I somehow got sucked into The Next Food Network Star shows this season. I don't really know how it happened, but I guess it was inevitable since I watch Food Network about 75% of the time I turn on the television.
A few weeks ago, I was watching the Food Network Star hopefuls make a team dinner. One of my favorite contestants, Aarti Sequeira, made a Green Chicken Curry dish that looked amazing! It even had Bobby Flay (my close personal friend, as I have humbly mentioned in a previous post) raving about it. I had food envy.
So when my roommate wanted to go to the grocery store later that same day, I made a game time decision that this dish was going to make an appearance chez moi that evening. Oh yeah...
Green Chicken Curry
adapted from recipe by Aarti Sequeria
- 1 large bunch cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped, ~1 1/2 cups
- 1 bunch fresh mint, leaves, coarsely chopped, ~1 1/2 cup
- 1 jalapeno, chopped
- 1 red onion, chopped
- 6 cloves garlic
- 1 1/2-inch piece ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
- dash habanero sauce
- Saltand black pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup water, plus 1 1/2 cups
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 shallots, thinly sliced
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, about 1 3/4 pounds, halved
- 1/2 teaspoon malt vinegar
- 1/4 cup plain whole milk or yogurt
1) Blend the cilantro, mint, jalapeno, red onion, garlic, ginger, habanero sauce, salt, and pepper, to taste, in a blender. Puree on high until smooth.
2) With the processor running, add about 1/2 cup water, and blend until the mixture is the consistency of a thick paste, then set aside.
3) In a large pot or deep skillet heat the olive oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add the shallot and cook, stirring often, until golden brown.
4) Add the spices and cook for 30 seconds.
5) Pour the blended cilantro mixture into skillet and cook, stirring often until it deepens in color and aroma, about 5 minutes.
6) Add the chicken, coating every piece in the cilantro mixture and stirring often. Continue to cook for 5 minutes.
7) Add about 1 1/2 cups water, just enough to cover the chicken, and the vinegar.
8) Bring to a boil, and then reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, until the chicken is tender and sauce has thickened slightly, about 20 to 25 minutes.
9) Remove the pan from heat and stir in the milk.
10) Taste and adjust seasonings, if needed.
Here are a few tips so that you won't run into the same troubles that I did:
1) the recipe calls for "boneless, skinless chicken thighs". I don't know about your grocery store, but we have an abundance of skinless chicken thighs in ours. Not so much of an abundance of boneless, skinless chicken thighs. Although I guess this is a moot point since I totally forgot I needed to look for boneless, skinless chicken thighs in the first place. I should work on that whole reading and comprehension thing. At any rate, I spent 15 minutes de-boning my skinless chicken thighs. Just buy the right protein to begin with and save yourself the hassle.
2) Again, I had reading issues. My roommate and I sat down to enjoy the meal and a commercial for dairy products came on the television. For some reason, this triggered the memory that I hadn't actually used the milk that the recipe called for. I ran back to the stove and added the milk. But never fear, the chicken tasted great even before the milk was added. After tasting it though, I could tell that it wasn't as spicy as before.
Let me tell you, making this dish is not a decision that I regret. I had some of this chicken curry over a serving of brown rice and it was delicious, but I'm sure it would taste just as great over a plate of white rice or with some naan. Mmmm naan...The chicken was tender and moist, since it was braised. The cilantro mixture was a bit spicy and smelled heavenly. Once it was boiled down with the chicken and spices, the result was a tangy, smoky chicken dish with a rich curry sauce.