Saturday, January 9, 2010

Kind-of Chicken Curry

I know the picture isn't the best, and that chicken of all things doesn't photograph very well, but crappy photographs aside, this is one of my favorite meals to make, and it's pretty simple. I don't make it all that often, since the coconut milk isn't anywhere near good for you, even using light, but hey, you have to splurge every now and then, right?

When Sam and I first started dating, as anyone that knows me well can attest to, I was not willing to try new things.  For all of my 22-ish years, the only cheese I would eat was American, or Velveeta, mainly due to a class field-trip to the Darigold Cheese factory in Sunnyside, Washington that had changed my opinion on cheese after seeing a vat of it being made.  I eventually got over it, and now I have tried to make cheese at home a few times.

Sam was the first one to introduce me to new, interesting foods, like Pesto Sauce (ha).  He encouraged me to try new things, and this kind-of curry is one of them.  I say kind-of curry, because it's most likely an American bastardization of something else, but hey, it's good, I can find the ingredients in Newport and I like it.  What else could you want?  Maybe one day I'll tackle a proper curry, but until then, this one will suffice.

Chicken with a Peanut Curry Sauce
   Adapted from a recipe on Food Network

 2 tbs. olive oil
1.5 lbs. chicken breasts, or chicken tenders, cut into pieces*
1 zucchini, sliced into half-moons **
1 red pepper, cut into strips
1 red onion, cut to match the shape of your peppers
1.5 c. light coconut milk
0.5 c. low-sodium chicken broth
1.5 tbs. red curry paste ***
1/3 c. chunky peanut butter
2 tbs. brown sugar
2 tbs. lime juice (fresh is best, but the stuff from the bottle works too)
  • Heat oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat.  Salt and pepper chicken chunks to taste, then add to pan and saute until cooked though.  Add in red onion and saute for a few minutes, then add in zucchini, wait a few, then peppers.  Cook until you're happy with the crispness of the vegetables.
  • In a medium bowl, combine remaining ingredients.  Pour into the pan and stir to combine.  
  • Increase heat and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally (thereabouts of 2 minutes).  Reduce heat and simmer until sauce thickens to a consistency you're happy with (6-8 minutes, or more).  To shorten this, you can add in some cornstarch to thicken.  Serve over rice or couscous.
*Cutting up chicken breasts instead of using tenders is cheaper.  Or, if you buy bone-in, skin on chicken at the grocery store on sale, and bone out the breasts, you end up with tenders, AND chicken breasts, and it's cheaper.  Hooray.
**A handy tip to make zucchini crisp, and not mushy" sprinke salt over cut zucchini in a colander.  Let it sit for 30 minutes or so.  The salt will draw excess water out of the zucchini, which means when you cook it, it won't end up as mushy, since it's actually cooking, instead of steaming.
***Use as much curry paste as you want.  I start at 1.5 tbs, since I don't handle heat all that well.  Sam, on the other hand, likes it when I use more curry paste.

1 comment:

  1. At first I thought it was mac n cheese. Curry sounds a lot tastier though. Way to be adventurous and try new things!