Friday, December 2, 2011

How to Make: Chicken Curry

This is hands-down JJ's favorite meal. So much so, that for my bridal shower, my friends asked JJ what my favorite meal was, and he said "chicken curry." (NO! Chocolate? Sushi?) So much so, that he frequently asks, "Why don't you make chicken curry any more?" Even though I make it probably once a week. I think maybe he would eat curry every day if possible. So, I've figured out a way to make pretty easy chicken curry.

The hardest thing about this meal is that it has some unique ingredients. You can certainly find them at the supermarket, although for a lower quality and a higher price than you would at an oriental supermarket. The two ingredients you should look for are: curry paste (NOT curry powder) and coconut milk (it comes in cans). At the regular grocery store, you can usually find these in the "International Foods" aisle, but they'll probably be the "Thai Kitchen" brand, which is very low quality. Really. You can spend a few bucks on a little tiny jar of curry paste and use almost the whole thing for one meal, or you can buy a big tub of it at the oriental supermarket, and have it for a few months! There are all kinds: red, yellow, green, panang, name it! My favorite is green and JJ loves red, so usually we have one of each on hand.

So now that you've braved the oriental supermarket, we're ready to get cookin'!

1 clove minced garlic
1/2 cup diced onion (or dried equivalent) 
Approximately 1/2 cup chicken stock
2-3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed
1 can coconut milk
Approx. 2 Tbsp. curry paste (read package directions...depends on how spicy you like it)
Your choice of veggies, chopped into bite sizes (my favorites are red bell pepper, green beans, and carrots)
Rice to serve it over

  1. Brown chicken in a skillet. Make sure not to cook the chicken all the way through--it should still be a little pink in the middle. Remove chicken from skillet, making sure to leave the juices in the pan. Set chicken aside.
  2. Mix onion, garlic, and curry paste into the chicken juices in the pan, until onion begins to get tender. You can pour in a little more chicken stock if you need to.
  3. Once your onion is nice and tender, throw in your veggies. Pour in the chicken stock--you can use however much you need to give your veggies a nice little "bath." You don't need to cover the veggies all the way up though. Let veggies cook until they begin to get tender, stirring frequently.
  4. Put the chicken back in the pan, and pour in the coconut milk. Stir everything really well, and turn down the heat. Your curry is done when the chicken is no longer pink in the middle and your veggies are done to your liking!

"Christmas curry"--green curry paste, red bell peppers, green beans, and potato

Just FYI, you might have to play around a little with the amount of curry paste you use. Back in Tucson, we bought a brand that required 5 Tbsp...and here in MA, I did that the first time with a different brand and we nearly burned our faces off. So that's why I say 2 Tbsp is a good "starting place." Make sure you taste the sauce to see if you need anything before surprises here people!

Happy cooking, and bon appetit!

Thanksgiving Meal!

Only a week late...but here is our update on how our Thanksgiving meal turned out!

We woke up Thanksgiving morning and were both pleasantly surprised that the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade didn't start until 9 am...back in Arizona, it always started at 7 am because of the time difference, and honestly, who wants to wake up that early on the holiday? EWWWW. So we watched the parade in its entirety before we started cooking....oh, the joy that is only serving two people on Thanksgiving! No schedule to follow!

Anyway, first I baked the blueberry pie. In my whole life, I've only ever baked one kind of pie, and that it my grandmother's famous (well, famous to me, anyway) summer season strawberry jello pie. And that's easy. So needless to say, I was nervous to tackle my first ever blueberry pie! Luckily, it turned out pretty good.

Not confident enough to try the fancy lattice-work I opted for a crumble topping with rolled oats, brown sugar, flour and cinnamon instead. Yuuuuuum.

After the pie was done, it was time to get those chickens in the oven! I've never made Cornish game hens before, and I have to say, I'm more than a little grossed out by raw chicken that is still chicken-shaped. Give me boneless, skinless chicken breasts any day and I'll handle those babies without flinching! There was some confusion about whether there were giblets or not in the hens, and so I spent a good five minutes "making sure" they weren't still frozen to the insides or something. All the while, JJ is of course, making lewd jokes and taking pictures. And then he tells me that there are no giblets and shows me the package. Um, thanks!

You can't see my "eww" face right am  I ever going to tackle a real turkey?

Finally got the chickens prepped and stuffed with wild rice...ready to go into the oven!

Now we had only a couple of hours before feasting time...and with no other really complicated dishes (just crescent rolls, frozen green beans, mashed potatoes and canned cranberry jelly), we had some time to spare! So what to do we do? Harass the cat, of course. (And you thought you were going to read a no kitty-pic post!)


Anyway, after waiting patiently and whipping together those few last minute items, it was time to admire our beautiful feast and then eat!

Our finished chickens....yummmmmmy!

Our completed much food leftover! Didn't cook again until the following Monday =)

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving and are now ramping up for Christmas! We decided to put the turkey taquito tradition on hold...because after all, we did have enough food after Thursday to last us a whole week, and I hate throwing perfectly good food away. So I think we are going to turn it into a New Year's tradition instead =D

And and update on the job my phone interview went really, really well. They invited me in for an in-person interview this past Wednesday. However, I got an email a few days before saying that one aspect of the clinical trial was found to be ineffective, and the whole project was put on hold and they couldn't hire anybody. WHAT A BUMMER! However, yesterday I got an email from another person at the same place (Fenway Health) asking if I was still interested in the position, but for a different clinical trial. UM, YES. So good news: I have another phone interview on Monday with two different project managers. Hopefully at least one of them likes me enough to bring me in for a real interview! Cross your fingers, folks!