Rush-Hour Gourmet

Posted: May 10, 2007

Ordinary chicken, potatoes and peas get a generous helping of flavor and international flair from this Asian-inspired recipe in the first Fine Cooking Annual (Taunton Press, $34.95). The sauce combines coconut milk, sweet curry powder, ginger, and just enough minced fresh jalapeño to wake up your palate.

Chicken, Potatoes & Peas With Coconut-Curry Sauce

(Makes 2 to 3 servings)

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast halves

Kosher salt and fresh black pepper to taste

2 tablespoons vegetable oil or as needed

1/2 cup finely diced onion (1 small)

1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger

2 teaspoons seeded, minced fresh jalapeño (see Note)

1 tablespoon sweet curry powder (not Madras or hot)

1 cup low-sodium chicken broth

1 to 11/2 cups peeled, diced red or yellow potato

(1 medium-large)

1 (5.5-ounce) can coconut milk

1/2 to 1 cup frozen peas

2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

1. Trim chicken; cut tenders in half. At a 45-degree angle, cut breasts in 3/4-inch crosswise slices. Season with salt and pepper.

2. In a 10-inch saute pan, heat the oil to simmer, medium-hot. In 2 batches, turning once, cook the chicken to light brown, barely done, 1 to 2 minutes a side. Reserve, covered; keep warm.

3. Return pan to medium heat, and, if it looks dry, add more oil. Saute the onion, ginger and jalapeño until soft, stirring steadily.

4. Add curry, saute for 30 seconds. Add broth; deglaze pan. Add potato, salt and pepper to taste. Simmer until potato is barely tender, 7 to 8 minutes.

5. Add coconut milk and peas; simmer until sauce thickens slightly, 4 to 5 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning.

6. Stir in the reserved chicken and juices. Garnish with cilantro. Serve with rice if desired.

Note: Wear plastic gloves when handling chiles to avoid irritation. Do not rub eyes.

Per serving (based on 3): 504 calories, 43 grams protein, 30 grams carbohydrates, 7 grams sugar, 24 grams fat, 88 milligrams cholesterol, 164 milligrams sodium, 6 grams dietary fiber.

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