Friday, February 01, 2008

Work night chicken and potato curry

So. If you are anything like me (i.e. inquisitive), you will be wondering why my post on 'work night chicken and potato curry' starts with a picture of a piece of fillet steak.

And you would be right, of course, to wonder if I was finally loosing my marbles.

Fortunately, I have the answer at hand. You see, in these winter months, I struggle somewhat with photographing my food. I am not especially skilled when it comes to food photography at any time of year mind you, although occasionally I am quite pleased with my more-by-luck-than-judgement results. But it is tricky when it is dark and late and I'm hungry. So you see, my photos of the chicken curry didn't turn out so well. I'll share the less bad ones with you all the same so that you can get an idea, but they don't really do it justice. Which is a shame as the curry was good and one that I think I'll make again...

Also, I did treat myself to a very delicious bit of steak on Monday. I didn't feel I could justify a whole post to it (I think explaining how I cooked my steak would be a bit patronising really) but did just want to salute its merits. It came from Moen, the excellent (but very expensive) butchers at Clapham Common. I served it with potato wedges which I simply chopped up and roasted in olive oil, salt and pepper and dried herbs. I also made a rather delicious red onion and redcurrant sauce to go with it - lots of red onions softened slowly for around half an hour, red wine sloshed in and reduced with a heaped teaspoon of redcurrant jelly. Delicious. The steak was beautifully tender (it had a good rest after being in the pan) and very flavoursome...

But anyway, enough of steak. Let's get on to the curry. I don't tend to make curries that often. I love a good curry and cook a lot of spicy food but tend to stick to the same old dishes - usually a Thai green curry. When looking at authentic recipes for curries I am often put off by the long list of ingredients that I don't have in my storecupboard. But recently, I've been getting over that. The long list of ingredients is ususally only spices and so do not entail the time and effort a first glance suggests. This curry is a speedy, post work one that is a doddle to whip up. The spices are not freshly ground but just come straight from jar into the pan. The original recipe came from the old faithful BBC Good Food, but I added a few things in as I like more vegetables in my curries and I've also adjusted the cooking times slightly (I found the potatoes didn't cook enough in the time required). I've also upped the quantity of tomatoes (mainly because I was making the recipe for one and it seemed ridiculous to use only half a small tin of tomatoes). The curry was fairly mild (it made my nose run a little but no sign of watering eyes) so you might like to add more spice if you like it hotter.

Chicken and potato curry

(serves 4)

1 medium onion

3cm fresh root ginger

2 garlic cloves

2 tbsp vegetable oil

1 tsp cumin seeds

1/2tsp tumeric

1/4 tsp hot chilli powder

1 400g tin of tomatoes

3 medium potatoes (not too floury)

1 red pepper

1 courgette, diced

4 chicken breasts (boneless and skinless), cut into bite-sized chunks

1/2 tsp garam masala

4 handfuls of spinach

handful chopped coriander

natural yoghut, to serve

1. Either make a paste out of the onion, garlic and ginger by chopping and then blitzing in a food processor with a little water. Or, if you can't be bothered to dirty the machine, chop them all very finely and mix together.

2. Take a large pan with a lid and fry the cumin seeds in oil for a few minutes. Add the onion paste/mixture and brown, adding water to loosen if necessary. Slice the red pepper finely and add to pan, fry for a few minutes.

3. Sprinkle in the tumeric and chilli. Add tomatoes and fry for around 5 minutes. Then add the potatoes to the pan along with 9 fl oz of hote water. Stir so that the potatoes are coated in the tomatoey juices and add the lid to the pan. Cook on a very slow simmer for around 15 minutes.

4. Add chicken and garam masala. Replace the lid and cook for a further 10 minutes.

5. Remove the lid and add the courgettes. Simmer for a further 10 minutes with the lid off so that the liquid reduces somewhat. If getting too dry, simply replace the lid or add a touch more water.

6. In the final moments, cook the spinach. Either add to the curry, stirring in until it wilts, or cook separately. Check that the potatoes are softened and the chicken is piping hot and cooked through.

7. Season with salt and then sprinkle over plenty of coriander. Serve with yoghut and rice if you wish (I don't like to have rice and potatoes so I just served the curry on a bed of spinach).


Peter M said...

OK, I'm done scratching my head! lol

The photos are colourful and the chicken looks easy and satisfying.

Rosie said...

Hi Antonia, I can never find fault with any of your photos to me they always look clear and just perfect!

Now your steak looked mighty delicious and wow your chicken & potato curry has me sold on the idea of trying this out at some point :)

Rosie x

Anonymous said...

Do you know what? Rosie has taken the words right out of my mouth, your pictures always look great to me and your signature-starry plates always bring a smile to my face (it's either that or I go green with envy!)

I've tagged you for a Five Things About Me meme:

Hope you don't mind :)


Antonia said...

Peter - thank you. Yes - a nice easy chicken dish that really hits the spot.

Rosie - thank you, you are very kind. For every one good photo, there are dozens that are blurred/too dark/too light. I enjoy taking them though!

Ginger - thank you too! I couldn't live without my starry plates. Thank you for the tag, always happy to be tagged - I've left a comment about it on your blog.

Nan said...

I feel the same about shooting during the winter...ugh. Can't wait until it gets sunnier! Your curry looks filling and comforting, perfect for a cold weekday night!