Thursday, June 14, 2012

Work in Progress: Chicken & Cauliflower Curry!

No, this post has nothing to do with writing.  But it’s been a while since I’ve run a recipe, and while one of the treats of being away at the Converse MFA residency is getting to eat dining hall food that I do not plan, shop for, cook, or clean up after, there’s a certain point where I miss cooking. 

Here’s a new, easy and fantastic recipe I made upon my return. It was spicy, partly because it just is, but also partly because I added extra curry powder, garlic, and ginger.  And people who are whining, “I don’t like cauliflower,” take note:  you can’t even tell cauliflower is in here, I promise.  In an exciting twist for me, this is actually a healthy recipe (240 calories per serving), and it’s great with brown rice.  It’s not a super-juicy curry, so you could even put it in a wrap if you wanted to or serve on top of salad.  Finally, I don’t have a wok, and a large non-stick skillet with a lid worked perfectly fine.  Do chop up everything before you start cooking.

This recipe is from The Washington Post (official link with a short write-up and nutritional info here).


  • 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut into thin strips, about 1 1/2 inches long and 1/4 inch thick
  • 1 bunch scallions, white and light-green parts, cut crosswise into thin slices (1 cup)
  • 3 medium cloves garlic, finely chopped  [I say, MORE!]
  • 2-inch piece peeled ginger root, finely minced or grated (1 tablespoon) [I say, MORE!]
  • 1 tablespoon double-concentrated tomato paste or 2 tablespoons regular tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons mild curry powder, or more to taste [I say, MORE!]
  • Salt
  • 1 cup low-sodium or homemade chicken broth
  • 1/2 head (1 pound) cauliflower, stemmed and cut into bite-size pieces (no more than 3/4 inch)
  • Water
  • Leaves from about 1/3 bunch cilantro, chopped (3 tablespoons)  [I say, MORE!]

Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a wok or large, shallow skillet over medium-high heat until the oil shimmers.

Add half of the chicken; stir-fry for 2 to 3 minutes, until the chicken loses its raw look. Transfer to a clean plate; repeat with the remaining chicken and transfer it to the plate.

With the wok or skillet still over medium-high heat, add the scallions; cook for 30 seconds, stirring. If the pan is dry, add oil as needed. Add the garlic and ginger; cook for 30 seconds, stirring. Add the tomato paste, curry powder and salt to taste; cook for 30 seconds, stirring.

Pour in the broth; stir to thoroughly to coat the ingredients, then add the cauliflower pieces and cover, adjusting the heat to medium or medium-low so the liquid maintains a low boil. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes, until the cauliflower pieces are tender.

Return the chicken to the wok or skillet; stir to coat with the sauce. If the sauce seems too thick, add water as needed. Cover and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through.

Remove from the heat. Stir in the cilantro. Serve immediately.  4 servings.  [NOTE: The cilantro wilts the next day, so if you want to make this in advance, you might want to sprinkle the cilantro on just before serving to keep it looking pretty.]


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