Friday, October 7, 2011

Chicken Curry - A Different Way And A Cookbook Giveaway

You know how I’m always going on about cooking warm spices in oil before any liquid gets added to the recipe? Well, I tried something different this time which made a very significant difference to the finished dish.

The great folks at Andrews McMeel Publishing sent me a new cookbook, not even out yet, called Simply Fresh by Jeff Morgan. It’s a nice collection of everyday dishes that can be whipped up for dinner with a minimum of fuss. The recipes feature easily found, fresh ingredients, so you mostly need only a quick trip to the supermarket.

The Chicken Curry with Coconut Rice recipe appealed to me. The spices are mixed together and are used to coat the chicken, which is then sautéed. This is instead of the spices being added to the softened onions. It gives the dish a much stronger, more robust and smokier flavor. I liked it.  

(It would have helped if I had read the recipe more carefully. You’re supposed to add a bit of water to make a paste of the spices. I left that out, so I had more of a rub. It makes sense that I would get a smokier flavor, but either way would be good.)

The Chicken Curry recipe from Simply Fresh is here. Morgan adds a whole can of coconut milk to his rice as it’s cooking. I went without that and added some lentils instead. (But sometimes I do stir in a little coconut milk AFTER the rice is cooked. I get away with adding a lot less and I still get that wonderful flavor of coconut.) I added lots more vegetables to the curry and increased the liquid to get more sauce.

I also changed the amounts of the spices. I always add double the cumin to the coriander. Don’t judge me, that’s just my thang.

Chicken Curry with Rice and Lentils (serves 4)
Printable Recipe here
Inspired by Chicken Curry With Coconut Rice from Simply Fresh

2 tsps. curry powder
2 tsps. cumin
1 tsp. coriander
½ tsp. turmeric
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. Kosher salt

3 lbs. of chicken pieces (I used chicken breasts with skin and bone)

2 tbls. olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
4 carrots, cut into ½ inch pieces
1 sweet potato, cut into medium 1 inch pieces
1 cup plain yogurt (nonfat is fine)
2½ cups vegetable or chicken stock
1 14oz. can chopped tomatoes with juice made up to 2 1/2 cups with stock or water

optional: 2 tbls. cream

Mix together first 6 ingredients in large bowl. 

Add 2 tablespoons of water if you want a paste, or leave as a dry rub. Place chicken in bowl with spices. Rub spice mix all over the chicken. Leave at room temperature for 15 minutes.

Heat oil in large sauté pan. In batches, brown first side of chicken for 3½ minutes over medium heat. Cook second side for 2 minutes. Remove to plate.


Add onions and carrots. Cook, covered, over low heat until completely soft. Add sweet potato and stir in yogurt, stock, or tomatoes and stock or water. Bring to a simmer. Stir in the cream, if using. 

Add chicken back in. 

Cover and simmer gently for 35 minutes. (You may need a bit longer if using legs and thighs.) Serve with Rice and Lentils. 

Rice and Lentils


2 tsps. olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 cup brown rice
½ cup lentils, rinsed and picked through
3¼ cups stock and/or water
Optional: ½ cup coconut milk

Heat oil in large pot or Dutch oven. Add onion and cook until soft. Stir in rice and lentils and then stock. Bring to boil, cover and turn heat to low. Cook for 45 minutes undisturbed. Stir in coconut milk after rice is cooked, if desired.

Rice can sit for at least 30 minutes before serving. Fluff with fork 10 minutes
after it’s done. Cover until ready to use.

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Cookbook Giveaway

Win a copy of the brand new Simply Fresh by Jeff Morgan.

Simply Fresh Cookbook Giveaway contest open until Friday, October 14th, 11:59 pm eastern time.

Enter these ways:
1) Send a comment to this post including the words, “Simply Fresh”. (Include your email address, if your name doesn’t link to it.)

2) Send me an email with Simply Fresh Cookbook Giveaway in the subject line to

3) Tweet "Simply Fresh" to me at

Enter as many times as you wish. Each comment, email or tweet counts as one entry. The more times you enter, the greater your chances of winning. Contest open to US residents 18 years old and above. 


Anonymous said...

Simply fresh!

Teslaca said...

This cookbook sounds interesting. Would like to see the recipe for Ruby Tuesday's Burgers in Simply Fresh. Bet there are more great recipes to check out too.

Sue said...


Hiya Tesiaca,
It's funny - I really liked the book and then I realized the recipes were from Ruby Tuesday, which I haven't always liked. But there are plenty of good basic recipes for things I would make everyday. And, yes, their burgers ARE in the book.

Cynthia said...

I am always interested in the very many ways chicken curry can be made. Would have loved to taste this. Of course I can try making it myself but these days I am too lazy to cook :)

Cheryl said...

Simply fresh! That has always been my motto when cooking. Find the freshest, highest quality ingredients and keep it simple. Those are the recipes to treasure. Would love to win this cookbook. The Saffron Tomato Soups sounds heavenly.

Sue said...

Hiya Cyn,
I know what you mean about cooking. Sometimes it's good to take a break. When you come back to it, this is such a good way of making curry.

Hiya Cheryl,
It's a really nice cookbook with some yummy stuff in it. Consider yourself entered.

Sheila said...

1) Simply Fresh!
2) I feel like Curry is one of my weakest areas. (One of many!) But there's many different kinds of curry, right? And I never remember the difference or which one to go for.
3) I'm super excited to make this rice! I love that you tell people to stir in the coconut milk at the end. I had tried it the other way once... and its way better your way.

Sue said...

Hi Sheila!
How's it going? You're entered for the book...

Curry is such a broad term, but, yeah, there are tons of different dishes called "curry" and tons of different ways to cook them.

Adding the coconut milk at the end is definitely the way to go.

Anonymous said...

Hi Sue,
I'd love a chance at the Simply Fresh cookbook. Thanks!

Sue said...

Okie dokie.

Abandoned By Wolves said...

Hi Sue,

Simply fresh! If you think it's worth having, I want to have a copy, whether by giveaway or through Amazon.

I can usually take curry or leave it, but this sounds like a good version to try.

Muchas (hopefully) gracias...

Sue said...

Hiya James,
Let's hope the spirits at go your way.

Sue said...

It's an "l", not an "i"...sorry!

Emily said...

Oh my goodness. This looks amazing, Sue! I love curry and Indian flavors. I'm going to save this recipe. I think it'd be fun for an Indian-themed dinner party. Which I'll probably never have. But a girl can dream.

Haley McAdams said...

Truly delicious! It reminds me of home. My mom always makes me chicken curry whenever I go home. Thanks for sharing this recipe. I'll definitely try this one out.

Food Handler Certification

Sue said...

Hi Haley,
Welcome! Do you think if I keep a pot of chicken curry on the stove, the kids will come home more often?

Haley McAdams said...

Hi Sue!

Sorry for the late reply. I wasn't able to check the checkbox to enable the follow up comments on this blog. Anyway, I think the kids will definitely come home if you cook what they really love. Mothers always have their own special recipe that their kids will definitely miss.