Winner Winner Chicken Dinner

I cannot get enough of curries these days. Full stop. They are so easy to pull together and the end result is beyond rewarding. Some coconut milk here, fresh herbs and unfamiliar spices there. Add a pinch of this and a tablespoon of that to build layers of flavor. I learned the hard way last night that turmeric and my braces are not the best of mates but c’est la vie. It is my joy to report that the end is near. My adult set of braces (yes I had them for five years in my teens) are coming off for good at month’s end. It has been a long 21 months so what’s another two weeks and four days with neon teeth? Matthew says I am making a fashion statement. What a grill.

Last night we were in dire need of a recovery from the pill of an evening we had on Tuesday. We decided to break with tradition and went to a wine bar that we have driven by too many times to count and on a weekly basis at that. We were marvelously surprised by the dark and shadowy interior, beautiful bar, outstanding wine list and atmosphere in general. We felt as if we had been transplanted to a lounge in downtown Manhattan. Louis Armstrong and Sinatra echoed throughout the space. It was perfect for our post-work redemption. Within an hour of our arrival the place was buzzing. Did we miss the memo that Wednesdays are the designated nights for painting the town red in the Queen City? Now we know and you know how the rest of this goes.

As I was closing up shop after work, I received my Food52 daily alert and was quickly drawn to a section entitled ‘9 Curry Recipes to Spice up your Winter’. The header photograph caught my attention, namely because it was that of plump chicken pieces in a caramel coconut curry sauce mixed with bright green peas. A magnificent visual arrangement. The colors were magical and my mouth began to water. I quickly eyed the recipe and mentally checked off the ingredients in my kitchen save for chicken breasts and green peas. After libations and taking in the scene, we hit up the grocer to pick up the remaining goodies for our impromptu dinner. A quick and economical trip to the market that one was. A bit of a relief really. I am sometimes boggled by our grocery bills. I am shopping for two people. I digress.

We came home, pumped up the volume and got to work. I also cracked a bottle of wine that has received serious hype from Winestore. Katherine Goldschmidt Cabernet Sauvignon. IA big bottle of red to toast a big night. I ordered half a case and I shall be returning soon for more before they sell out. I also broke out the new apron my caring sister gave the resident chef. I must admit, I don't usually wear one and mutter under my breath when I have one more thing to take to the dry cleaners. Prep work for this dish included a bit of measuring, some zesting, squeezing, chopping and mixing. I added some fresh vegetables to the medley. In just under a half hour minutes we were dishing up and officially in business. The flavor medley was tremendous. Plus talk about a healthy, hearty meal. Matthew asked if we could put this curry into our weekly rotation. Absolutely. Appeasing all parties is always the way to go. I love happy campers. My kind of dinner for sure and I hope yours too.

Top of the Pops Chicken Curry
Adapted from Food52 
Recipe by: Table9

Bare Necessities

2 TBS olive oil
3 breasts of organic chicken – you could also use pork or beef medallions
1 white onion – chopped
3 cloves of garlic – chopped
2 tsp curry powder
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp turmeric
½ - 1 tsp red pepper flakes – turn up the heat
3 TBS tomato paste
1 can of light coconut milk – I buy the Thai Kitchen’s Light variation
2 inch knob of ginger – peeled and chopped
1 lime – zest and juice
1 cup of frozen green peas
1 head of cauliflower – you can also throw in a bag of chopped broccoli or a mix of the two
½ cup of basil – stems removed and haphazardly torn or chopped if you want to be precise
½ cup of garbanzo beans
1 cup of hot water
1 tsp salt

Hook It Up

1. Chop your chicken into medallions and salt them (1 tsp). Set aside.

2. Heat the 2 TBS olive oil on medium high heat in a wok or large pan. Add the onions and cook for approximately eight minutes or until they are translucent. Now add the garlic and ginger and cook for another minute or two.

3. Stir in your curry powder, cumin, turmeric, red pepper flakes and tomato paste. Give everything a big stir. The aromatics will ignite at this stage in the game.

4. Add your chicken to the pan and stir to coat. Now is also the time to add the lime zest. You will need to cook this for approximately ten to fifteen minutes.

5. Pour the can of coconut milk into the wok or pan. Bring to a boil and lower to medium heat to continue cooking the chicken. Now add one cup of hot water along with the cauliflower, garbanzo beans and frozen green peas. Throw the basil on top. Put a lid on and let it cook for 15.

6. Take the lid off and throw in your greens. Give everything a big stir and watch the greens wilt. You’re in business. Dish up in shallow bowls and before serving, squeeze the lime juice over the top.

This pairs marvelously with rice. A certain person wasn't eating carbs last night. Go figure.

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