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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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 FNMusings@gmail.com.
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.