Most of my cooking in the past week has been trying to figure out creative ways to consume this and it’s twin:
As I’ve mentioned before, more often than not when leftovers are given a makeover to create a new meal they have a Mexican flavor because we all like Mexican foods. Using up this rice reminded me of a challenge I gave myself several years ago.
After growing up in a household in which chicken and turkey slaughter was an annual practice (well, I must confess we only raised turkeys one year but it *seemed* like more), in which the pot of boiling hot water was set up on a fire of logs a few yards from my bedroom window, in which my main role was pulling the feathers off the chickens after they had been dipped in the hot water, and which left us with chickens to bake most Sundays of the year, except for the ones in which we baked a turkey . . . and have I mentioned I’m an only child and these birds lasted a long time?? Well, after all that, when I left home it was several years before I ate chicken by choice . . . I would see the chicken and the smell of wet feathers would be conjured up and I would begin to gag. Chicken is fairly inexpensive and it’s a fairly healthy choice for meat, but cheap and healthy doesn’t necessarily result in tasty. After several years of chicken avoidance the wet feather smell wasn’t so strong, so my challenge to myself a few years ago was to make chicken and rice (or noodles) every night for a week and never have them taste the same. It was a great challenge and encouraged me to be a little more creative and I started enjoying cooking chicken a little more.
My challenge to myself this week was to not focus on Mexican or, due to the source of the leftovers, Chinese for the leftover menus. This was one of the first things I made: Chicken Curry.
I started with some diced chicken breast and browned that in a pan with a little peanut oil.
Side note: one of my most helpful hints I can give to a busy cook is make your own convenience foods. One of mine is to buy large flats of chicken breast, clean them and then freeze; some are whole, others I dice before freezing, some I slice into long strips for skewers. So easy!
I added onion, celery, asparagus, and carrots and cooked until they were bright and still a little crisp. I added a little fresh grated ginger and minced garlic and sprinkled it with mild curry powder until it was lightly coated.
Next, I added some chicken broth and brought it to a boil and stirred in a little broth/flour paste to thicken it slightly.
Finally, I added some of the cooked rice and frozen peas and cooked it until those were heated through.
It had a similar flavor to the S&B Curry that I like without the MSG that doesn’t like me. This is something I’ll make again!