Thursday, February 18, 2010

Thrifty Thursday: Pecan Chicken Curry

We love curry in our house. I used to make Rachael Ray's Curry in a Hurry recipe once a week. It is awesome and really cheap because once you buy the two main ingredients (curry paste and mango chutney) they will last a while. Rachael's recipe actually calls for mincemeat but I use mango chutney. Also, I buy Patak's Curry Paste which I think is the best of all the brands. It costs $5 but it will last a long time!

I started making another recipe recently that I got from the online cooking school that I do. I changed it up just a little bit. Chris and I love it! If you like traditional Indian curry, then this is for you! This meal just makes the cut of under $10. It costs around $9.95. Now, if you already have all of the spices, then it will be much cheaper.

Pecan Chicken Curry
4 whole onions (diced 1/4 inch cubes)
1/2 cup ghee (see below) - can substitute butter
2 bay leaves
2 tsp Kosher salt
4 large garlic cloves (roughly chopped)
2 tbsp fresh ginger (roughly chopped - I buy a fresh ginger root and keep it in my freezer. It keeps it fresh and makes it easy to chop.)
2 whole green chilis (seeded and roughly chopped...if you can't find these, you can use one poblano pepper)
1 tsp fresh cracked pepper
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp paprika
1 cup Water
3-6 chicken breasts depending on your family size (diced in 1 or 2 inch cubes)
1/2 cup pecans
3/4 cup cream
1 bunch cilantro

Heat the ghee over medium heat in a large fry pan or Dutch oven and sweat the onions, bay leaves and salt for about 25 to 30 minutes. You want the onions to sweat slowly. If they look like they are going to start to brown, turn the heat down.
Meanwhile, peel and roughly chop the garlic, ginger, chilies and place into food processor and puree.
Once the onions are very soft add the garlic, ginger and chilies and cook for another 3 minutes.
Then add all of the remaining spices and seasoning and cook for another 2 minutes.
Add the water and bring the mixture to a boil.
Reduce the heat to low and cover. Let the mixture simmer for 10-15 minutes.

Add the diced (uncooked) chicken into the sauce, replace the lid on the pot and simmer for another 10 -15 minutes or until the chicken is no longer pink.

Grind the almonds in a food processor. Then add the cream and blend until you have a smooth paste. Add the almond paste to the chicken and onions and stir. Check for taste and adjust seasonings if necessary. To finish add the chopped cilantro and serve over rice (preferably jasmine).

You can buy Ghee in stores but it is much cheaper to make yourself.
This is just a simple process of removing the milk solids from the butter. It allows the butter to be cooked at a higher temperature without burning.
Take a stick of butter and melt it in a saucepan over low heat. Let it continue to cook until you see the layer of milk solids has separated. You can strain the butter through a cheesecloth to remove the milk solids. I just take a spoon and skim off the milk solids and discard them.

Tip: If you don't have some of these spices, I would suggest you go to a Fresh Market or Earth Fare (if you live near one). They sell their spices in small plastic bags and are WAY cheaper than the grocery stores. Also, walmart has really cheap spices as well.


Cyberman said...

Have you ever seen somebody lick the chutney spoon in an Indian Restaurant and put it back? This would never have happened under the Tories.

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