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Posts Tagged ‘braising’

68 Days of Gourmet: Day 48

I hope you didn’t think I’d disappeared. My sore throat ended up morphing into laryngitis and a bad upper respiratory infection and we were out of town. I’m just now starting to feel normal again. To give you any indication of how bad I’ve been feeling, I haven’t worked out since Friday morning. Whatever was going on in my chest was not good and I needed to rest.

In slightly more interesting news, we did a five-course chef’s tasting dinner at Woodfire Grill on Friday night. For those of you who aren’t familiar, it’s Top Chef contestant Kevin Gillespie’s restaurant in Atlanta. I’m going to post a recap of that dinner tomorrow night and my experience meeting Kevin!

And now onto the food you see pictured above. I found this recipe for Chicken Hawaii while I was searching for older recipes to make for the 68 Days of Gourmet project. The recipe was originally published in 1953 and featured some of our favorite ingredients – coconut, curry, pineapple, chicken – it was a must try.

I was so excited about serving the coconut curry braised chicken with all of the fun toppings – lime wedges, pineapple, toasted coconut and chopped macadamia nuts. It smelled amazing while it was cooking but then kind of fell flat in the flavor department. I was so disappointed. There just wasn’t enough curry flavor and it was kind of bland. I was explaining the lackluster dish to my dad and he made a good point, the whole can of full fat coconut milk that I added to the curry mixture probably just washed out the flavor. And he made another funny point that in the 1950s people were really just starting to experiment with bold flavors and served a lot of bland dishes. Maybe this was pretty cutting edge in 1953!

So while I won’t be making this again, I still enjoyed cooking it and liked the idea of serving the dish with toppings so it can be customized to each diner’s taste.

One Year Ago: Lady Strawberry Cake (a show stopper!)

Chicken Hawaii
(Recipe source Gourmet, January 2006 – originally published in 1953)

Ingredients:

1 (3- to 3 1/2-pound) chicken, cut into 8 serving pieces
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large onion, diced
3 tablespoons peeled fresh ginger, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 (3-inch) cinnamon sticks
1 Turkish or 1/2 California bay leaf
1 tablespoon curry powder (preferably Madras)
2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons sugar (optional)
1 (13 1/2- to 15-oz) can unsweetened coconut milk (not low-fat)

Optional accompaniments for serving: rice, toasted coconut, fresh pineapple cubes, lime wedges, mango chutney,  chopped salted roasted cashews, macadamia nuts or peanuts, chopped fresh cilantro leaves

Directions:

Rinse, pat chicken dry and season with 1/2 teaspoon salt.

Heat oil in a 6- to 8-quart heavy pot over moderately high heat. Brown chicken, turning occasionally, 8-10 minutes. You will probably need to do this in 2 batches. Transfer to plate and reserve fat in pot.

Add onion, ginger, garlic, cinnamon sticks and bay leaf to fat in pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is browned, about 5 minutes. Add curry powder and flour and cook over medium heat for 1 minute, stirring  constantly. Stir in sugar, coconut milk and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring and scraping up brown bits from bottom of pot. Return chicken and any accumulated  juices to pot and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until chicken is cooked through. This should take around 20 minutes or until a thermometer registers 165 degrees. Discard cinnamon sticks and bay leaf. Season with salt to taste.

Serve chicken over rice with sauce from pot and toppings.

Yield: 4 servings

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moroccanchicken

I’m not going to lie when I tell you that the inspiration for this dinner was my husband requesting sangria this week. Yes, when I said “what do you want for dinner this week?” his answer was, “something that goes with sangria.” Nice. Off I went in search of something Spanish or Moroccan flavored. It doesn’t take much to encourage me to seek out tasty new ethnic recipes. I looked and looked and kept coming back to this recipe for Moroccan Chicken with Green Olives from Epicurious.

I love making dishes like this. There’s something about browning the chicken, cooking the onions, adding the spices and simmering everything together that just makes me happy. The house smelled amazing and I didn’t even have to turn on the oven on this hot day.

This was delicious and according to Epicurious, healthy and relatively low in fat. I thought the flavors were really fresh and great for summer. I also love this method of preparing chicken because it always turns out so tender and flavorful.

Moroccan Chicken
(Recipe heavily adapted from epicurious.com)

Ingredients:

1 whole chicken, cut into 8 pieces
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large sweet onion, thinly slice
2 garlic cloves, smashed and minced
2 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup green olives, sliced in half

Directions:

Rinse chicken and pat dry. Heat oil in a dutch oven over medium-high heat. Place chicken in pan and cook for about 2 minutes per side, until browned. Work in two batches if necessary. Do not crowd the pan. Remove chicken from pan and place on plate.

Add onions to the pan and cook for about 4-5 minutes, until lightly browned. Add in garlic, lemon wedges and spices and cook for about 1 more minute. Add in chicken broth and lemon juice and bring to a boil. Add chicken browned chicken pieces back to the pan, reduce heat to medium low and cover. Simmer for about 2o-25 minutes, or until chicken has reached an internal temperature of 160 when measured close to the bone.

Remove chicken from pan and place on plate. Add olives to sauce mixture and bring to a boil. Cook for about 5 minutes or until reduced and thickened slightly. Spoon sauce over chicken and serve. I recommend serving over rice or cous cous.

Yield: 4 servings

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curryyogurtchicken

I cut this recipe out of Food and Wine several months ago. I finally added it to our menu last week and all I can say is that I wish I’d have tried it sooner! The quick braising method results in very tender chicken and the flavors in this dish are great for something that comes together so quickly.

If you’re a fan of ethnic flavors, I definitely suggest you try this one out!

Curry and Yogurt Braised Chicken
(Recipe heavily adapted from Food and Wine)

Ingredients:

3-4 tablespoons canola oil
3-4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
All-purpose flour, for dusting
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 serrano chile, minced (I used jalapeno)
1 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1 tablespoon Madras curry powder (add up to an extra tablespoon if you’re a curry lover)
1 pound tomatoes, cored and coarsely chopped, or 1 can diced tomatoes, drained
1/4 cup plain low-fat yogurt
1/2 cup water
Cilantro leaves, for garnish

Directions:

Trim chicken breasts and season with salt and pepper. Lightly dredge in flour and shake off excess. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken to the skillet and cook, turning once, until lightly browned, about three minutes per side. Transfer the chicken to a plate.

Add the garlic, ginger, chile and bell pepper to the skillet and cook over medium-high heat until slightly softened, about 2 minutes. Stir in the curry powder and cook for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, yogurt and water and stir until smooth.

Return the chicken to the skillet and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over low heat until the chicken is tender and the sauce is slightly thickened, about 15 minutes. Sprinkle the chicken with cilantro and serve over rice.

Yield: 3-4 servings

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