Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Quick Chicken Curry by Robb Wolf

Every once in a while, I'll sit down with my favorite cookbooks and thumb through them to see what strikes my fancy as something good to blog. The last time I went through the recipe section of Robb Wolf's The Paleo Solution, I had tabbed his Quick Chicken Curry.  I could not find where Robb has posted this recipe himself on the internet, but if your a good internet searcher you may be able to find where others have posted it.  You really should get this book if you don't have it already.  It's well worth the small investment.  

I happened to have all of the ingredients in my kitchen except for the cashews and decided the dish would likely still be worth making with out them.  I love it when I find a recipe that I want to make and no trip to the grocery store is required.    I decided to double the recipe so I would have dinner and lunch for the next day. 

Completely ignore the curry powder- picture curry paste there instead.

After gathering my ingredients, I put the frozen grilled chicken thighs I was using in the microwave to defrost.  While it was defrosting, I chopped the onion. 

When I took the picture with all of my ingredients, evidently my mind was not completely with the program and I picked out my jar of curry powder instead of pulling the yellow curry paste out of the fridge.  I caught my mistake before any damage was done and really I think it might have been fine: a little less flavorful but fine.  He says you can use a prepared curry sauce or make your own.  I decided to make my own.
Making your own curry sauce is as easy as mixing yellow curry paste with coconut milk. 
I added one tablespoon of olive oil to my 12 inch skillet and added the onions.
While the onions sweated in the pan, I diced the grilled chicken thighs that had finished defrosting.  
Once the onion had softened, I added the cooked chicken and let it heat through.  
After 1-2 minutes, the chicken was heated through and I added the curry sauce to the pan.  If I was using cashews, I would have added them now.  
After stirring in the curry sauce, I let the dish cook for a few minutes per the recipe instructions.
The sauce will reduce a bit in that time.
Finally, I added the spinach to the pan and gave everything a good stir.  At this point the instruction is to take the pan off the heat.  I turned my burner off.  

The spinach wasn't as wilted as I would like, so I put the lid on my pan for 1-2 minutes with the burner off to encourage it to wilt.  Here is my finished dish:

Accessibility & Cost of Ingredients:  You should be able to find all of the ingredients except maybe the curry paste easily and inexpensively at your big box grocery store. I get my curry paste at the Asian grocery.   If you have a well stocked paleo pantry/fridge/freezer, you may, like me have everything on hand already.  

Preparation & Cook Time:  It took me 19 minutes from the starting the recipe to turning off the burner.  I added two minutes to let the spinach wilt with the lid on for a total of 21 minutes.  If you don't have pre-cooked chicken, you'll have to add a little time, approximately 5-10 minutes, to get that cooked first.  If I were going to make this with fresh chicken, I'd probably dice the chicken raw so it would cook quicker.  

Clean up:  I hand washed my skillet and wooden spoon.  The rest of my preparation equipment went into the dishwasher.  I was able to cook the dish and clean up in under 30 minutes.  

The Paleo Review:  Thumbs Up!  What a yummy quick satisfying dish.  The predominant flavor, not surprisingly, is the curry.  I know the cashews would add a crunch to the recipe but I'm not sure that they would add all that much flavor.  Nuts, in addition to crunch I think are used to add richness to a dish.  The dish is already plenty rich and creamy with the coconut milk alone, in my opinion.  I was a bit worried that the spices on my pre-cooked chicken would negatively impact the taste of the dish but they did not.  The dish does have a little heat to its flavor.  I wished I had some cauliflower rice to accompany this curry.   Next time, I will make sure to have some "rice" prepared and I'm going to add some mushrooms. 

If you're looking for a super quick dish that packs a lot of flavor, here is one I recommend.  Enjoy!