Trinidadian Chicken Curry

Trinidadian Chicken Curry

This is definitely one of my favorite meals I have ever made.  It is pretty, too.  Turmeric is a beautiful spice.

Ella, in all of her photo styling wisdom, told me that I should take more over-the-top shots of my food.  I kind of like this picture, but I need to figure out how to maneuver my tripod that way because I have a hard time staying still when I am looking straight down.

Jim wanted Indian food and I suggested that I would make it for dinner last night.  I sent Taylor on a Google search for a good Indian dish and she went straight to Pioneer Woman (of course?.)  Taylor loves PW so this wasn’t actually a big surprise.  I was surprised, however, that she found so many Indian inspired dishes on there.

This dish stood out to me because the pictures looked mouth-watering and I had almost everything to make it.  The marinade for this chicken is almost like pico de gallo and I just couldn’t pinpoint how that would taste when cooked with the curry slurry.  The girls happened to both be away at dinner time so we decided to use the HOT curry powder to give it some real heat.

Although Trinidad is nowhere near India, the cuisine is heavily inspired by Indian cooking.  Apparently, under the influence of the British, Indian immigrants came over to the Caribbean as indentured servants in the 1800’s.  Over time, they adapted their family recipes based on the food that they could find in the Caribbean.  That explains why this Trinidadian dish tastes very much like something you would get at your favorite Indian restaurant.

There are many different types of curry powders out there.  It’s a bit confusing really as to which kind you want to use when.  Curry is not a spice by itself, it is a mixture of spices such as red pepper, fenugreek, cumin, turmeric and coriander.  This mixture can vary from region to region (probably depending on availability and individual/regional preferences.)  The curry powder that we buy mass-produced in the US is very different from something you would get in India or Thailand.  Trinidad has its own blends that you can buy.  I bought my curry powder at my local Indian grocery store (great place to buy inexpensive spices.)  This blend was a HOT Madras curry powder.  It was flavorful and pretty spicy, but not overpowering.  With all of that being said, there really isn’t anything wrong with the curry powder we can buy at our grocery stores here in the US, but for a dish like this if you can get your hands on Indian or even Trinidadian curry powder your dish will taste that much more authentic.

Although I wouldn’t call this a weeknight meal it isn’t super-fussy or over-complicated.  I had almost everything in my pantry and I didn’t have a long list of ingredients to buy (which is very often a determining factor for whether I will make something or not.)  Yet, the flavor was unlike anything that has ever come out of my kitchen.  It tasted like it came from an Indian (or Trinidadian) restaurant!

Of course, I also have to point out that this dish is pretty darn healthy for you – especially if you eat it over brown basmati rice like we did.  I pressure cooked some green beans in a little beef broth and that went perfectly with the curry.  Since you remove the skin and fat from the chicken there is very little fat except for the vegetable oil you add at the beginning.  Between the tomatoes and spices you get lots of good vitamins and antioxidants.  One more reason to add this wonderful dish to your menu.  Just watch your portion size:-)

This is the type of food you want to sneak at 10:30 at night (I didn’t mainly because I was asleep by then) because dinner was just that good. Awesome find, Taylor:-)  If you are looking for a dish that you can make at home that is pretty easy to prepare and tastes as authentic as something you could get at a restaurant, you should try this one soon.  Enjoy!

For some other recipes that use curry blends on BWL you can try these recipes, too!

Crockpot Thai Chicken Curry

Thai Coconut Chicken Noodle Soup

Thai Inspired Curried Chicken Salad

Source : The Pioneer Woman Cooks (with some very slight adaptations of my own)

Trinidadian Chicken Curry
 
Ingredients
  • 1 Whole Chicken cut-up – skin removed
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon yellow mustard
  • 1 tomato – quartered
  • 1 onion – halved
  • 1 handful cilantro
  • 8 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Optional – juice of half a lemon, coconut milk, extra cilantro

Instructions
  1. Sprinkle salt on chicken and add mustard. Toss to thoroughly coat the chicken.
  2. In the bowl of your food processor chop the tomatoes, half the onion, garlic and cilantro
  3. Pour the vegetable mixture over the chicken and let marinate for 2 hours
  4. When the chicken has finished marinating make the slurry by combining the curry powder, turmeric and ¾ cups of water.
  5. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Pour the slurry into the skillet and let cook for about 5-6 minutes. The slurry will turn a dark brown color and thicken. Stir constantly so the mixture does not burn. If you need to add a little more water you can, but you want to end up with a nice brown slurry that is quite thick, but not completely dried out.
  6. Slice the other half of the onion and add to the slurry. Let it cook for several minutes over medium heat.
  7. When your slurry is finished and onions are slightly cooked, add the chicken and turn the pieces to coat in the sauce. Spread out in the skillet so none of the chicken pieces are touching. Cook, slightly covered, turning the chicken every 5 minutes or so, adding more water (alternating with some coconut milk if you like) as necessary. You do not want the sauce to dry out. Your chicken will cook for about 25 minutes and when finished you will have a nice thick sauce. If you feel like your chicken isn’t cooking quickly enough you can turn the heat up a little bit. Just make sure it doesn’t burn and your sauce doesn’t dry out. You of course want the chicken to be completely cooked at the end and times may vary.
  8. I added the lemon at the end and you will want to taste to see if you need to season with additional salt and pepper. Garnish with cilantro if desired.
  9. We served this over brown Basmati rice with pressure cooked green beans.
  10. Enjoy!

 

Short Ribs Braised in Red Wine

 
I know last week I said that Flank Steak is my favorite cut of beef. However, I have to say that short ribs are right up there….I mean, maybe I was wrong last week. Because truly, it’s hard to compare a steak that is cooked quickly over high heat to a chuck roast or a short rib that you cook low and slow in a gravy made from red wine and veggies. It’s kind of like comparing a chicken wing to Coq Au Vin.

So this, my friends, is one of my other very favorite cuts of beef. Short ribs have a decadence that you just can’t compare to a steak. The meat melts in your mouth and it’s totally rich, too.

The entire bottle of red wine that you use for this dish produces an amazing gravy that is only made better with the addition of some fresh herbs like thyme, rosemary and oregano. I ate just the gravy with some roasted carrots and potatoes at least twice after this meal and I savored every bite.

Seriously, if you have never tried short ribs, you need to. They are so worth the tiny bit of effort that this dish requires.

Ok, now for some details here.

1) This recipe is from Bon Appetit and it truly is hard to mess up. Short ribs, like a chuck roast need to cook for a long period of time to break down the connective tissues.  As long as you do the low and slow thing these will turn out fine.

2) If you want to lighten this dish a bit you may want to consider cooking this the day before you are going to eat it. Put it in the fridge and then the next day, take it out about an hour before you want to eat and scrape the hardened fat off the top. Heat the meat back up and it will taste just as good as the day before. I know you can also skim some of the fat off the top on the day that you cook it, but this is so much easier and effective in my opinion.

3) You could probably replace the wine with beef broth, but the flavor would be different. The red wine produces such a nice rich gravy and it probably has some contribution in tenderizing the meat. I probably wouldn’t skip the wine…and use a decent bottle, right? I know the whole bottle seems like a lot, but it cooks down quite a bit. It’s not too much, trust me.

4) Use fresh herbs if you can. They add some very nice flavor to this dish. If you don’t have all of them it won’t hurt the dish too much to swap out or leave one out, but do try to use fresh herbs.

5) Take a look in your meat department’s marked down meat section for short ribs. I always see them marked down about 50% at my local store and they have always been wonderful. Just throw them in the freezer if the expiration date is near or cook them that day. Apparently short ribs don’t sell? If they look brown or tired you won’t want to get them, but the ones I have found always look just fine.

We served these with some roasted potatoes, carrots and celery. I will post those tomorrow and honestly you can’t get a much more gourmet tasting meal than this. Between the roasted veggies and these wonderful, decadent short ribs you have yourself a wonderful meal fit for any Sunday.

Enjoy!

Source: Bon Appetit

Short Ribs Braised in Red Wine
 
Recipe type: Main

Ingredients
  • 5 pounds bone-in beef short ribs, cut crosswise into 2″ pieces
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 medium onions, chopped
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 750-ml bottle dry red wine (preferably Cabernet Sauvignon)
  • 10 sprigs flat-leaf parsley
  • 8 sprigs thyme
  • 4 sprigs oregano
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 2 fresh or dried bay leaves
  • 1 head of garlic, halved crosswise
  • 4 cups low-salt beef stock

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Sprinkle ribs with salt and pepper. Heat oil over medium high heat in a dutch oven and brown meat on all sides. This might take a few batches. Transfer ribs to a plate and drain the oil reserving about 3 tablespoons.
  3. To the dutch oven add the carrots, celery and onion and cook until veggies are softened and nicely browned. Add the flour and tomato paste and cook stirring constantly for several minutes. Stir in the wine and then add the short ribs with their juices. Bring to a boil and the reduce heat to medium high heat and let the wine reduce to about half. Add the herbs and garlic to the pot. Stir in the stock and then boil. Cover and transfer to the oven.
  4. Cook for about 2-2½ hours until the short ribs are nice and tender. strain sauce into a good-sized bowl and then skim fat from the top and discard. Season with salt and pepper. If you cook the ribs a day ahead you can put them in the fridge once the dutch oven has cooled instead of straining the juice and skimming the fat. The next day take the ribs out about an hour before serving and scrape the fat off the top. It should come off quite easily. Heat the ribs through until heated thoroughly over low to medium heat.

 

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