Are you a fan of curry? If you are, this recipe is for you. If you're not yet sure, this recipe is a good one to find out exactly how you feel about one of the hip flavors to hit main stream America.
2 pounds chicken (I used thighs)
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 teaspoons salt, divided
2 red bell peppers, large dice
1 onion, large dice
1 cup butternut squash, large dice
1 cup carrot chunks, or baby carrots
1/2 cup celery hearts, chopped with leaves
3/4 cup coconut milk
1 lemon, zest and juice
1 teaspoon fresh ginger root
1 teaspoon curry powder
chopped cilantro for garnish
Rinse and pat dry chicken pieces using paper towels. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt, front and back. Heat a saute pan over medium high heat and add olive oil when hot. Place chicken skin side down into pan and allow to brown for 3 or 4 minutes. Turn and brown other side another 3 or 4 minutes. This should render out quite a bit of the fat. Meanwhile, place diced and chopped veggies into a 9 x 13 inch baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining salt. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Mix coconut milk, lemon, ginger and curry together in a small bowl. When chicken is browned, place skin side up on veggies. Pour coconut milk mixture over chicken and veggies. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 20 minutes. Garnish with cilantro. Serve with rice, black rice, couscous or quinoa. Serves 6 to 8.
Hints: Feel free to change out veggies. Curries sometimes have some starchy veggies like potato, sweet potato or winter squash and some peppers and onion. But it is your dinner and you can choose just what you like or what you have on hand. The carrots will take the longest to become tender so have them be the smallest pieces. The onion and squash will give off quite a bit of liquid so don't worry about the dish drying out. Using fresh basil instead of the cilantro is a good substitution. Lime instead of lemon is fine, too. Add 1/2 teaspoon more curry if you want a stronger flavor.
Curry is a health enhancing element that can be added to foods you are used to. This is an easy dinner to assemble and we all need more veggies, right?! The curry is not too strong in the chicken and won't overpower anyone. Kids and adults will like this dish.