Quick chicken, tomato and spinach curry

 

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.

Ingredients:

  • 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.

Method:

  1. Heat the oil over medium heat in a large, heavy-based frying pan.
  2. Add the garlic, ginger and chillies and cook them, stirring constantly, for a few minutes.
  3. Add the curry paste and cook it, stirring all the while, for a minute or so until it smells fragrant.
  4. Add the chicken, cook for 2-3 minutes, making sure each piece is coated in the curry mixture.
  5. Add the potatoes, again making sure they’re well coated.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Add a squeeze of lemon juice. Taste the sauce, adding more lemon or salt if needed.
  9. Reduce the heat, add the spinach and stir it in until just wilted.

 

A French chicken curry

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I bet the title has got you smiling.  It certainly made me smile.  What next?  I guess each country puts its stamp on cuisine from other nations.

Sometimes, inspiration for dinner is hard to come by.  I had just flicked through Madhur Jaffrey’s A Taste of India (a great book, BTW) and had not been inspired.  I was thinking “chicken” but I was in one of those moods where everything sounded like too much effort.  I decided to pass the “What’s for dinner?” baton to Maus.

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Roasted tomatoes with rosewater

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This month, the Cookbook Guru’s feature cookbook is The Food of Morocco, by Paula Wolfert.  Paula Wolfert is an acclaimed American cookbook author who specialises in Mediterranean cooking.

Scan-150228-0002The Food of Morocco is her latest book.  It is an expanded version of her 1973 book, Couscous and Other Good Food from Morocco, a book which is still in print after 40 years.  If you have this book or can get it from your local library, why not join in?  Just make a recipe from the book, write a post and then send a link to the post to Leah, alias the Cookbook Guru.  Leah will then reblog your post on The Cookbook Guru site.

I was keen to post this recipe, asap, because I know many people currently have tomatoes galore and slow roasted tomatoes are the best way I know of preparing them.  Even if you don’t have a vegie patch, tomatoes are very cheap at the moment.  Roasted tomatoes freeze very well so it is a great way of preserving some for later in the season. Continue reading

Jane Grigson strikes back

 

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I buy cookbooks to read, just as much as to cook from them.  I know this sounds weird but I am not alone.  Publishers have known people do this for many years and style cookbooks accordingly.  So I wasn’t that perturbed when I found Jane Grigson’s Vegetable Book to be more of a good read than anything else.

I usually try a few recipes out of each book.  If one is good enough, it will appear on this blog.  Once in a blue moon, I will find a recipe that I will make time and time, again.  If this happens, the cookbook is worth its weight in gold. Continue reading

Tuna and warm potato salad

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It is summer-glut time and this year it is beans, beans and more beans.  I didn’t have many last year but, this year, it is beans galore and they all seem to have come at once.  Off to Eat Your Books I went and typed “beans”!  I wanted either a pasta dish or a salad.  I found quite a few recipes worth trying, including this one.  It was a real jackpot.  It is dead easy to make, a meal in itself and very tasty.  We have already had it twice this summer.

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Sun-dried tomato tapenade and a wee trip to Syd-er-ney

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I get so excited when I find recipes and I have grown all, or most, of the ingredients.  Today’s recipe fits into that category. The only ingredient that didn’t come out of my garden was the anchovy fillets.

As my dear vegetarian friend, Colette, was coming to dinner that night, I divided the tapenade into two bowls and only put anchovies in one.  I think the anchovies gave the tapenade more depth of flavour but, if you are vegetarian or object to anchovies, it still tastes lovely without them.  If you are omitting the anchovies, taste the tapenade before serving as you may wish to add a little salt. Continue reading

Sausages with Beans and Peppers

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I was at the hairdressers the other day and reading the Woman’s Day, (as one does at the hairdressers).  The dismal affair of the horrible altercation between Nigella and her soon-to-be ex-husband was reported in gross detail.

This got me thinking about Nigellissima, again, so I took it to bed with me and tagged a few recipes that sounded good.  I then gave Maus a choice for the next night’s dinner.  She chose this dish. Continue reading

Bean and Tomato Soup

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As you know, we have been on holidays.  Last week in Lisbon, it was 43°C.  Yesterday, we arrived in Bridgetown to 10°C.  I know that would not sound cold to those who live in the northern hemisphere but the Aussies out there will appreciate how cold that is.  It was freezing!!

Instantly, Maus turned her mind to soup.  I am very particular about my soup.  In my humble opinion, nothing beats pea and ham soup but this one comes pretty close.  It is based on a recipe from The Australian Women’s Weekly Mediterranean Cookbook.  It is very hearty. Certainly a meal in itself.  We make it regularly. Continue reading