Archive for the ‘curry’ Category

the weather was pretty rainy and gloomy yesterday, so we decided to make some chicken in coconut curry. i love things bubbling away on the stove when it’s cold outside, and it makes the house smell so amazing.


lightly brown about 6 – 8 skinless chicken thighs in 1 T oil. you don’t want to make them really brown, you just want to give them a little color. if you want to save this step you can just put the ingredients in with the raw chicken.

add 1 can of coconut milk. you can use the low- fat kind, but it will not be as creamy as the whole kind. when you open the can there will most likely be a solid chunk at the top; this is fine, it will melt away when heated. i also added one small onion, finely minced, about 1 t of grated lemon zest, a few kaffir lime leaves [mine were dried; either fresh or dried is fine], about 1 1/2 t of yellow curry [i used the same maharaja i’ve used in other dishes, i love it], a little extra cumin and cinnamon, red chile flakes, smoked paprika, salt and pepper. i brought it all to a simmer and then let it cook slowly for an hour or two. stir occasionally to make sure it’s not sticking and burning on the bottom, and turn the chicken occasionally to cook evenly in the sauce.

we served the chicken with basmati rice [1 part rice, 2 parts water], and steamed broccoli with lemon.


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i made this for my mom tonight, to go with a rack of lamb and braised spinach [i’ll post tomorrow…]. i served it chilled with creme fraiche and some chopped parsley. chives would have been better, but i had none.

saute one small shallot in a couple tablespoons of olive oil or butter. add a handful of dried cherries, 1 t of madras curry, and 1/2 t paprika. stir until spices become aromatic. add i medium- sized butternut squash, peeled and cubed, 1 can of light coconut milk, and enough vegetable stock [or water or  chicken stock] to cover squash. simmer until squash is tender.

when the squash is cooked, the cherries will be reconstituted. add about 1 to 2 T of honey, let cool, then puree contents in a food processor until smooth. i reserved a little of the liquid, then added the puree back in to preserve some texture. whisk in about 1/2 c of creme fraiche [buttermilk or plain yogurt would also work], salt, and pepper. serve chilled with creme fraiche and chives or parsley as a garnish. if you want to serve it hot, warm it slowly without letting it boil or the dairy may curdle.

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curry dumpling soup

so, i had eggnog coffee cake for breakfast, and if i didn’t make lunch, i was going to eat the pie from yesterday [see below, below].

the other night after the baked chicken curry [see below, below, below], i took all of the large pieces of meat off the bone that were left, and put the chicken carcass [i know, horrible word] in a pot with a large carrot, a medium onion, a stalk of celery, a bouquet garni*, half a quart of chicken stock i had leftover in the fridge, and water to cover the contents. i put it on the back burner and have been simmering it for two days. today, it’s time to make soup.

put a fine sieve over a soup pot, and strain the contents of the stockpot. many people use cheesecloth, which filters out more of the smaller contents of the stock, but unless i’m using it for a recipe that demands very clean stock, i like the texture.

there are a few ways to defat the stock. if you have not boiled your stock [homogenizing the stock and the fat together], the fat floats to the top, making it easy to remove.

first, there are stock decanters where the spout originates from the bottom, and you can pour out the stock, leaving the fat. second, you can allow the stock to cool completely and simply pull the fat off the top as it solidifies when cold. or, the method i use, which is, no surprise, the fastest and laziest method, is to use a large ladle to skim the fat from the top. gently push the ladle into the stock flush with the top of the liquid. slowly tilt your hand and allow the fat to siphon itself into the ladle. do a little at a time, so you don’t lose much of the stock. it seems to help if i hold my breath.

while the residual stock parts are still warm, i go through it with my hands, picking out the pieces of meat left behind. some people don’t use this meat, as it loses a lot of flavor and the texture is not optimum, but i can’t stand throwing out stuff that could otherwise be used; hey, it’s lean protein!

dice a large carrot and put it in your beautiful stock. at this point you need to season the stock. you are next going to poach the dumplings in the stock, and you want it to be seasoned; the dumplings are better if poached with seasoned liquid.

if you have not made your own stock, heat some good chicken stock you have purchased [choose products made from poultry not treated with hormones]. this soup has a mild curry flavor; if you would like a bit more, add some now by 1/4 teaspoons until you have the flavor you want. if you are making this from scratch and not from stock made from the leftover baked curry chicken, add the curry when you start the stock; it’s better when the flavors meld over time. add salt and pepper to taste.

while the carrots are simmering away, prepare THE DUMPLINGS:

serve your daughter irish steel- cut oatmeal cooked with dried cherries and raisins for breakfast. don’t let her eat all of it, set aside.

beat 2 eggs with 1/2 cup of water. add 1/2 t salt and 1/2 t curry powder. add 1 and
1/2 cups flour, 1/2 cup of the cooked, reserved oatmeal [chop cherries and raisins into smaller pieces if you like], 3/8 t of baking powder, and a bit of freshly grated nutmeg. combine. don’t beat the hell out of it, they will get tough.

make sure the soup is at a simmer, not a boil. drop the dumpling batter into the center of the simmering liquid by large spoonfuls. they will sink. as you make them, they will float to the top and begin crowding the pot. when you drop in the last few, make sure to scoot the already- poached dumplings away from the new one so it can sink and not stick to the others. the stock will also cool slightly as you make the dumplings, allow the stock to come back to a simmer before adding another.

add the reserved chicken [and any leftover meat from when it was baked, skin removed, chopped] and a handful or two of shredded spinach. allow the spinach to wilt, then spoon the soup into a bowl. i had my bowl with a very hoppy IPA.
now i can have pie.

a *bouquet garni is a sachet that is put into stock to flavor it. i use a huge tea ball,
but most of my life i used cheesecloth, tied with kitchen string. combine parsley stems,
a bay leaf or two, peppercorns, a clove of garlic [optional] and a sprig of fresh thyme [also, optional]. i did not add the garlic and thyme for the curry soup, there was plenty of flavor with the seasoning that was on the baked chicken, but you could with no fowl consequences. that pun was for dad. make a little bundle with the cheesecloth and tie with kitchen string. bury it in your stock pot.

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so, when i think of chicken curry, all i can see is sloppy stew over rice; so, i decided to try a baked chicken with a curry rub. i think it worked well, you don’t lose the chicken altogether in a swamp of curry. i baked it with yams, and served it with basmati rice cooked with coconut water and tossed with chopped italian flat leaf parsley, and fresh pineapple with coarse sea salt and black pepper.

preheat the oven to 350 degrees. in a dish combine 1 t sea salt, 1 t maharajah curry, 1 t paprika, 1 t adobo* seasoning, 1/4 t cinnamon, 1/4 t ground chipotle pepper, and 1 T flour. wash and thoroughly dry a whole chicken. rub the chicken well on both sides, dump remaining rub blend inside chicken. if you want, add a lemon to the chicken cavity, stabbed with holes.

cut yams in half, and then in half (or quarters, if large) lengthwise and toss them in canola or olive oil. put chicken on a rack in a roasting pan, and distribute the yams along the bottom. the yams will roast in the drippings from the chicken, and it’s delicious; if you can’t handle the idea of your potatoes cooking in chicken fat, well… i guess steam them or something, or put them in their own dish. bake chicken for about 45 minutes at 350. turn up the heat to 425 and baste by patting the pan drippings on the skin with a basting brush. bake until the skin is golden, and the drumstick joints feel loose. you can also stick a hole in the thigh and make sure the juices run clear to know it’s properly cooked.

i cooked the rice in a rice cooker, 1 cup rice to 2 cups coconut water [not milk] and 1/2 t sea salt. we had purchased the coconut water and decided it was undrinkable… flora suggested we use it for rice! brilliant! toss with chopped italian parsley and butter before serving.

* the adobo seasoning is a blend from penzeys, we have one here in portland, in all places, clackamas, next to TJMaxx. when they opened i told them they should be in the pearl district, and their response was “we don’t believe that all of the people that love to cook only live in ‘certain’ areas.” well, the place is dead whenever i go there, and i hate to think about having to order online again. anyway, the adobo seasoning is a blend of onion, garlic, black pepper, mexican oregano, cumin, and cayenne pepper. if you can’t get it, you could make a blend with the same ingredients [amounts in descending order] and then measure it out.

update: now penzeys has a store in the peal district. brilliant.

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