chicken curry with coconut basmati rice

Chicken Curry with Coconut Basmati Rice


A typical conversation that occurs with my husband when he gets home from work goes something like this:

me: Hey, how was your day?

the hubs: Good.

me: What was for lunch?

the hubs: Oh, you wouldn’t like it. I ate at {insert name of spectacular restaurant here}.

me: Oh…did you know you have never taken ME there before? {Ahem} Sure would be nice to go.

For my birthday this year, my hubby took me to a legendary local Indian restaurant. It was one of those aforementioned “spectacular” places. Our meal was delectably memorable as we ordered a sampler platter to share filled with a little bit of everything. Nevertheless, we had this experience in mind as the benchmark for the chicken curry I made the other day. They were high standards, but the hubs actually gave me a round of applause, literally.

The techniques used to construct this dish are: Indian Flavor Profile, 3|2|1 Cooking Method, Spice Infusion and 5 Basic Steps to Building Flavor. Let me also mention that the instructions documented below are not the only way to prepare curry. This could work in a slow cooker or letting it simmer on the stove. One thing is certain though, make sure your favorite sitar station is playing in the background. Might I suggest Indian Classical Radio on Pandora. It is a mood changer.


ingredients

Use the Indian Flavor Profile and the 3|2|1 Cooking Method to determine the ingredients for the dish. Here is my list:

three base ingredients
  • garlic, 2 cloves, minced
  • fresh ginger, 1 tablespoon, grated
  • onion, 1 cup, chopped
two (or more) spices
  • allspice, ground, ½ teaspoon
  • black pepper, fresh ground, to taste
  • chile powder, ½ teaspoon
  • cinnamon, ground, 1 teaspoon
  • garam masala, 1 teaspoon
  • mustard seed, 1 teaspoon
  • turmeric, 1 teaspoon
one (or more) herbs
  • fresh cilantro, 1 hand-full, chopped
trademark ingredients
  • basmati rice, 2 cups dry {use portion advisement on packaging}
  • coconut, unsweetened, flaked, about ½ cup
  • coconut milk, 14 ounce can {went for the “lite” version}
  • diced tomatoes, 14 ounce can
  • split peas, dry, ¾ cup
staple ingredients
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breast, cubed
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced

stove top instructions

Use the 5 Basic Steps to Building Flavor to prepare the curry.

STEP ONE: HEAT THE OIL

 In a dutch oven, heat a tablespoon or so of vegetable oil over medium high heat.

STEP TWO: ADD DURABLE AROMATICS

Add carrots and onion.

Sprinkle with salt.

Cook a couple (three to five) minutes until softened.

Stir occasionally.

STEP THREE: ADD SENSITIVE SPICES

Add the following spices and herbs listed from the ingredients above.

  • allspice
  • black pepper
  • cilantro
  • cinnamon
  • garlic
  • garam masala
  • ginger
  • mustard seed
  • turmeric

Cook until fragrant (3o seconds to a minute).

Stir frequently.

STEP FOUR: ADD INGREDIENTS TO FLAVOR

Add chicken breast and one can diced tomatoes to the pan.

Lightly brown chicken on all sides, ensuring that spices do not burn.

STEP FIVE: DEGLAZE WITH LIQUID

Deglaze pot by pouring one can coconut milk over chicken and vegetables. Stir until all ingredients are incorporated, scraping brown bits from the bottom of the pot.

OVEN INSTRUCTIONS

After deglazing, cover the dutch oven with a lid.

Place covered pot in an oven and cook at 300° Fahrenheit for one hour or until meat is 165° and tender.


rice instructions

Use infusion and steeping techniques to elevate the flavor of the rice. Simply cook the rice according to the package instructions. Add some salt {to taste} and ½ cup unsweetened coconut to the boiling water.

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