Friday, September 30, 2011

Coconut Curry Chicken

When you grow up in New York City, every day is a cultural experience. Sometimes it's a subcultural experience. Every ethnicity, every cuisine, any flavor you might be in the mood for is all right there. My dad loves spicy food, my mom, not so much. So we hardly ever went out for Indian, which wasn't fair to the rest of us who seem to have inherited my father's taste buds. My parents are great cooks (it runs in the family) and they love to cook all different types of food from all different cuisines. My dad used to make curry chicken all the time. It was one of my favorites. He would make it with sweet curry for my mom and leave Madras Curry powder on the table for the rest of us to add to it. He served it with brown rice and we always had raisins, bananas, nuts and chutney to put on top. Now that I live in a vast, desert wasteland, Indian food is not easy to come by. It's also dangerous for me because I will devour an entire basket of Garlic Na'an. Not good if I want to stay gluten and dairy free. So one day, I was craving curry chicken. I had homemade coconut milk that was about to go bad and needed to act fast. My dad used to make his curry with a whole chicken cut up, but he was feeding a family of five and two cats (cats like curry). I am feeding a one and not sharing with the dogs.

I used the dessicated coconut to absorb some of the liquid and thicken the sauce. It also added a nice textural element to make up for the lack of rice.

For the Marinade:

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast cut into chunks
Juice from 2 limes
Curry Powder

Marinate overnight to get a good lime flavor in the chicken.

For the Curry:

1/2 tbsp coconut oil
1 cup coconut milk
1/4 cup dessicated, unsweetened coconut (I used medium shredded)
3 Tbsp tomato paste
1 Tbsp (or more) Curry Powder
3 Cloves garlic

In a large sauce pan, heat oil. Saute garlic for 30 seconds, add chicken. when chicken looks cooked on the outside, add curry powder, after 30 seconds add coconut milk. Simmer on low. You don't want to cook it at too high a temp. Simmer for 10 minutes, add tomato paste and coconut. simmer for another 10 minutes or until desired thickness is achieved.

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