Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Chicken in Basil-Coconut-Curry Sauce

It's time to begin harvesting some of the basil I planted when we arrived in Boise last month and though my seven plants aren't yet producing enough basil to make this favorite recipe , there was enough to make some basil-coconut-curry sauce tonight. Variations of this recipe can be found around the web but my recipe comes from a 1997 Better Homes and Garden magazine. It was a "Prize Tested Recipe" submitted by Neeraga Narayanan, who won $400 for her recipe. Note the 30 minute "marinade" time.

Chicken in Basil-Coconut-Curry Sauce

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground coriander
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground cardamon
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. ground turmeric
1 large red onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced (or, to taste)
cooking oil (I use canola)
1 14 oz. can coconut milk
2 tsp. cornstarch
3 Tsp. snipped basil (I use about 1/3 cup)
1 Tsp. finely chopped ginger root

Rinse chicken; pat dry. cut into 1-inch (or bite size) pieces; place chicken in a medium bowl. In a small bowl stir together the salt, coriander, cumin, cloves, cinnamon, cardamon, black pepper, chili powder, and turmeric. Sprinkle the chicken; toss to coat well. Cover and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.

In a large skillet medium to large saucepan, cook onion, garlic and jalapeno in hot oil over medium-high heat for a few minutes. Add chicken. Cook and stir until chicken is cooked through. Combine coconut milk and cornstarch. Carefully add to skillet. cook and stir till thick and bubbly. Add basil and ginger root. Cook 2 minutes more to heat through. Serve over rice and garnish with fresh basil if desired.

(I use at least 2 or 2 1/2 lbs of chicken for my family of six. I adjust all the ingredients accordingly except I only use 2 cans of coconut milk even I more than double the chicken--it is still plenty saucy.)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Every Birdie Welcome

From the back porch of our borrowed home we are enjoying a bit of birdwatching. When we moved in a few weeks ago we heard the faintest chirps coming from yellow birdhouse...

...and within a couple weeks, there were visible signs of life.

Caring for three teenagers and one home-for-the-summer college student, I couldn't help feeling some connection with this busy mother; with no prompt from me, Dear Husband noted the home-scene resemblance.