February 27, 2012

DIY DINER: Chicken Curry Comes to Campus

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Valentine’s Day has just passed, but the month of February continues to offer many opportunities to try new things besides love: sliding down the slope on dining trays (when there’s actually enough snow), leap year celebrations and, most importantly, new food. Whether it’s specialty chocolates, the typical heart-shaped candies or foreign cuisine on a date the night of the fourteenth, food surely gives the month its flavor.

My date decided to use Valentine’s Day as an excuse to steal me away from Collegetown’s greasy grub and so we trekked to the Commons, ready to test the Asian fusion fame of Mia. Although crossing culinary continents to India’s rich and spice-filled culture sounded a little daunting, I undertook the adventure since our waiter, John, spoke so highly of the chicken curry. He named it not only his favorite dish, but the restaurant’s most acclaimed and popular as well. The dish did not disappoint. The moist chicken was soaked in light, creamy, tangy sauce with additional scoops of white rice furthering the dish’s texture. (It may have also accounted for why my stomach was so satisfyingly full when I got home.)  It was the perfect way to break into Indian cuisine.

Since John and I both agree that chicken curry is forever a classic, I thought recreating it in your home could be a simple solution to satisfy the craving here a little closer to campus.

Chicken Curry

Adapted from Rachel Ray, The Food Network. Serves 4, prep 10 min, cook 20 min, total time 30 min

You Will Need: 1 teaspoon each coriander seeds, cumin seeds, mustard seeds2 cups basmati rice 3 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil1 1/3 to 1 1/2 pounds diced chicken breast tenders2 to 4 cloves garlic, minced, mild to extra spicy1 to 2 inches fresh ginger root, minced or grated, mild to extra spicy1 large yellow skinned onion, peeled and chopped1 can chicken broth, about 2 cups2 tablespoons curry paste, mild or hot1/3 to 1/2 cup mincemeatCoarse salt2 tablespoons flour

Toppings and garnishes (Use as many as you want!):4 chopped scallions 1 cup toasted coconut1/2 cup sliced almonds or Spanish peanuts1 /4 cup finely chopped cilantro leaves

DirectionsPrepare rice as directed on the package. Or, to make it spicy, toast coriander, cumin and mustard seeds in a saucepan with 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil. Then add water and prepare rice according to directions as soon as the seeds begin to pop.Heat two tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil in a skillet on medium/high heat and cook chicken until light brown. Remove chicken and add garlic, ginger and onions for five minutes. Add flour and cook for one to two more minutes. Add chicken broth and let it simmer. Add curry paste and mincemeat. Reduce heat to medium/low. Re-add chicken pieces. Do a taste test and add salt if you like. Simmer curry for five to ten minutes.Serve curry in bowls with rice, add your toppings and enjoy!

Original Author: Danielle Diniz