– threw in 3 med/small cubed potatoes, one cubed large green bell pepper
– added tsp salt and simmered on medium for 10 minutes
– added cubed/diced chicken breasts (approx. 4 med filets) seasoned with s&p
– cook for approx 25-30 min

The result was not so bad (even if you can’t tell by the picture)!

- IMPROV Chicken curry

This late lunch dish was pretty close to what I was looking for.  I was able to do some other things with my time while the cooking was taking place (not to mention, make some rice to accompany the curry).  The choice to add more broth and 1/4 cup more coconut cream was smart.  I made this decision based on the amount of ingredients in the pot and the amount of time I estimated I was going to simmer it all in order to soften the vegetables.  Thank God I added a couple or more dashes of cayenne, as well as a dried chili into the mix; resulting spice factor was on point (Arnel concurred)!  Improvements for next time…

* put in bell peppers at the end unless you really want them soft and “un-green”
* potatoes slightly too soft, but not falling apart; this is generally a preference thing sometimes
* seasoning and saltiness was perfect, but keep in mind that most of the sodium came from other sources, i.e. chicken broth and coconut cream.  Good job on estimating only a tsp (in the hand, too!) of salt to start.
* brown rice works, but we all know it tastes better on white/jasmine rice haha… While basmati is the obvious go-to, I’ve always found it to be too light for me.  I realize curry in itself is a heavy dish, so a light starch accompaniment would be more suitable.  However, IMHAHO (pronounce that out loud) jasmine rice is better; hell, it SMELLS better! =)

– IGA Grocery “Mango Chicken Curry” recipe card


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This entry was posted on February 14, 2012 by in Culinary, Indian and tagged , , , , , , , , .


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