Thursday, April 2, 2009

Coconut Chicken Curry

Quick-name that movie: "Don't you like coconut? Say brainless, don't you know where coconuts come from?" (I can't tell you how many times my family used this line on me in my childhood when I turned up my nose at coconut because I thought it smelled like suntan lotion. That's what happens when you grow up in Southern California.)Well, I'm not brainless anymore, at least maybe not quite as brainless as I was in my youth. (This might be debated by some who know me me well.) But at least on one point I can defend myself: I think I'm becoming cuckoo for coconut. I really love it most endearingly in savory dishs; egads!-this is my third dish in a row starring the tropical fruit, in just about as many days as too. The truth is, when I find something I like, I want to eat it for days in a row, in various forms of course . Right now it's coconut, but tomorrow it might be parmesan cheese or bittersweet chocolate, or even crunchy peanut butter.

I actually started my current coconut kick with this stunner that I made last Friday night. My littlest sister Mary Kate put in a request for some homemade take out food for the weekends. To be worth skipping a Friday night run through the drive-through, a dish would have to be a. fast, b. not leave behind too many dirty dishes, c. cheap, and d. doggone delicious. Friday night mission accomplished! (And you can easily leave out the coconut if you have any brainless eaters at your house.) Have a great weekend and a wonderful life, too.
Money Saving Tips:
You're eating in, so you're already saving money, but to amplify your efforts, be sure to get boneless, skinless on sale. (Albertson's regularly has chicken breasts for under $2 a lb.) Use homemade stock or bouillion cubes for the broth. Use canned coconut milk, half and half, or cream, or even evaporated milk-even fat free half and half if you're watching calories. I also like to save dishes, so this is a one pot meal-and I make the rice in the micro.
Coconut Chicken Curry
Estimated Cost: $7.00 for 4 servings
Notes: It may seem strange to add raisins, but they provide a fantastic sweet counterpoint to the savory curry. If you have your doubts, put a couple on top when the dish is done and you'll see how good they are.
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken, cut into bite sized pieces
1 large onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, chopped
Generous dash of ground red pepper
1 tablespoon curry powder (I like Mc Cormick)
1/2 cup raisins
1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
1 large potato, peeled and chopped
1 and 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup coconut cream or half and half
hot cooked brown rice, for serving
Garnishes: chopped cilantro
sweetened coconut
chopped almonds or cashews
lemon wedges
In a large skillet, melt butter and oil over medium high heat. Add onion and chicken and cook, stirring often, until chicken is almost cooked through. Stir in garlic, ginger, red pepper, curry, raisins, carrots, and potato; cook stirring often for 1 minute. Add broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until carrot and potato are tender, adding more broth if needed. Add coconut milk or half and half and bring almost to a boil. (The sauce will be thin but the rice will soak it up.) To serve, put rice in individual bowls and top with curry and a generous amount of liquid. Top with cilantro, coconut, almonds and lemon wedges.

Next Up:
Getting the most asparagus bang for your buck

20 comments:

gigi said...

Oh my good gracious!! I would love this! I hope I get around to amking it soon. We are on spring break at the beach and I'm doing as little cooking as possible. But this is on my to do list!

Kerstin said...

I'm a huge coconut curry fan - yours looks yummy!

Delene said...

OK, I'm going to HAVE to try this!

Rindy R said...

I LOVE coconut and was giddy when I saw a "Brainless" post for the third time! They all look like keepers!

Tanji said...

Yummy! I love curry and coconut! I'm dying to try your sweet potato fries too. :)

Marjie said...

I don't like to use excess pots and pans, either. My girls get annoyed when they watch me cook and wash and reuse the one measuring cup as many times as needed. And I'm all over simple weekend dinners. I don't want to spend my "down time" in the kitchen!

And I've always loved coconut, maybe because I've never spent much time at the beach due to my super white coloration!

Cathy said...

I am inexplicably starting to like coconut myself. It wasn't the suntan lotion aspect of it that used to bother me (although I do see your point there) so much as the "I'm eating Easter basket filling" sensation that the texture created for me when I was a kid. But this recipe definitely looks like one that I would really enjoy! I love the tropical feeling that coconut brings to a dish.

BTW, I know I've sung the praises of your tomato soup before, but I had to tell you again how much I love it. I brought some to work the other day and was feeling too lazy to walk to the microwave to heat it. So I ate it cold, and was once again blown away by its deliciousness. It will be my go-to cold soup this summer!

The Bentley Family said...

This looks and sounds delicious. I have been looking for a chicken curry recipe. I'm definately going to try this one. Thanks!

Catherine said...

This dish looks delicious, but I'm brainless! =) I searched your blog on Sunday for your creamy tomatillo dressing and for some reason it also pulled up your buttermilk and fudge brownies and given my current state, I had an unsettling craving for the wonderful looking brownies. We had a fabulous Sunday dinner with your salsa, rice, dressing and brownie recipes! Thankyou so much for sharing the wealth! I was fat, dumb, and happy Sunday evening and I owe it all to you!

MK and Co. said...

Thank you so much Prudy dear! This looks delicious! I know Adam will love this one too but will probably ask for extra coconut on top and I will probably just skip that topping. I think you're right though that I would like the sweet cocunut flavor with savory and not just with sweets. I can't wait to to try this Friday-Take-Out-In so I can find out! Thanks for a great recipe!

deltawhiskey.us said...

Now that looks right up my alley!

~Cat

Anonymous said...

I made this tonight, only I used sliced pork roast instead of chicken, since I already had it. Oh. My. Gawd. Definitely will make again. And I couldn' make myself put the raisins in the curry itself, so added them to my rice like you suggested. Next time they go straight in the pot! Thanks for yet another wonderful recipe.

Melanie
http://junkmel1.wordpress.com

Astra Libris said...

Sounds incredible!!! How beautiful!! I can't wait to fix this recipe! Hooray for take-out at home - the ultimate in kitchen economics!

Dawn said...

I adore anything coconut. I can't seem to stop baking with it anymore. I always have a craving for coconut pre-spring and right thru to summer.
This looks really good. Hope you've been well. :-)

Chowhound said...

I love curries... and coconut. I grew up in the coconut, lemongrass and chilli-crazy region of the Philippines called Quezon and we use coconut milk in just about anything. I should try your chicken curry recipe, this looks really good.

Kara said...

This looks fabulous! I just bought fresh ginger for the very first time and I'm thinkin' this might be a great way to use it.

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Camille said...

This is going to be dinner today...yummy! Thanks for sharing!

Blessings,
Camille

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Felicia said...

We love curries! Thanks for the easy recipe!