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malaysian chicken curry

20 Nov

I have eaten one too many curried sweet potato soups in my day and I’m tired of curry powder.  I’m sick of it.  I never want to see it again.  I haven’t used it in years because it’s so… bleh.

Thankfully, my friend introduced me to Malaysian curry powder (thanks Stacey…) and it has renewed my faith in dried curry spice blends.  It’s just better in every way than your average curry powder.

If you’re in Toronto you can buy it at this fantastic store in Kensington.  They have everything you need and more when it comes to spices and exotic sauces plus they’re super friendly and helpful.  If you are unable to find Malaysian curry powder you can just substitute the same amount of turmeric, it’s what the original recipe I used calls for.

You can get the original Gordon Ramsay recipe I used here but I’ve written down the recipe as I ended up making it.  I made a few changes: took the seeds out of most of the chilies (because I’m a pansy), used whole chicken legs (because I’m lazy), used green onion instead of lemongrass in the curry paste (because they didn’t have lemongrass at the store that day), also I added potato (because potato!!).

Maybe I probably changed / forgot other things too.

It’s fine.  Tastes good.

P.S. I used Thai bird chilies for my curry, and I cut them up, and I didn’t wear gloves, and my hands were burning for the next two days.  Wear some rubber gloves or something, ok?  I forget every time.  Learn from my mistakes.

Serves 6 as a main dish with rice.

malaysian chicken curry

from Gordon Ramsay

ingredients

for curry paste

  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 4-5 red chilies, seeds removed from all but one, chopped
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 2 inch piece ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 4 shallots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tsp Malaysian curry powder (or turmeric)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • olive oil

for curry

  • 4 whole chicken legs, skin removed
  • olive oil
  • 2 tsp Malaysian curry powder (or turmeric)
  • 2 onions, peeled and sliced
  • 4-5 kaffir lime leaves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 star anise
  • 400 ml  coconut milk
  • 1/2 c water or chicken stock
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 3 large handfuls green beans, tipped and tailed
  • 3 small potatoes, cut into 2 inch pieces
  • cilantro

preparation

In a blender or using a mortar and pestle combine garlic, chilies, green onion, ginger, shallots, curry powder and salt.  Blend, adding olive oil until it becomes a smooth paste.

In a large pot, heat some olive oil over medium heat.  Add the curry paste along with 2 tsp curry powder for a minute – until fragrant.  Add onions and cook for a few minutes – until soft.  Add chicken legs.  Turn to coat in curry paste.

Add kaffir lime leaves, cinnamon stick, star anise, coconut milk, water / stock, soy and fish sauce and bring to a boil.  Once boiling, reduce heat to a low simmer, add potato and let cook gently for 25 to 30 minutes.

Remove chicken legs and use two forks to pull the meat from the bone.  It should pull away easily into manageable chunks.  Return the meat to the curry along with the green beans and simmer for a few moe minutes – until beans are just tender.

Serve over plain basmati rice, or rice and peas, topped with cilantro leaves.

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pork, fennel + white bean hand pies or: how to make it though the rest of the stew

12 Nov

so much stew…

For we noble and intelligent and attractive people trying to live and eat well on a tight budget, cold weather is our friend.  Cold weather means making huge pots of slow cooked meat, soups, stews, fresh bread; leaving the crock pot, oven, stove on all day and ending up with enough food to feed you for a week.

The key, however, is to not want to off yourself by the end of that week because you’ve eaten the same f***ing bowl of f***ing stew every day for a f***ing week.

So here’s an easy, cheap and tasty recipe that works well as a stew (either as is or with a little added broth), as a pasta sauce, and in flaky buttery hand pies.  Turning stew into pie is certainly not an innovation but these hand pies are a lot easier to make than a traditional pot pie and you get a much higher pastry to filling ratio which, for me, is a big big plus.

Makes 4 pies with 4 cups leftover stew

pork, fennel + white bean hand pies

ingredients

crust

  • 1 c unsalted butter, very cold, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 1/2 c flour
  • pinch salt
  • 2-3 tbsp cold water

stew

  • 1 lb pork (I used tenderloin because I had some in my freezer but almost any cut would work) cut into 2 inch cubes
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 6-8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • ground pepper
  • 3 sprigs fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 4 sprigs fresh oregano, chopped
  • 1 generous handful fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 3 small carrots, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 fennel bulb, quartered and finely sliced
  • 1 550ml can white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 300ml can diced tomatoes
  • 1 splash white wine vinegar
  • 1 splash balsamic vinegar
  • olive oil
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten

from stew to pie

preparation

crust

Get the crust ready first.  Add the cold butter to the flour and salt.  Mix with a pastry cutter until the mixture resembles small peas.  Add water one tablespoon at a time until the dough just holds together.  There should still be visible pea-sized butter chunks, that’s what will make your crust tender and flaky.  Divide the dough into 4 equal balls and wrap each one tightly in saran wrap, pressing down to make a small flat disc.  Refrigerate for at least an hour.

stew

Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.  Add onions, garlic, salt, pepper, rosemary and oregano and stir until onions are translucent.  Turn the heat to high and add pork.  Stir for a couple of minutes until pork begins to brown then deglaze the pan with white wine vinegar and balsamic vinegar.  Add carrots, bell pepper, fennel, white beans, tomatoes and parsley.

Turn heat to low and let simmer, partially covered, for 25 to 30 minutes.

Let the stew cool.  Preheat oven to 350°F.  Roll out the pastry discs one at a time and place a few tablespoons of stew in the center of each one, leaving a 2 inch border around the filling.  Fold the top half of the pastry over the filling and fold the bottom edges in over the top crust.

Like a pizza pocket.

Brush the lightly beaten egg over the tops of the pies to make them nice and shiny – if you have a pastry brush that would be ideal, if you don’t then just dip your dainty little hands into the slimy egg and smush it all over the top of the pastry.  It works.

Bake on a parchment lined baking sheet for 30 to 40 minutes or until the crust turns light golden brown.

pork, fennel + white bean sauce

You can also turn the stew into a hearty pasta sauce by putting 2 cups of stew, a can of tomatoes, a pinch of salt and a splash of balsamic vinegar in a pot over medium heat while your pasta cooks.

from stew to pasta sauce