Ugh… the dark side of spring just popped me a good one… normally, people catch themselves a cold when the temperatures are on their way down the scale. I on the other hand, evidently unable to stick to the norm in this area, have to take the gravelly path and go down with a case of the nasties when the first wave of warmth is rolling across the country.
To top off the deal, my system had to go down fighting, treating myself with weekly updates on the ick rather than getting it over with within a week. One week of the aches, one with a cough and the third with the goo. As you can guess, I’ve had just about enough of this… Anyways, with a head wrapped in what feels like at least ten tons of cottonballs and a barely functioning respiratory system, getting your tummies filled with anything is a challenge. And, after about 1-2 weeks of chicken broth and porridge, your tastebuds tend to start screaming for something serious. After nuking my synuses with a spoonful of horseradish in a desperate attempt to regain a resemblance of control over them, I was finally able to get back a portion of my sense of smell and taste – enough of them, at least, to pick a dish perfectly capable of widening the gap in the snot’s defenses even further, intense enough to satisfy my tastebuds suffering from severe boredom, and speedy enough to steer clear of potential nap-attack-desasters waiting to happen while in the kitchen. Here’s my flu-repellant~!
The Chicken & Mango Curry
For 2-3 generous servings you’ll need…
1 Tbsp Coconut Oil
3-4 Tbsp Red Curry Paste
1 Clove of Garlic, crushed
400ml Skimmed Coconut Milk – you’re going to need more curry paste if you’re going with full fat coconut milk
400ml Duck Stock – chicken stock works just as well, the duck adds some more birdy oomph though
2 Cardamom Pods, crushed
1 Star Anise
1 Stalk of Lemongrass, bashed
1 Kaffir Lime Leaf
400-500g – about 2 large – Chicken Thighs, skinned but left on the bone
2cm fresh Ginger, cut into 4 thick disks of about ½ cm
1 large Brown Onion, coarsely chopped
½ Red Bell Pepper, deseeded and cut into thin strips
½ Yellow Bell Pepper, deseeded and cut into thin strips
1 large, ripe Mango – after skinning, pitting, dicing it into 1cm cubes and taking the tendency of yummy fruit being handled mysteriously disappearing into thin air into consideration, you should end up with about 350g of Mango cubes.
1 Handful of precooked or blanched Broccoli Bouquets, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 Lime, Zest
Opt: Lime Juice to taste
Opt: 1-2 Tsp of Fish Sauce to adjust the salty side of things
Opt: 1-2 Tsp of Palm Sugar to adjust the acidity levels in your Curry
½ a Bunch of Coriander, leaves picked
1) In case you’re not in a hurry, start by submerging the chicken in a bowl filled with buttermilk and tucking it away in the fridge around 8 hours before Curry-o-Clock. This will tenderize the meat and give it a huge moisture boost.
2) Set a large pot onto medium-low heat and pour in the stock. Get it up to a gentle simmer and add the garlic, star anise, cardamom, lemongrass, lime leaf and ginger. Just in case you haven’t taken care of blanching your broccoli yet, send the bouquets on a trip through the simmering stock until they’re al dente. Douse them with ice cold water immediately after taking them out of the pot to preserve their color and keep them from turning mushy in your curry later.
3) Add the chicken thighs and leave them to gently simmer away for 25 mins. Have an eye on the liquids in your pot and, if necessary, lift it off the heat for a few mins to keep them from working up a serious boil.
4) Once their time’s up, take the thighs out of the pot and place them on a plate to rest under an aluminum foil blanket for 10 mins.
5) Meanwhile, strain the stock through a fine sieve to remove the spices, pour it back into the pot and set it onto medium-high heat.
6) Stir in the coconut milk and lime zest, give them a quick swirl, then add the curry paste and have at it with a whisk until the paste has dissolved completely.
7) Set a large frying pan onto medium-high heat ad add the coconut oil.
8) Pop in the onion cubes and bell pepper slices and flash fry the veggies until the onions turn translucent and the peppers are tender.
9) While the veggies are sizzling away, carefully pick the meat off of the bones in conveniently bite-sized bits and pop the pieces into the pot holding your sauce. Once the last bit of chicken went in, add the freshly fried veggies and gently fold in the mango as well.
10) Have a taste of the sauce and, if necessary, adjust the seasoning with lime juice, palm sugar or fish sauce.
11) Plate up and scatter the servings with a few coriander leaves just before serving.
12) A bit of rice, rice noodles or a slice of fresh bread go wonderfully with this one~
I blame this comfy hug in a bowl for me being able to get up, leave the house and soak up some much needed sunbeamy vitamins the following day~ Back on my feet just in time for my annual Spring Chocolates Eggstravaganza! Prepare for a sweet treat coming your way next week~!