Ok, the photo is a shocker but, in my defence, curries are notoriously hard to photograph. Just to prove my point, there is no photo of this recipe in the cookbook where the recipe was published and … there was no photo on the web page featuring this recipe. But I was not going to let that deter me. If you have been following this blog for a while, you would have seen some shockers. What is one more?
I chose this recipe because I have a lot of silverbeet in the freezer and I wanted to use some of it before the next lot matures. The recipe calls for fresh baby spinach which is barely wilted. If I had stuck to the recipe, I am sure my photo would have been more attractive but … I would have one more container of silverbeet in the freezer. Even though I don’t have any fresh potatoes from the garden and the tomato harvest was not the best this year, I can imagine a time when all the vegetables in this dish did come from my garden. I would love that. The trick will be to have them all ready to harvest at the same time. Even without that pleasure, it is certainly a recipe I would make again.
Also, I love that word “quick”. I find more and more people don’t have the time or the inclination to be preparing dinner from scratch every night. We want a meal which is quick to make but still tasty and nourishing. This one ticks all the boxes. I have simplified it even more than the published version. This is a recipe for those days where we really don’t feel like cooking.
The recipe calls for skinned chicken thighs. I bought a whole chicken and cut it into eight pieces. It will be enough for 3 meals for us which is a double bonus – two cook free days ahead. You could also buy chicken marylands and cut them into two. The important thing is, you need skinned chicken on the bone.
The recipe is by Belinda Jeffery from her book Tried and True Recipes.
- About ⅓ cup oil
- 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 tbs* fresh ginger, finely chopped
- 1-2 red chillies, seeds and all, finely chopped
- 2-3 tbs* curry paste (Belinda recommends Madras curry paste)
- 6-7 chicken thighs, bone-in and skinned – or four chicken marylands cut into two or a whole chicken cut into eight pieces
- 3 medium size potatoes, cut into small chunks (about 1.5cm)
- ⅔ cup water
- 400g can tomatoes, coarsely chopped
- salt and black pepper, to taste
- lemon or lime juice, to taste
- About 125g baby spinach leaves (or silverbeet (fresh or frozen))
*These are 20 mil tablespoons.
- Heat the oil over medium heat in a large, heavy-based frying pan.
- Add the garlic, ginger and chillies and cook them, stirring constantly, for a few minutes.
- Add the curry paste and cook it, stirring all the while, for a minute or so until it smells fragrant.
- Add the chicken, cook for 2-3 minutes, making sure each piece is coated in the curry mixture.
- Add the potatoes, again making sure they’re well coated.
- Pour in the water, tomatoes (liquid and all), salt and pepper. Bring it to the boil then reduce the heat, cover the pan and simmer for about 25 minutes, turning the chicken occasionally.
- Uncover the pan and cook the curry for a further 10 minutes or so until the chicken is cooked to your liking and the liquid has boiled down and thickened a bit.
- Add a squeeze of lemon juice. Taste the sauce, adding more lemon or salt if needed.
- Reduce the heat, add the spinach and stir it in until just wilted.