Sunday, February 28, 2010
Madras Curried Chicken With Jasmine Coconut Mango Rice
I love Indian curry, it has a depth of flavor and a complexity that is both a taste sensation and comforting. My first curried dish was prepared by my Aunt Mattie. She traveled the world with my Uncle Warren who was a Cultural Affairs Officer for the State Department from the 50's through the 70's. She soaked up the culture of every country they lived in and visited, bringing that exposure to her dining table in true epicurean fashion. She prepared a curried chicken dish that I vividly remember, served it with jasmine rice, naan bread and a bevy of condiments including: raisins, ground peanuts, toasted coconut, chutney...there may have been more but to my young and inexperienced taste buds these stand out in my memory.
Indian curry can range from mild to explosively hot, its heat doesn't just sear the throat but can cling to the roof of your mouth, inflame your gums and its heat can stick to you like epoxy. In my adaptation I used a combination of Sun Brand Madras Curry and a hot curry from The Spice House in Chicago, judiciously blending the hot with the mild in careful proportions. If you can handle hot Indian curry, go for it but beware!
In the following recipe I made a paste in which I marinated the chicken and once the paste is made the recipe remains easy and straightforward. Toward the end of cooking this dish I added a pint of grape tomatoes to add a little acid bite, and sliced zucchini for bulk and when finished I stirred in some chopped fresh mint. I serve this over a Coconut/Mango Jasmine Rice and have also included that recipe in another post. Many of the condiments that would traditionally adorn an Indian curry and in the rice such as coconut, raisins and dried fruit.
6 Boneless and skinless chicken thighs, chopped into bite size pieces
1 1/2 T Madras curry powder
1/2 T. Hot curry powder
1 t. ground cinnamon (rounded)
1 t. ground cardamon
1 t. ground coriander
1 t. dry mustard
2 t. paprika
1 t. salt
1" piece of ginger
2 garlic cloves
1/2 of medium onion, rough chopped
2 T. tomato paste
1 t. sesame oil
6 T. canola oil
1/4 c. chicken stock
Place the spices, ginger, garlic, onion, tomato paste, oils and chicken stock in a blender and thoroughly blend into a paste in which you can coat the chicken. If it needs thinning add a little more stock, but don't make it soupy. Toss the chicken in the paste and blend well, refrigerate for 1 to 3 hours.
1 red bell pepper cut into 2" strips
1 yellow bell pepper cut into 2" strips
1 medium to large onion, cut in half and sliced into 1/8" strips
2 cups lite coconut milk
1/2 to 1 cup chicken stock
1 large zucchini
1 pint grape tomatoes
2 T. chopped/minced mint
1/2 cup chopped scallions (green part)
Heat a deep sided non stick pan over medium high heat and sear the chicken, marinade and all for about 4-5 minutes, stirring frequently. To the pan add the chopped bell peppers and onion and continue to saute for 2-3 minutes. Add the coconut milk and chicken stock, lower heat to medium low and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes.
While this is simmering, prepare your rice.
After 15 minutes toss in the grape tomatoes and sliced zucchini and continue to simmer for 5 minutes, remove from heat and cover the pan until the rice is done. When ready to serve, stir the mint into the chicken curry, plate and scoop rice over the top adding condiments of your choice...in my case I dressed it with chopped scallions
Jasmine Coconut Mango Rice
2 cups lite coconut milk
4 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup chopped dried mango
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1 1/2 t. salt
2 T canola oil
2 cups Jasmine Rice
Place all ingredients (except the rice) into a 2 quart non stick sauce pan with a tight fitting lid, stir to combine and bring to a low boil. Add the rice, return to low boil, stir well and lower heat to a slow simmer and cover and continue to cook for at least 15-17 minutes. The rice to liquid ratio is increased because the coconut, and dried fruit will absorb some of the liquid, slow down the cooking time and you have to adjust for that. Some varieties of Jasmine rice cook in as little as nine minutes, some longer. The variety of Jasmine rice I use generally cooks in 9 minutes but with the addition of other dried ingredients, the total cooking time was 15 minutes for perfection.. This rice is fragrant, slightly sweet and the perfect accompaniment to a spicy curried dish.