Friday, January 22, 2010

Hurry!!!! Chicken Curry!!!

Yep, I'm still making "belated" birthday dinners.....but I am getting there!  The other day I realized I had some chicken breasts that had been in the freezer for a while and needed to cook them.  I don't keep many meats in the freezer other than chicken and hamburger, although I will freeze steaks if I happen to get a great buy on my favorite cut (tenderloin...ahhh!), but I'm very careful to wrap them in plastic wrap very tightly and them place them in freezer bags.

Soooo.....back to the chicken breasts!  I went through several of my cookbooks (I do have a few!) and was drawn to several chicken curry recipes.  After having heard Dr. Oz say we should eat curry 2-3 times a week, I decided to start that day!

The first thing I did was slice my chicken into's easier to do if the chicken hasn't completely thawed.

Next I seasoned the chicken.  I had seen a couple of recipes that called for seasoning with Garam Masala seasoning, which I had discovered a few months ago.  I made some from scratch, but I have seen it in the grocery stores.  Here's the recipe, if you want to make your own:

2 tablespoons cumin seeds
2 tablespoons coriander seeds
2 tablespoons cardamom seeds
2 tablespoons black peppercorns
1 (3-inch) stick cinnamon, broken up
1 teaspoon whole cloves
1 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon saffron (optional)

Put all but the nutmeg and saffron into a dry, heavy skillet over medium low heat.....stir occasionally as they toast....about 10 minutes.  Place them into spice mill, coffee grinder or food processor and grind to a powder, then add the nutmeg and saffron and stir.  It keeps for about 3 months covered in an airtight container.

I used about 2 tablespoons of the Garam Masala, and tossed it to cover the chicken and set aside for about 30 minutes.

Put about 2 tablespoons of olive oil into a hot skillet, then add the chicken and brown.

Set them aside and start to prep your vegetables.  I used 1/2 large onion, sliced, and some beautiful multi-colored tomatoes I had bought for a salad which I cut in half.  I also diced up 4 cloves of garlic and 3 medium sized red potatoes, diced. noticed that there aren't any potatoes on that cutting board.  Truth?  It was a last minute thought....they were in a bowl on the counter and I couldn't resist cutting them up and throwing them in.....I wasn't sure they'd work too well, especially since I was putting all of this over rice.  Argh....alot of starch!  Soooo, I didn't take a I wouldn't have to tell you that it was a mistake.  Now?  It wasn't a mistake, but it wasn't fabulous either, although adding them did help to thicken the sauce.

So, back to the recipe.....I put the onion and diced/minced garlic into the pan with the drippings from cooking the chicken, just to soften. 

Then I added a cup or so of chicken stock and the potatoes, along with a teaspoon of curry powder.  (Hey look....I DO have a picture of the potatoes!)

While these were cooking (just too soften - be careful not to make mush out of the potatoes, which I do from time to time!) I made my saffron rice.  You're most welcome to "google" saffron rice, but I've been making Mahatma's Saffron Rice for years!  I'm not real sure my kids ever ate white rice, now that I think about it!

It's very inexpensive, easy to make....and so buttery delicious!

After the potatoes, onions and garlic have cooked, and the chicken broth has cooked down and thickened, add the chicken back to the mixture and toss...then add the tomatoes and toss lightly.

 Once the tomatoes are warmed, put the rice on a plate or in bowl, top with the chicken mixture and VOILA (I love the French language, even if I only know a few words!)

This might seem like it's a time consuming recipe, but it really isn't.  It's very quick to make and if you make plenty, you can have it again a day or two later....remember, Dr. Oz says you should have curry 2-3 times per week!  I guess I need another curry recipe.  I'll get back to you on that!

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