Friday, June 4, 2010

Day 6: Almond Curry with Chicken and Apricots

Its funny, but I rarely make Indian food, despite the fact that I love it. We have most of the ingredients on hand. And my roommate makes it quite often.  All compelling reasons to finally bust out with a curry recipe.  Most of the time I make Thai curry (Green is my fav), probably because I heart coconut milk and lemongrass.  Regardless, I was looking forward to changing it up and making a spicy, healthy Indian curry for dinner.  A lot of Indian dishes (at least the ones I usually order) have ghee, or clarified butter, in the recipe.  Ghee = tasty.  Ghee = UN-healthy.  So, no ghee for us.  Instead I used almonds for flavor and healthy fat and greek yogurt for creaminess and body. 

First, I ground up ~1/2C sliced almonds in the food processor to make a fine almond meal and put 12-15 dried Mediterranean apricots in super-hot-but-not-boiling water to plump them back up:

Next, I browned my salt & pepper sprinkled chicken in a lightly oiled pan for about 3min per side (not all the way cooked, but golden brown on each side), then added a little more oil (1/2 tbsp?) to the pan and softened up some onion (1 small onion), garlic (1 big clove), and ginger (big tbsp):
 **yay! look at my fun phone in the background!**
Once those were soft and tasty-smelling, I added about 2 tbsps of curry powder and 1/2 tsp of cayenne pepper to the skillet, letting that cook for a couple minutes to toast and get fragrant:
Once that was all good-smelly, I added about 2 C of homemade chicken stock, the ground almonds and the plumped apricots.  Once that came up to a simmer, I returned the chicken to the pan to finish cooking.  I'll admit, however, that I didn't cook the chicken long enough and had to return it to the pan once we dug in... but let's ignore that for the time being. :)  I cooked the chicken in the "sauce" for about 10min... these were thick breasts and after 10min they still weren't cook through!  I was afraid I'd over-cooked them... nope!  
I took the chicken out, turned up the heat to let the sauce reduce and concentrate a little.  Once it reduced by about a third, I turned off the heat and added 2 big tbsps of greek yogurt and a little salt and pepper, to taste.

I served the chicken on a bed of brown rice with some chopped scallions as garnish. The combination of heat (cayenne), sweet (apricots), and curry was outstanding!  I think I might try this again with lentils, potatoes and maybe cauliflower for a vegetarian dinner.  I really liked this curry, great balance of flavors.  We drank Red Stripe with this because it was cold, bubbly, refreshing, and available.  Any lager-style beer would have probably worked well here, for the first time in awhile, I actually don't recommend a wine with this... I just don't think a white could have cut it.

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