Thursday, October 11, 2007

Guest Chef: Adriana Velez on Chicken Curry

Southern Vietnamese Chicken Curry

Recipe, post, and photo by Adriana Velez of What I Made for Dinner.

Maybe you've been eyeing that Vietnamese cookbook on the shelf. Maybe you have some of the ingredients on hand, but not all of them. Maybe you have a craving for broccoli.

I tweaked a curry recipe from Cafe Vietnam, by Annabel Jackson. My "edits" are in italics below.

2 medium-sized potatoes, cut into chunks

Nah, too much starch. Let's do broccoli instead.

vegetable oil for frying

8 shallots, minced

Don't have 'em, so skip 'em.

4 stalks fresh lemon grass, minced

Oops, only have two. Oh well.

Pound and tie instead of mincing -- I like to remove my lemon grass after cooking.

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 fresh hot red chilies, minced

Omit, since we're feeding Jasper [age 4] as well.

2 tablespoons mild Indian curry powder

1 pound skinless boneless chicken breasts, chopped into bite-sized pieces

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 1/4 coconut milk

2 1/2 cups chicken stock

fresh Thai basil leaves (optional)

1. Shallow-fry the potato pieces in hot oil until lightly browned. Drain on paper towels and set aside. Hah, don't have to do this step now.

2. Heat a little oil in a pan and saute the shallots with the lemon grass, garlic, and chilies until soft. Awkward with the whole lemon grass, so add that at next stage. I did add some fresh ginger at this stage, though, just for fun. Add the currypowder and stir for 2 minutes. Add the chicken and cook, stirring, until it is opaque.

3. Add the potatoes, salt, coconut milk, and chicken stock. I added broccoli at this point, but I should have waited even longer and added it after 15 minutes or so. I also threw in some chopped red bell pepper the last five minutes. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer gently for about 30 minutes. Garnish with Thai basil leaves, if using.

Ahh, exactly what I wanted.

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