It always fascinates me when an ingredient becomes popular. Take coconut, for instance. There is coconut water, oil, milk, flour ... the list goes on. Even though the coconut craze in the U.S. is fairly recent, Southeast Asian cooks have been using coconut practically forever. Now that we are on the bandwagon, coconut curry lovers can rejoice. Finally, we can find canned unsweetened coconut milk in our grocery stores with ease.
What's more, companies are mass-producing curry pastes, which were usually made by the individual cook. Luckily, we can now enjoy the complex flavors that we would normally sample only at an authentic restaurant or abroad.
Today's recipe for Sweet Potato and Chicken Curry serves 2 to 3 people, but it can easily be doubled for a larger crowd. If you are a smaller household, leftovers are divine. Light coconut milk works best, as the flavors are gentle. Be sure to shake the canned milk well before adding it to the chicken and vegetables, as it tends to separate quickly. As written, this curry is mild, but you can add more curry paste, if desired, to fire it up.
This is sure to become a favorite in your kitchen, just like it has in mine. Enjoy!
• Sweet Potato and Chicken Curry
• Brown rice
• Fresh melon
SWEET POTATO AND CHICKEN CURRY
PREP: Start to finish, 45 minutes, with only 15 minutes actual preparation and 30 minutes of simmer time
YIELDS: 2 to 3 servings
- 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
- 1 medium sweet potato, for about 1 1/2 cups peeled cubes
- 1 large onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 8 ounces skinless boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 can (15 ounces) unsweetened light coconut milk
- 1 teaspoon red curry paste or more to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- Cooked brown rice, for serving
- Fresh cilantro leaves, to taste
In a large nonstick skillet or pot, heat the oil over medium. Add the sweet potatoes and onions; stir and cook until potatoes and onions begin to brown on the edges. Add garlic and chicken, and stir and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Chicken will still be partially pink, which is fine.
Add the coconut milk and stir in the red curry paste and cumin. Reduce heat to medium-low and cover the pot. Stirring only occasionally, simmer until chicken is fully cooked through, about 30 minutes.
Serve over brown rice and sprinkle each serving with cilantro to taste.
Approximate values per serving (1/3 recipe, no rice): 286 calories, 15.5 g fat (9 g saturated), 44 mg cholesterol, 18 g protein, 18 g carbohydrates, 2 g dietary fiber, 144 mg sodium.