Chicken and Vegetable Curry

Preparation info

  • Makes

    4

    Servings
    • Difficulty

      Easy

Appears in

Get in There and Cook: A Master Class for the Starter Chef

Get in There and Cook

By Richard Sax

Published 1997

  • About

This is not authentically Indian (but tasty nevertheless) and is loosely based on a dish that the late Bert Greene used to cook at The Store in Amagansett—arguably America’s first gourmet take-out shop. Set out condiments to dress it up, if you like, or just serve with a basmati rice pilaf.

Ingredients

  • 1 can (about 14 ounces) reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • ½ cup cold water
  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (about pounds total), fat and tendons removed
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 carrots, sliced on a sharp diagonal ¼ inch thick
  • 1 celery rib, strings removed (Celery Stringing), sliced on a sharp diagonal ¼ inch thick
  • 1 red (bell) pepper, cored, seeded (Bell Pepper Basics), and cut into short, thin slivers
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons minced, seeded, fresh hot chili pepper (Hot Chili Pepper Basics, or canned jalapeño peppers [optional])
  • 1½ to 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
  • 1½ to 2 tablespoons Curry Spice Mix or good-quality curry powder, to taste
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, and diced
  • ½ cup low-fat plain yogurt, plus more as needed
  • ¼ cup Coco Lopez or other canned sweetened coconut cream (optional)
  • ½ cup dried apricots, cut into strips
  • ¼ cup dried currants or raisins
  • Grated zest of 1 small orange
  • Salt and cayenne, if needed
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro and/or parsley
  • 2 to 3 cups cooked rice, preferably basmati or jasmine
  • 3 tablespoons chopped crystallized ginger, for garnish (optional)
  • Pappadams, toasted almonds, and/or mango or other chutney, for accompaniments

    Method

    1. Bring the broth and water to a boil in a wide skillet. Slip in the chicken. Lower the heat, cover, and simmer (poach) just until firm and opaque in the center, about 8 minutes (the timing can vary; do not overcook). Remove from the heat, uncover, and let the chicken cool slightly in the broth.
    2. Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions, carrots, celery, and bell pepper and cook, tossing with a wooden spoon, until crisp-tender, 5 to 8 minutes. Add the garlic, chili (if using), and fresh ginger and sauté until very fragrant, about 2 minutes. Sprinkle the Curry Spice Mix or curry powder over the vegetables and cook, stirring, for 1 minute longer to mellow the flavor of the spices.
    3. With tongs, remove the chicken breasts to a plate. Add the chicken poaching liquid plus the apple to the vegetable mixture. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat, cover, and simmer until the vegetables are just tender, about 15 minutes.
    4. Meanwhile, cut the chicken crosswise into ½-inch-wide chunks or strips; return them to the plate.
    5. With a slotted spoon or skimmer, transfer about 1 cup of the vegetables and a little of the broth to a food processor or blender. Puree until smooth and stir back into the broth to thicken. (If you’d like the sauce a little thicker, puree a bit more of the solids.) Stir in the chicken plus any juices from the plate, the yogurt, coconut cream, apricots, currants, and orange zest until blended. Gently heat through, but do not allow to boil. Add salt and cayenne to taste and/or more yogurt to taste; the sauce should be pale-colored with a mellow flavor but still with plenty of bite. Cover and cook very gently over the lowest possible heat for 5 minutes. Check occasionally to make sure the mixture is not boiling. Stir in the cilantro and/or parsley, then serve hot, over the rice. Scatter the chopped crystallized ginger over the top, if you like, and arrange the accompaniments on the table.