IT’S TIME YOU MET JOHN, of Teaching John to Cook (the lovely man and dear friend of the Facebook self-portrait, above), to whom so many of you have reached out during his difficult time. I’m happy to report he’s doing marvelously well at it, and that he has mastered a new recipe. It’s one you may enjoy, as well.
But first, a recap. If you go back to my opening piece to this series, you’ll remember that at first there were three men–one whose wife of 20 years had just walked out, one who was living too high on the Manhattan hog, and John, whose partner suddenly passed away last autumn. Now there is one, since the other two are not taking us up on all our culinary help. John, however, has dutifully showed up in my kitchen, and we’ve progressed–in no small way because of your help.
Taking your cues, I homed in on a recipe that both utilized what he had on hand in his kitchen (Le Creuset, mostly; a little retail therapy indulgence after the loss of his beloved partner), and, as Sandy so rightfully suggested, got him to put down the Gourmet (for now, anyway), and, at Jim’s suggestion, got him instead to pick up Everyday Food, the Martha Stewart gem, a magazine to which I’ve subscribed from its very first issue, every issue of which I have saved.
I did not have far to look, since a May 2009 issue was just what we needed, and to tell you the truth, the results were perfect.
Of course, we changed the recipe somewhat, as all cooks do, since both he and I are limited both in our knife skills, as well as in what carbs we will eat. This taught him that lesson, as well: Any good recipe can survive (even thrive from) a little alteration.
Here it is.
From Everyday Food, May 2009
Jamaican Chicken Curry
This teaches the technique of stewing.
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
4 bone-in skinless chicken breasts halved, 10-12 ounces each, halved crosswise
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 medium onion chopped
1 garlic clove minced
1 tsp ground cumin
3 Tbsp curry powder
½ tsp dried thyme
4 carrots thinly sliced
1 can (13.5 ounces coconut milk)
1 package (10 ounces) frozen peas, thawed
Cooked rice for serving
1. In large Dutch oven or heavy pot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Working in two batches, brown chicken, 3-4 minutes per side. Transfer to plate.
2. Reduce heat to medium. Add onion, garlic, cumin, curry, thyme and ½ cup water and season with salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion has softened, 3-5 minutes.
3. Add carrots, coconut milk, ½ cup water, and chicken with any accumulated juices. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover partially and cook until chicken is cooked through and carrots are tender, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in peas. Serve curry over rice.
So here’s how we adapted it: We used whole chicken breasts (bone in), letting the whole thing cook longer, about 30 minutes.
Also, both of us are low-carb people, eschewing rice, so we set the curry on quinoa, instead. Yum.
You? What recipes would you like John and me to try?