Chicken and Chickpea Curry

August 12, 2013
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Sometimes you just need to cuddle up to a big cozy dish of curry. I haven’t made curry very often…it’s one of those dishes that, though relatively simple, holds a certain ethnic mystery to me. I was very pleasantly surprised at the ease of this curry dish, and the coconut rice is definitely a new family favorite! A little sticky, a little sweet…it complimented the curry perfectly, but I think it would also be delicious for breakfast (am I crazy for thinking rice would be good for breakfast?! It’s worth a try…).
I have to apologize because I was so excited to eat the dish, that I forgot to take a pretty picture of the end product, but you probably get the idea.

The great thing about this curry is that it can be used as a base to add all sorts of creative ingredients to. For instance, you can omit the chicken to turn this into a vegetarian dish; you could add sweet potatoes, sugar snap peas, or really whatever is in season. The leeks were delicious, but I think that bok choy, cabbage, or any other slightly textured and crunchy green veggie would do the trick. I used several that we had on hand like mushrooms, carrots, and snow peas, and the end result was well received by all. And, as you might expect, this dish was even tastier heated up the next day.

Chicken and Chickpea Curry with Coconut Rice      { serves 4-6 }

For the Chicken Marinade:
1-2 lbs thin sliced chicken breasts, rinsed and patted dry

2 Tbsp chopped fresh basil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp fresh ginger, minced

1/4 cup coconut water
1 Tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

For the Coconut Rice:
2 cups Jasmine or Basmati rice
2 cups light coconut milk
1 cup coconut water
1 Tbsp coconut oil
salt to taste

Chick + Chick Curry:
1 Tbsp coconut oil

2 leeks, cleaned, trimmed, and sliced into rounds

1 red bell pepper, roughly chopped
3 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped

3/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp pepper
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tsp freshly grated ginger
2 tbsp red curry paste
1/3 cup snow peas, ends removed and cut in half

1 (14 oz) can coconut milk
1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
4 Tbsp fresh basil, minced

For the chicken marinade: Place chicken in a large tupperware or plastic bag and combine with basil, garlic, ginger, coconut water, olive oil and salt and pepper. Coat each piece thoroughly and refrigerate for 2 – 24 hours. Once it’s done marinating, cook in a large skillet over a medium heat, until each piece is thoroughly heated through. Slice with the grain into 1/2 wide strips. Set aside.

For the coconut rice: add rice, coconut milk and coconut water to a medium saucepan. Heat over medium-high until liquid starts to boil. Stir well, and cover for 15-20 minutes (rice cooking times vary depending on the variety, so make sure you reference the instructions on the package). Once liquid is absorbed, add the coconut oil and salt. Fluff with a fork before serving. SO GOOD!

For the curry: heat coconut oil in a large deep skillet over medium heat. Add the leeks, carrots and red pepper, stir and cover. Cook until they begin to soften, about 5-7 minutes. Add in the salt, pepper, garlic, ginger and curry paste. Stir to coat thoroughly and cook for 2-3 minutes more. Add the snow peas and coconut milk, stirring well. Increase heat slightly, and heat until boiling. Reduce heat to medium low and cook for several minutes longer (5-7). Stir in the chickpeas, chicken, and fresh basil, making sure each ingredient is thoroughly coated. Cover again and let simmer for 2 minutes more. Serve over coconut rice with extra basil to garnish if you like!

 

{these recipes were inspired by howsweeteats, one of my favorite cooking blogs!}

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