Yesterday I made us this warm & bright, gingery & coconutty, spicy & sweet chicken curry.
If there is one thing that most grandmas have in common it’s that they show their love for you through food. After having lived with my Mormor for seven months, I can say she shares that trait.
She makes dinner for the entire family on Wednesdays. And, on the other days she makes sure that there is always “middag” (dinner) prepared for Morfar and me. If I rush breakfast or miss middag, I’m bound to hear her say “you don’t ever eat anything” and she does what she can to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
Yesterday she went to the salon, so I made sure middag was on the table when she came home. I decided to introduce them to something we make back home — Coconut Chicken Curry (it’s most likely Americanized curry, but it’s still delicious).
I love seeing Morfar’s reaction to foods he didn’t grow up with. If it’s good but new, Morfar says with a smirk, “det er etende // it’s edible.” That's about the highest compliment you'll get. You can tell that he really likes something if he helps himself to seconds. Mormor is more adventurous and slightly more verbose. She tends to say when she likes or doesn’t like something.
I'd say the curry was a success. Morfar took seconds and Mormor said she loved it, especially with all the tasty toppings. And, she mentioned that I managed to make it just spicy enough that she could still handle it (the Norwegian pallet is typically not accustomed to spicyness). I think more than anything Mormor especially enjoyed coming home to a set table and having a personal cook.
This curry recipe is from Lisa, good friend of ours in Arizona. After she made it for a Riesling dinner party she hosted with my parents, it’s become one of our favorites. If you’re looking for something flavorful and quick to spice up your Saturday night, this is just the dish.
Coconut Chicken Curry
2 large Chicken breasts halved, skinless & boneless
1 Bay Leaf
2 tbsp Butter
4 Green Onions
3 tbsp Curry Powder
1 cup (2 ½ dl) Coconut Milk (shake can before measuring)
2 cups (5 dl) Chicken Stock
3 tbsp Chopped Crystallized Ginger
½ tsp Ground Ginger
[OR I’ve substituted a chunk, about 1 ½ to 2 tsp, of minced fresh ginger when I’m out of crystallized and ground ginger]
½ tsp Red Pepper Flakes (adjust amount to your spice preference)
2 tsp Fresh Mint, chopped OR 1 tsp Dried Mint, crushed [OR if you don’t have mint, use Coriander/Cilantro leaves]
Honey (to taste, about 3-4 tbsp)
¼ cup Fresh Lime Juice
½ cup Heavy Whipping Cream
Hot Mango Chutney (We’ve used Crosse & Blackwell in the US, Santa Maria in Norway)
Greek Yogurt or Sour Cream
Poach the chicken:
Place chicken breasts snugly in a single layer in a small, heavy-bottomed pot. Cover chicken with water. Add the bay leaf.
Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low so the water is barely at a simmer. Partly cover. Gently simmer for 10 minutes. Turn off heat completely. Keep the chicken in the hot water for 20 minutes. Cool and cut into small cubes. Set aside. [If you are using bullion cubes or concentrated stock that needs to be reconstituted with water, use the stock from the poached chicken.]
Make the soup:
Heat a saucepan to medium heat. Melt the butter. Add the onions and sauté until soft, about 2-3 minutes.
Stir in the curry powder. Gradually add the coconut milk and 1 cup of the chicken stock. Bring to a boil and stir to blend well.
Reduce the heat and add ginger, red pepper flakes, mint, and honey. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
Add the chicken pieces and the remaining 1 cup chicken stock. Simmer for 15 minutes. Stir in the lime juice and cream. Simmer for 5 minutes.
Transfer to a warmed serving bowl. Garnish with mint leaves and lime slices, if desired. Serve with the toppings listed above and rice. (The recipe calls for Jasmine rice, brown rice is great with this too.)
You've probably noticed that you can have fun with this and substitute when necessary. As my Norwegian driving instructor says
"see the possibilities not the obstacles"