Welcome to the lab, please watch your step...

Welcome to the lab, please watch your step.... I'm a busy young zombie just trying to balance writing, food and life. I love to cook and love to eat even more! And I promise I won't eat your brains—unless they are made from cake, then I can make no promises.
This is where I run my experiments and post the results for your enjoyment. I have a weird sense of humor, so bare with me, I promise the food will be good ;)

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Spices: Review and Chicken Curry

Last year my mom got a house down in Delaware near the Lewes and Rehoboth beaches.  In Rehoboth there is a spice shop called The Spice and Tea Exchange (www.spiceandtea.com) which I have walked into and oogled every time I go down for the past year.  Seriously, the smell of the place makes your mouth water.  I'd been wanting to buy some spices, but never had the money when I walked in (I have mentioned to you all how poor I am, right?).  So I simply oohed and aahed and dreamed. 

This time around I made certain I reserved a little money to buy some spices to try at home.  Now I'm generally a very simple cook.  I use a few staple herbs (from my awesome pot garden this summer!) and spices that I keep on hand for most every dish I make.  So as I was browsing I decided I would aim for some more exotic flavors that I've never tried.  These are what I ended up with:
From Left: Moroccan Seasoning, Malaysian Ginger Curry, Ginger Teriyaki

I've only had a chance to use one so far, the Malaysian Ginger Curry, and I used it to make—what else?—CURRY!  Now I've never been a huge fan of spicy food, and most curries are described as spicy, so for years I was afraid to try one.  Until one night several years ago when a friend we were living with invited us to share some he had made.  I was surprised how delicious it was.  So here I am, years later, trying to make it myself.
 **Warning: this is NOT a traditional Indian curry by any means.  It is an Americanized version.**

To review the spice blend first, I'd like to say that a little goes a long way.  As you can see from the picture above (which was taken after I made the curry) you can't tell I used any.  In fact I used 2 tsps and that was more than enough to give powerful flavor to the dish.  This particular blend has more dimension to it than the grocery store kind my friend used, so it makes for a much more interesting dish.

Mine came out a little thin, but thickened in fridge the next day

Crock-Pot Curry Chicken
Serves 4 with leftovers (or 2 for several days)
  • 1 large chicken breast (you could also use boneless thighs) cut into 1" cubes
  • 1 Tblsp vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 larger potatoes, cubed (I used red-skin potatoes)
  • 3-4 large carrots, cut into 1" chunks (thicker is better here)
  • 1/2 to 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup cream (or milk)
  • 1 can condensed cream of chicken soup
  • 2 tsp curry powder 
  • Water (or homemade stock) to cover
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Cornstarch to thicken (if desired)
  1. Heat vegetable oil in non-stick skillet over medium heat.
  2. Cube chicken breast and season with salt, pepper, and a pinch of curry seasoning.
  3. Brown chicken in skillet on all sides.  Remove from pan and set into bottom of crock-pot or slow-cooker.
  4. Sweat onions in skillet to soften.  Add garlic after 2 minutes.  Once onions and garlic take on a soft, translucent look add them to crock-pot.
  5. Add carrots and potatoes to crock-pot.
  6. Add condensed soup, cream/milk, water/stock and curry seasoning.
  7. Stir to combine.  Salt and Pepper to taste.  Cover and set on low for 4-6 hours.
  8. 10-15 minutes before serving, add frozen peas.
  9. If curry is too thin for your taste, mix 1 Tblsp cornstarch and 1-2 Tblsp water and add to curry a few minutes before serving (leave pot uncovered for best thickening results).
  10. Serve over rice and enjoy!

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