Have you ever seen Hoarders or Extreme Couponing? I don’t watch a lot of TV, but I have seen a few episodes of both shows in my day. As a sidenote, I’ve found it to be quite effective to clean out your closet while watching Hoarders, but that’s another blog post for another time. While I’m far from a (true) Hoarder or Couponer, I
often occasionally find myself stockpiling things…because, well, you just never know when you might need 23 bottles of mustard. What can I say, I like a good deal.
Can I let you in on a little secret? I think I may have a tendency towards being a pantry and condiment hoarder. For reasons 90% of you will probably never understand, I sleep better at night if I have 32 types* of rice in the pantry and 59 opened jars* of
random stuff things I can’t live without in my fridge. The great thing about this is that I seldom have to run out to the grocery store for a teaspoon of something, but the downside is that I run out of storage if I’m not careful. In my defense, I only have 1 fridge, do not have a deep freezer, and avoid Costco like the plague. See if you can figure that one out!
(Actual numbers may vary; numbers are for illustrative purposes only).
desperate inspired tonight to use up a few random odds and sods and call them dinner. I had a few chicken thighs to use up, along with a wilting bunch of cilantro and an apple that was as big as a cats head. A few more ingredients joined in, and dinner was served. It was SO good that I wanted to share it with all of you, so I hope you enjoy
The cast of characters:
Skinless chicken thighs (I suppose you could leave the skin on if you’re not watching your girlish figure), onion, bell peppers (whatever colours you want, except for green since they’re horrendous), garlic, ginger, curry powder, cinnamon, chili powder, tumeric, mango chutney, coconut milk, lime, cilantro, and an apple.
Let’s get started, shall we?
I’m all about multi-tasking, so I figured that as long as I had to spend a few minutes chopping vegetables I might as well make the chicken do some work. I made a quick spice rub (tumeric, chili powder, cinnamon, curry powder, salt and pepper) and massaged the chicken thighs until they were good and relaxed.
Now, I know what some of you are wondering: why chicken thighs? Why not chicken breasts? Well folks, without going into details of my life over the last few months, lets just say that I’ve eaten a lot of chicken breasts for the last 126 days. I mean, a LOT. While I like chicken, I think I reached the point where I maxed out on boneless skinless chicken breasts. Sure, they’re quick, convenient, and healthy, but sometimes a girl just needs to change things up, you know? However, if you have not eaten your lifetime supply of boneless skinless chicken breasts yet and you’d prefer to use them, knock yourself out. Not literally of course; I don’t want to be responsible for that. If you’d rather use tofu…well, then maybe you SHOULD knock yourself out first; it will be less painful for all of us that way.
Oh wait, what’s that? You’re wondering how this would taste with bacon? Well, I don’t have too much to say about that except I’m not married, and open to proposals.
Chop up your veggies – I had 3 peppers in my fridge so I used a bit of each, along with a small-ish onion, a few cloves of garlic, and a knob of ginger.
Set the veggies aside, and go put your feet up for another 10 minutes or so. Go on, you deserve it!
Heat up a touch of oil (in a pan that has a lid, ideally), and brown the chicken thighs on both sides. Smelling good in here!
Remove the chicken from the pan, and add the onions and peppers into the pan. Saute them for a few minutes to soften them up, then add the ginger and garlic and saute for another minute or so.
See all those brown bits? Those are FLAVOUR so don’t you dare wash your pan now!
Add the chicken back in, along with the browned chicken thighs, some coconut milk, water, and mango chutney. Bring everything to a boil then reduce it to a simmer for a few minutes while you chop an apple and zest a lime.
I used a gigantic Fuji apple, because 2 weeks ago I bought a 5-lb bag of them and then discovered that they do not even come close to comparing to my beloved Pink Ladies. Seemed like a good idea at the time…
All together now!
Simmer with the lid on for about 20 minutes. Before you go put your feet up again though, make sure you make a pot of basmati rice to soak up all of the wonderful juices!
Bonus points if you make coconut basmati rice.
After 20-ish minutes, the chicken should be cooked so go ahead and chop up a few tablespoons of cilantro (from the wilting $0.79 bunch that you’re prepared to go to heroic lengths to use up) and toss it in.
Get a spoon and taste for seasonings. Are you happy with it? Dip your spoon in again just to double-check. Repeat as much as necessary.
Are you ready to eat yet?!?! I know I sure am!
Serve up the chicken on a bed of spinach (if you’re feeling healthy) and that basmati rice that is ready to go.
Here’s another one, just to whet your appetite:
I know I was. So I didn’t take a mid-meal shot, but I knew you’d understand.
Especially after you make this for yourself, dish up a steaming bowl of goodness, and watch Hoarders or Extreme Couponers. The only thing this was missing was some naan bread, so please learn from my mistakes.
And now, the final kicker: a RECIPE!
(If you know me in real life, you’ll know why that’s ironic. If you don’t know me, just come introduce yourself to me – I’m the one hanging out in Aisle 4 in the grocery store on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday afternoons).
Indian Coconut Chicken Curry
*Serves 2 – 4 people
4 chicken thighs (either bone-in or boneless)
1/2 t chili powder
1 t curry powder
1/4 t cinnamon
1/4 t tumeric
1/4 t kosher salt
1/4 t pepper
1 T oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
1 T minced ginger
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1-2 T spicy mango chutney
1/2 c coconut milk+ 1/2 c water (OR 1 c light coconut milk…use the extra to make rice)
1 large apple or mango, peeled and chopped
zest of 1 lime
2T chopped cilantro
1. Mix together the chili powder, curry powder, cinnamon, tumeric, salt, and pepper. Massage onto chicken thighs, and set aside for 15-20 minutes.
2. Heat oil in a pan, and brown chicken on both sides. Remove from the pan, and set aside.
3. Saute onion and peppers until softened, then add garlic and ginger. Saute for another minute or two.
4. Add the chicken back to the pan with the coconut milk, water, and mango chutney. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 5 minutes.
5. Add the apple (or mango…or both if you’re feeling adventurous!) and lime zest. Cover and simmer for 20 more minutes.
6. Add cilantro, taste for seasonings, and serve on a bed of basmati rice. Enjoy!