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Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Sharing My Recipes, My Life, And The Food Tale Of Two Cities

Curry Chicken With Sweet Potatoes

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Curry Chicken With Sweet Potatoes is one of my favorite dishes to serve to family and friends. Many times you’ll see curry chicken made with coconut milk. The coconut milk helps to balance the warm spices that go into the dish. I’m changing that up!  For my recipe, I’m using sweet potatoes to balance the bold flavors of the Garam Masala, Turmeric, and Curry powder. I’m also serving my Curry Chicken With Sweet Potatoes over yellow rice with mixed veggies. I love the vibrant colors of this dish, and how the rice absorbs the delicious sauce. The unique flavors will let you experience what I call, “a roller coaster for your taste buds”.

My recipe for Yellow Rice With Mixed Vegetables can be found under either ” side dishes” or “vegetarian dishes”.

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Prep Time: 20 minutes
Inactive Prep 30 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Equipment: 6-quart Dutch oven, 6-quart pot

Ingredients:
1 1/2 pounds, skinless-boneless chicken breasts, 3-inch cubes
1/4 cup of vegetable oil plus 1 tablespoon, per batch, for browning chicken
1 1/2 cups of onions, large diced
1 cup of large diced celery
3 1/2 cups of sweet potatoes, peeled and diced (3 medium-sized potatoes diced into 3-inch cubes)
1 tablespoon of ground turmeric
2 tablespoons of ground garam masala
2 tablespoons of ground curry
2 tablespoons of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
4 to 5 cups of chicken stock, unsalted (amount of liquid may vary slightly)
cilantro for garnish

Directions:
Place the 3-inch cubed boneless-skinless breast in a large bowl. Add vegetable oil, Tumeric, Garam Masala, ground Curry powder, Kosher salt, and black pepper. Toss all the ingredients together and place in the frig, covered with plastic wrap, for 30 minutes. While the chicken is marinating, start prepping the vegetables for the dish. Mince the garlic cloves, cut the celery and onions into large dice. Next, peel and dice the sweet potatoes into 3-inch pieces, relative in size to the cubed chicken.

If you are choosing to make the yellow rice with vegetables, start cooking the rice while the chicken is marinating. For this recipe, go to the menu at the top right of my home page and click on “side dishes”.

In a heavy bottom pot, on medium-high heat, add in vegetable oil (1 tablespoon, per batch, for browning chicken) and marinated chicken in a single layer. Brown off all sides of the cubed chicken. This may need to be done in two batches ( a little more vegetable oil may be needed for browning the second batch) and will take anywhere from 10 to 15 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pan and a set on a plate.

After chicken is all browned off, (still on med-high heat, if needed add a tablespoon of vegetable oi) toss in the diced onions and celery, stirring and scraping the bits off the bottom of the pot. Saute the vegetables until just soft, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add in minced garlic and diced sweet potatoes. Stir all the ingredients together. Next, add back in the browned chicken.

For the liquid add in just enough chicken stock to come up to the chicken. The chicken should not be completely submerged. (Note: the potatoes and vegetables will release water as they cook).

Let everything come up to a bubble, reduce to a simmer. Cook uncovered for 45 to 50 minutes or until chicken and potatoes are tender.

To serve, spoon some rice into a serving a porcelain bowl. Ladle the Curry Chicken With Sweet Potatoes and its sauce over the top. Garnish with finely chopped cilantro.

 

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Sweet Chili Fire Chicken

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How about making “take out” at home? I’m saying “why not”! Sometimes grabbing fast food once and a while is sometimes a necessity. Making delicious Chinese “take-out” dishes at home is even better. A few simple ingredients with a heavy bottom pot can make this dish a reality. This is my version of Sweet Chili Fire Chicken.

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Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Yields: 6 to 8 servings
Equipment: heavy bottom, a spider, 12-inch sauté pan

Ingredients:
1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 red bell peppers, julienned
2 1/2 cups of drained pineapple chunks, fresh or canned
2 bottles of Thai sweet chili sauce
3 cloves of minced garlic
1 cup of snow peas, thinly sliced on the bias
3 tablespoons of finely minced chives
Kosher salt and black pepper to taste

For The Chicken:
2 pounds of skinless boneless chicken breasts, diced into 1 1/2-inch size cubes
2 tablespoons of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of freshly cracked black pepper
2 cups of vegetable oil
2 cups of all-purpose flour
4 cups of corn starch
6 large eggs, lightly beaten

Directions:
Prep all the veggies first, having them on stand-by.  Using a meat cutting board, dice up all the chicken, tossing them into a bowl along with the salt and pepper.  Using tongs, make sure the salt and pepper are distributed evenly on the chicken. Grab the largest bowl you have or a large Tupperware container, making it easier to coat the diced chicken pieces. Next, add the flour and toss so that all the pieces are coated.

Preheat the vegetable oil to 360-degrees F.

Heat the vegetable oil in a large heavy bottom pot, like a Dutch oven. Over medium-high heat, and using a candy thermometer, have the oil temperature reach 360-degrees F. The oil will take a little while to reach the perfect temperature for frying. Move on to sauteing the veggies.

Add olive oil to saute pan. On medium-high heat, add the veggies and minced garlic in. Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste. Saute until just soft, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the pineapple chunks last just to warm them through. Turn the heat off.

Next, transfer the sauteed veggies and pineapple, from the saute pan, to a large skillet, one that has deep sides. This will be necessary for accommodating all the ingredients. Set the skillet with the sauteed veggies to the back of the stove before starting the frying process.

Going back to the dredging process for the chicken. In one large bowl have the beaten eggs and in another bowl have the corn starch. In small batches, dip the diced chicken into the eggs and then into the corn starch. Place the finished coated chicken pieces onto a large sheet pan.

Check the temperature of the oil. Once the oil is ready, add the battered chicken in small batches, about 5 to 6  at a time, into the pot. Continue dipping the chicken into the egg mixture and then into the corn starch. Cook around 2 minutes per side or until golden and crispy. Remove from the oil, then transfer them onto a sheet pan lined with a paper towel. Repeat this process until all the chicken pieces are cooked.

Bring back the skillet and turn on medium heat. Add in all the crispy golden pieces of chicken to the sauteed veggie with pineapple. Pour in the bottles of the Thai sweet chili sauce and toss all the ingredients through. Let simmer for another 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once everything is hot, then turn the heat off and sprinkle on the minced chives. Serve immediately.

I like to serve my Sweet Chili Fire Chicken over a bed of Basmati rice.

 

 

 

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Gumbo With Shrimp, Chicken, And Andouille Sausage

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This dish is a labor of love. It’s a dish that took me a while to master. They say that Gumbo is a thick soup that is served over rice, jambalaya is a rice dish that contains the proteins and the vegetables. I’d say it’s the Cajun version of Paella. Now for my Gumbo recipe, I’m leaving out the okra. I love okra but Steve is not a fan. If you’re adding the okra in and it’s not in season, use the frozen. Add the okra in towards the end. I’ll remind you when I get to that point. There are so many components to this dish but, they compliment each other beautifully. Using best ingredients you can find makes a difference in the finished dish. Let’s get started.

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I start with the Andouille sausage. To get a start on their cooking process, In a small saute pan with a lid, I place the Andouille sausage in a small saute pan with a small amount of low sodium chicken broth. On med heat, I bring this up to a boil and turn in back down to a simmer. I cook the sausage like this for about 15 minutes. I then take the lid off, remove any liquid that still left in the pan and on med heat brown the outside of the sausages to give them some nice color. Once finished, I remove them from the pan and let cool for a few minutes before slicing them on the bias.

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Using the same pan, still on med heat, I place a couple of tablespoon of unsalted butter in the pan to start melting. I have two boneless- skinless white meat chicken breasts that I’ve cut up into medium size chunks. Once the butter has melted I saute the chicken off. At this point I like to season my chicken with the Creole seasoning,  I make sure to turn the pieces on all sides until they are nice and caramelized on the outside. This process takes about 10-15 minutes. The chicken will not be cooked all the way through at this point. It will finish cooking in the pot with the rest of the ingredients.

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Last of my proteins are my shrimp. I have about 3/4’s of a pound that I have peeled and de-veined. This takes about 5-10 minutes to do. I do not cook the shrimp at all. They will be the last ingredient I add to the pot.

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During the time that the different proteins are being prepared, I’m also working on the veggies for this dish.

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They call it the Holy trinity. Onions, celery, and green bell pepper. That’s going to be the base for this dish, I dice up all this while I’m working on the meats. This helps to cut down on the amount of prep time too. I also have some minced garlic that’s going to go into this dish. By the time I have all my proteins ready, I have all my veggies diced and minced as well.

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I start with a big Dutch oven pot that I preheated on med heat. I add the onions in first. I season with Kosher salt and black pepper. After the onions have started to soften, I add in the diced celery, green bell pepper, and minced garlic. Still on med heat, I cook all the vegetables util they’ve soften slightly. At this point, I add in my spices. Ground thyme, Creole seasoning and some tomato paste. I stir that through and cook for 5 minutes. I set the pot on the back burner, on warm, while I prepare the roux for this dish. I like to make my roux separate and then add it in to the softened veggies.

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So for me, the roux is a very important player in making a great gumbo. This is where the labor of love for this dish comes in to play. A dark peanut butter color is what I’m looking for. This means, I’m going to go past the blonde stage that roux is usually done. I like to do this separately and then add the darkened roux to the softened veggies. On med high heat, in a non- stick saute pan, this process can take anywhere between 10-15 minutes. I start out with 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil along with unsalted butter. The oil will prevent the butter from burning and the butter will add lots of flavor. Once the butter has completely melted into the oil, I add in the all-purpose flour. Using a silicone whisk, whisking continuously until the flour has absorbed the butter. At this point the flour mixture will start bubbling. Keep whisking constantly for 5 minutes then turn the heat down to med. Keep whisking. In a few more minutes the flour will start to darken. When you see the caramel color developing switch to a spatula and scrape down all the sides and bottom of the pan. After a little more stirring you will see the flour getting browner. Maintain the med heat setting until you get the color of milk chocolate. Now I’m ready to combine the roux with the sauteed vegetables.

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I move my Dutch oven pot to the front burner that’s on med heat where I had just removed the roux from. I add in the roux, using a spatula to get every bit and stir the veggies through. Now, when the veggies are coated with the roux mixture, I add in the Andouille sausage, chicken, and two bay leaves. I then stir that through. Next, I stir in a can of fire roasted tomatoes with their juices.

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Next for some liquid. I’m using an unsalted chicken stock for this recipe. The stock is deeper in color and flavor. Still on med heat, I’m going to bring all this up to a boil, then reduce it to med low heat and simmer. Continue occasionally stirring the gumbo uncovered, for about 30-35 minutes. During the last five minutes of cooking, I, toss in my peeled and de-veined shrimp and thawed frozen okra (optional). When ready, you’ll see that the sauce has reduced and thickened. I like serving my gumbo over Basmati rice and garnish with a sprinkling of fresh chopped Italian parsley.

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Yields: 6-8 servings
Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Prep Time: 30-40 minutes ( includes pre – cooking sausage, chicken, preparing shrimp, and dicing all veggies)
Prep Time for Roux: 15 minutes
Equipment: 6 quart Dutch oven, or some type of heavy bottom pot
Ingredients:
3 tablespoons of vegetable oil (one for sauteing veggies)
3/4 stick of unsalted butter
heaping 3/4 cup of all-purpose flour
1/2 cup of finely chopped fresh Italian parsley
1/2 cup of diced celery
1/2 cup of diced green bell pepper
1/2 cup of diced sweet onion
1 tablespoon of tomato paste
4 cloves of minced garlic
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of black pepper
1-1/2 tablespoons of Creole seasoning ( 1 tablespoon to raw chicken, 1/2 tablespoon to sauteed veggies)
1-15 ounce can of fire roasted tomatoes ( regular diced is fine)
1 teaspoon of ground thyme
2 bay leaves
2-1/2 pounds total of any combo of sausage, chicken, and shrimp
10 ounce package thawed frozen okra (optional)
4 cups of unsalted chicken stock

Directions:
Start with prepping, seasoning, and cooking all the proteins with the exception of the shrimp. While they are cooking, saute and season the veggies. Set the proteins and sauteed veggies aside while you start on the roux. Once the roux is made, remove it from the heat. Place the Dutch oven, with the sauteed seasoned veggies back on the burner where you removed the prepared roux from. The pot on med heat, and using a spatula, scrape the roux into the pot with the veggies. Add the pre- cooked sausage, chicken, fire roasted tomatoes, and bay leaves. Stir all this through the roux mixture so all is coated well. Lastly, add in the chicken stock. Bring all this up to a boil, reduce the heat to simmer ( med- low) and simmer for 30-35 minutes. During the last five minutes of cooking, toss in the raw shrimp and thawed frozen okra (optional).. Stir the shrimp through and the gumbo is finished. It will be dark in color and delicious in flavor. I ladle the gumbo over a scoop of Basmati rice, garnish with fresh parsley and serve.

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