Thursday, November 30, 2006

Chicken Peanut Curry

This Chicken Peanut Curry is another one from Simply Recipes, my favourite recipe blog. Their recipes are usually simple and tasty, with that little extra something that catches your eye to make you want to give it a try.

I love curries but have generally not made them too often. Indian cooking seems like it has to be hard and long and complicated, so I was happy that this recipe seemed to be pretty easy to make. As usual, the recipe below is slightly modified from the original to reflect how I actually made it.
Chicken Peanut Curry

3 lbs boneless, skinless chicken pieces, cut into 1 1/2 inch wide chunks or strips
1/2 cup flour
4 Tbsp curry powder
2 teaspoons Kosher salt
1/2 cup olive oil
2 Tbsp fresh ginger, minced
2 Tbsp garlic, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded, de-veined, minced
4 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 teaspoon ground coriander seeds
8 green onions, chopped, greens included
1/3 cup finely chopped cilantro
2 limes cut into wedges

1 Rinse chicken and pat dry. In a small sturdy freezer bag, combine the flour, curry powder, salt and pepper. Shake well. Add the chicken pieces and shake to coat well.

2 Heat oil in a large saucepan on medium high heat. Add chicken pieces. Cook 5-10 minutes (depending on size of chicken pieces) tossing occasionally to cook chicken evenly. Add the ginger, garlic, chili pepper and 1/2 cup of the chicken broth to the saucepan. Cook for 3 minutes, scraping the pan with a spatula and stirring to combine everything well.

3 Add the peanut butter, stirring quickly to incorporate it with the chicken. Add the remaining 3 1/2 cups of broth slowly, stirring continuously to maintain an even texture. Let simmer for 10 minutes. Right before serving, add the coriander and green onions. Salt & pepper to taste.

4 Serve with basmati rice. Top each serving with fresh cilantro. Squeeze a little lime juice over it as well.
Elise suggests 2 serrano pepppers, but those aren't easy to find here; also, I only used 1 jalapeno so as not to make the recipe too spicy. As well, she suggests garnishing with mint and cilantro, but I didn't have any mint handy.

So, how did this one go over with the troops? Although I thought it was just fine, the rest of the gang felt it was "missing something" in the depth of flavour category. I think since I considerably reduced the heat factor by using 1 jalapeno instead of 2 serranos (or even 4 jalapenos like Elise also mentions trying), it may not have been as flavourful as they were hoping. When I reheated for leftovers the next night I added a teaspoon of some curry masala spice mix I had lying around in the fridge as well as about a 1/4 cup of raisins and let it simmer with that a bit. It made it a bit spicier (and sweeter) but the peanut gallery was decidedly happier with the results. How much of that was just due to the leftovers-always-better-the-next-day factor? Who knows.

In any case, next time I'm definately going to use 2 jalapenos, a bit more peanut butter, raisins and a bit more curry powder directly into the pot. I'd also consider adding some veggies to the mix, like a green pepper or two or some zucchini.

1 comment:

Wendy said...

Sorry, hon, I disagree. It was a lot better the next day due to the garam masala and the raisins.

I do look forward to the next time you make it!