Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Almost There


     It's almost my spring break! Did you know? It starts this Friday. I cannot wait to have no class at all and nothing to do...except study for the quiz and two midterms I have directly after break, but hush. I have other things to think about. Such as: since I only have two days left in Philly, I really need to use up my groceries- carrots, chicken, yogurt, milk. That's not so bad. On top of which, I haven't cooked for rather a long time, and I need some curry to help me survive till Friday.

Artistic Marinade
      You know, people keep asking me how I get the time to cook, etc. while I have school. Here's the great thing about writing this blog: I always have food to eat (except on days without cooking), I don't eat out at all (so I am saving money- Yay!), I probably spend as much time cooking/eating with people as we would spend eating out, and cooking a real meal does not take that much more time or effort than frozen food. Especially when you are trying to heat up frozen food and you manage to set off the smoke detector and it just won't turn off for a very long time. That was me, yesterday, in the five minutes right before I had to leave for work. As numerous people told me: There is a lesson in this, just stick to cooking!

     So, that is what I am going back to doing, and I am so happy. Making a simple curry is just the most relaxing thing of all. I defrost and brine my chicken, mix up some yogurt marinade / curry base, dump the chicken in it, cut up some of my carrots (would it be ok to put my last bok choy in a curry? hm. I suppose not. I must cling to the last shreds of my authenticity), and it all simmers away. I love knowing my dinner will be a full and delicious meal.

I can't help that it's just is yellow!

      So, carrots, yogurt, milk, chicken. All check. Delicious curry dinner, certified by PN who had some (of course), check. She ate it without anything because I was too lazy to simmer it down into thickness, and it did make a very good soup that way. For my part, I had some on rice with more yogurt because that is the way I do. The carrots were nice and soft, the curry was flavorful and not too spicy, the chicken was perfectly cooked. Yay food!

Carrot and Yogurt Chicken Curry 

1 lb Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs 
1 cup Yogurt 
1/2 cup Milk 
1 tsp Ground Coriander
1 tsp Garam Masala 
1/4 tsp Turmeric
1/4 tsp Ginger Powder 
1/8 tsp Salt 
1/8 tsp Red Chili Powder
2 Green Cardamom Pods 
2 tbsp Vegetable Oil 
3 mid-sized Carrots, Diced

Chicken Prep: 

Soak the chicken thighs in a large bowl filled with water, a spoon of salt, and a spoon of sugar. After preparing your marinade, take the chicken thighs out and cut them into bite sized pieces (1 in cubes).

Marinade and Curry:

In a large bowl, mix the yogurt, milk, ground coriander, garam masala, turmeric, ginger powder, salt, and red chili powder. Add the bite sized pieces of chicken and mix in thoroughly. Leave for ten minutes. Meanwhile, peel the carrots and dice them.

Then, heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the cardamom pods and fry them for a minute. Next, draining the chicken of as much liquid marinade as possible, sear the chicken on both sides at medium heat. Don't crowd the pan: you can sear one batch of chicken, place it in a bowl, and then sear another batch. Once all the chicken has been seared, dump it all back into the saucepan, pour in the marinade, and add the carrots. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer the curry for ten minutes or until the carrots are soft. If you want the curry thicker, simmer for slightly longer. 

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