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This Old Chef: Blog & Recipes

Curried Chicken with Forbidden Rice

Posted on January 14, 2018 with 0 comments


I was really in the mood for Indian food.  Maybe you know the feeling...

I had some chicken breast that needed to be cooked.

I wasn’t in a recipe-following mood, so...

I fried a minced onion.  Once it started to brown, I added a ton of minced garlic and ginger, let it fry for a minute or two, added 1C (more or less) chicken stock, and then turned the heat down to low.

While that bubbled away, in another pan I started frying some spices in oil:  my own curry powder, ground cumin, ground coriander, powdered galangal, cinnamon, cloves, red pepper flakes, salt, and black pepper.  Once all of that became (quite!) fragrant, I added a can of good coconut milk... turned down the heat and let it bubble for 2-3 minutes...

Then I married these two gorgeous, aromatic concoctions...  And let the whole beautiful blend continue to cook on low.

In a non-stick skillet, I fried some cubed potatoes until they were tender and golden and set them aside.  In the same pan, I sautéed the chicken, which I’d cut into medium (1-inch) cubes, until almost cooked.

Then I turned everything off... because I’d gotten so excited about a curry dinner that I’d done all of this hours before dinner time!  As we all know, any kind of “stew” is better reheated, so all was well.

When dinner time actually rolled around, I made the rice.  Now if you’ve never had Forbidden or black rice, you really owe it to yourself to give it a try.  It’s not forbidden any more, but back in the day only emperors were allowed to eat it.  It's firmer and nuttier than brown rice with a very deep flavor.  And a remarkable, almost purple, color.

For most rices, I prefer the pasta method:  put the rice and salt in a pan with way too much water, bring it to the boil, turn the heat as low as you can, and let it all simmer - in this case, for about 30 minutes.  Taste it, and when it’s ALMOST done, drain the water, replace the lid, and let it steam a bit (off heat).  This method always works for me.

I added the potatoes and chicken to the sauce and gently re-heated the curry.  I tasted for salt (it needed it!).  A mound of glossy black rice on a hot white plate, topped with the golden, spicy curry and a dusting of ground toasted cumin seeds...

All’s right with the world.

OK.  That’s not entirely true.

But all’s right with this dinner!