Hey guys, so how was the weekend???
Did you do anything extra fun? Winter sports maybe, if you’re up North, or some fun beach time if you’re somewhere warm like I am? Around here the summer is slowly coming to an end but it’s as if it’s not going without a little say in the matter because this last week was ridiculously humid and it reminded me of where I grew up in the States. Wow, it was just so STICKY. I actually love warm weather, but I can’t stand that claustrophobic feeling that comes with high humidity.
My weekend was pretty calm though. My parents had to take a small trip during the week and then my little sis, Lela, was still on her adventure trip with some friends of ours so our home was feeling a little bit off for a few days. Of course, then everyone came home and we’re a full house again. Things are bound to go back to the usual level of chaos very soon.
It was different kind of week for me because I didn’t do a huge amount of cooking as usual. Firstly, because there weren’t as many of us around to eat so much, and secondly, because there were a lot of days that we went out to eat. That’s not typical for us to go out but it was something we did as a way to keep my youngest sister, Sophie, occupied so she wouldn’t have much time to feel sad missing our parents. See, this is pretty much the first time in her memory that they’ve been away from her like this and as she’s the youngest in the family so it was hard for her. But don’t get me wrong, I still spent a good amount of time in the kitchen.
I made this curry earlier last week and decided that I should share the recipe because it was just so good. Sometimes my favorite recipes are the ones that are completely spontaneous and unplanned. I think that’s one of my favorite parts of being in the kitchen. I love the challenge of taking whatever ingredients are in the fridge, pantry, and freezer and finding a fun new way to put them together. Sometimes that turns out well and sometimes, um, not so great. Luckily though, this one I’m sharing today was in the former category and I think it’s a new favorite.
Whenever I tell someone that I don’t go by recipes for about 90% of my cooking they always seem to be surprised. I understand though, and I know that for a lot of people it’s better to have a structured plan in mind for what they’re doing, but I guess it’s a bit more challenging to always do that when you cook for a large group. I think that’s when I really started learning to cook by touch rather than recipes, when I started getting comfortable cooking for our whole fam. That’s also when I started to enjoy creating the recipes myself.
But anyway, this curry is so quick and easy. You can use any veggies you’ve got on hand and pretty much anything goes. I used some broccoli, cauliflower, onions, and mushrooms since those are things we almost always have on hand, but there are so many other possibilities. Also, for a vegetarian option you can skip the chicken and add vegetable broth instead of chicken broth. I served this with brown rice but it goes well with any type.
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size cubes
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil, divided
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
- 3 - 4 cups veggies of choice (I used:1 cup broccoli florets,1 cup cauliflower florets
- 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced, and 1 cup portobello mushrooms, thinly sliced)
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 2-1/2 teaspoons curry powder, divided
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 cup coconut milk (be sure to stir the can before pouring as it separates)
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 1 cup cooked chickpeas, rinsed
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 - 6 cups cooked brown, white, or basmati rice to serve with
- Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium high heat and add the chicken in a single layer. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until just lightly browned (it's okay if it's not quite done as it will finish cooking in the curry sauce. Pour the chicken out into a separate bowl and set aside.
- Now add 2 tablespoons of the coconut oil to the pan along with any harder veggies (such as broccoli, cauliflower, carrots...) and stir over medium high heat for about 5 minutes until they are starting to soften. Now add the garlic, ginger, and any softer veggies (such as onion and mushrooms) to the pan and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes.
- Pour in the chicken broth, coconut milk, and curry powder, garam masala, and cayenne, then add the peas, chickpeas, and chicken to the pan and simmer uncovered for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until the sauce begins to thicken.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper and add cilantro if desired. Serve the curry hot over your favorite type of rice (or even quinoa).