If breakfast is the starter meal of a day, then Sunday is the starter meal of the work week. Reviewing the schedule for the upcoming week, it revealed little time for cooking a meal. Sunday dinner needed a recipe for the crock pot. The meal needed to be hearty and large to last a few extra days. The additional stress endured this week will be counteracted with a spicy Curry Chicken stew. Meals with little nutritional value will only feed the stress.
Sunday starts with our audacity to accept a invitation to a wonderful performance. After returning home from seeing Emperor Jones at the SoHo Playhouse, it was a relief to know dinner would be quickly served. As we waited for the rice to cook — 45 minutes for brown rice — we worked on our projects. When the rice was ready and the garnishes were prepped, we ate a spicy stew and enjoyed the evening. During the week, I will remember this relaxing moment in the midst of chaos.
Curry Chicken Stew in a Slow Cooker
1 whole chicken; cleaned and cut into 10 parts; seasoned and marinated for at least 1 hour in a mixture of sea salt, fresh pepper, curry, paprika, cumin, lime, ground ginger, lime juice, olive oil and crushed red pepper
1 large onion; diced
4 stalks of celery; diced
1 lb. carrots; diced
1 green bell pepper; diced
1 jalapeño pepper; seeds discarded, finely diced
3-inch piece of ginger; diced
3 to 4 cloves of garlic; minced
1 tsp. crushed red pepper; to taste
1/4 to 1/2 cup of curry powder
1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
1 tsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. cumin
1-1/2 quarts of chicken stock
1/2 to 1 cup of white wine
1 tsp. of tomato paste
2 to 3 tbsp. red balsamic vinegar
1-14 oz. canned chopped tomatoes with juice (canned whole tomatoes can be chopped. If using fresh summer tomatoes; blanch and peel skin. Roughly chop)
1 bunch of fresh thyme; tied with twine
2 cups fresh cilantro; minced and divided in half
2 cups of fresh flat-leaf parsley; minced and divided in half
1 bay leaf
3/4 lb. red and/or white baby potatoes, cleaned and quartered
1-14 oz. coconut milk
The juice of one lime
Brown Rice; cooked according to the manufacturer’s directions
Garnish: roughly chopped cilantro, sliced almonds, slice green apples, cranberries/raisins, unsweetened coconut, chopped pistachios, and/or chopped green onions
1. Over medium-high heat in olive oil, brown chicken on both sides. Five to ten minutes per batch of chicken. Place chicken in slow cooker, but don’t turn it on, yet.
2. Reduce heat to medium and sautéed onions, celery, carrots, green pepper, jalapeno and fresh ginger in the same skillet until translucent. Add garlic and stir for 30 seconds. Add sea salt, fresh black pepper, crushed red pepper, curry, paprika, coriander, cumin. Stir for one to two minutes. If the mixture is too dry, add a little chicken stock. Place vegetable mixture in the slow cooker.
3. Deglaze the same skillet by adding 1/2 cup chicken stock and wine, cover and bring to a boil, scrapping up brown pieces of the vegetables at the bottom. Pour liquid into the slow cooker, but don’t turn it on, yet.
4. Add the rest of the tomato paste, chicken stock, balsamic vinegar, potatoes, bay leaf, thyme and 1 cup each of parsley and cilantro to the slow cooker, but don’t turn it on, yet.
5. Gently stir the ingredients in the slow cooker. Add more seasoning as needed. Now turn on the slow cooker, and cook on low for four to six hours.
6. About 20 minutes before the four to six hours of the cooking time is completed, pour coconut milk into the slow cooker. Continue to cook toward the rest of the cooking time. Afterwards, if possible, discard thyme and bay leaf. Add the juice of one lime and the other cups of parsley and cilantro to the slow cooker.
7. Ladle stew over brown rice. Garnish with a choice of cilantro, unsweetened coconut, sliced almonds, slice green apples, cranberries/raisins and chopped green onions.
Update 08/15/10: Made this salad at the last minute to accompany the Curry Chicken Stew.
Cucumber Mint Salad
2 to 3 cucumbers; seeds removed; roughly chopped
1/4 cup fresh mint; chopped
salt and fresh black pepper
A dash of crushed red pepper
1 to 2 tbsp. rice vinegar
3 to 4 tbsp. walnut or olive oil
2 to 3 scallions; roughly chopped
1. Lightly toss all ingredients together. Let marinate for at least 20 to 30 minutes.