Sunday, January 26, 2014

Make It Mondays: Heather's Chicken Curry

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Today's Make it Mondays is by Heather Rose, Creatively Lu's new weekly contributor. Heather has provided us with her delicious take on an Indian Chicken curry recipe, with a recipe to make your own Naan to follow:

Inspiration for dinner can come from anywhere. This dish was a result of movie night with my husband. We were watching Life of Pi (excellent movie may I add) and I saw Pi and his family eating curry with Naan. I literally started drooling thinking about the amazing Indian food I had back in college after my late night accounting classes. 

When my friend first suggested it, I was pretty skeptical. I'm a meat and potatoes kind of gal. I didn't even know what curry was before college. But after my first bite I was hooked. Nothing beats a delicious curry with some yummy Naan. Unfortunately, now that I'm out of the city -- Indian restaurants are hard to come by. Or they just don't have that savory & spicy quality as those authentic restaurant served so well.

And so I decided to make my own take on the Indian classic! I've tried many recipes and I'm telling you - this one is GOOD. Give it a try, I promise you will not be disappointed. Forewarning - this curry is pretty spicy - you can turn down the heat by decreasing the amount of cayenne or add more if you think it's not spicy enough. Remember it's always easy to add more to a dish -- once it's in, there's no taking it out! 

Needed: 2 lbs chicken tenders or breast, 2 teaspoons salt,1/2 cup oil, 1 1/2 cups chopped onion, 1 tablespoon minced garlic, 1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger root, 1 tablespoon garam masala, 1 tablespoon curry powder, 1 tablespoon ground cumin, 1 teaspoon ground turmeric, 1 teaspoon ground coriander, 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, 1 tablespoon water, 1 (15 ounce) can diced tomatoes, 1 cup plain Greek yogurt, 1 teaspoon salt,1/2 cup water, 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Heat olive oil in large skillet and season chicken with salt. When oil is hot - cook chicken until outsides are browned. Aprox 2-3 minutes each side. When chicken is browned drain it on paper towels and set aside. Reduce the heat to medium-high; in the same pan add the diced onion, garlic, and ginger to the oil remaining in the skillet and cook and stir until the onion turns translucent, about 8 minutes. Stir the curry powder, cumin, turmeric, coriander, cayenne, and 1 tablespoon of water into the onion mixture. 

Mix the tomatoes, yogurt, 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro, and 1 teaspoon salt into the mixture. Return the chicken breast to the skillet along with any juices on the plate. Pour 1/2 cup water into the mixture; bring to a boil, turning the chicken to coat with the sauce. Sprinkle the garam masala and 1 tablespoon cilantro over the chicken.Cover the skillet and simmer for 20-30 mins until chicken is is full cooked. 

I chose to serve the Chicken Curry with Naan and rice. I love using a delicious piece of Naan to scoop up the savory chicken.  The combination of the sweet, warm bread with spicy chicken brings me back to those late night dinners in Boston.

And while you can serve the Chicken Curry alongside some store-bought Naan, I have included a homemade Naan recipe that I swear by. After all, there is nothing better than the homemade version: 

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Needed: 1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast,1 cup warm water,1/4 cup  white sugar, 3 tablespoons milk, 1 egg (beaten),2 teaspoons salt, 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 2 teaspoons minced garlic (optional),1/4 cup butter (melted)

In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand about 10 minutes, until frothy. 

Stir in sugar, milk, egg, salt, and enough flour to make a soft dough. Knead for 6 to 8 minutes on a lightly floured surface, or until smooth. Place dough in a well oiled bowl, cover with a damp cloth, and set aside to rise. Let it rise 1 hour, until the dough has doubled in volume.

Punch down dough, and knead in garlic. Pinch off small handfuls of dough about the size of a golf ball. Roll into balls, and place on a tray. Cover with a towel, and allow to rise until doubled in size, about 30 minutes. During the second rising, preheat grill to high heat.

At grill side, roll one ball of dough out into a thin circle. Lightly oil grill. Place dough on grill, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until puffy and lightly browned. Brush uncooked side with butter, and turn over. 
Brush cooked side with butter, and cook until browned, another 2 to 4 minutes. Remove from grill, and continue the process until all the naan has been prepared.

Thank you Heather for a very delicious, and equally creative, edition of Make it Mondays! And now for your daily dose of inspiration. 

Create a delicious Monday everyone! 

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