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!

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