30 Minute Thursdays: Easy Chicken Curry (in a Hurry!)

Now that school’s back in session, “easy” becomes a new favorite adjective of mine when describing a recipe. Some days, I don’t get back to the apartment until close to 5, so long and involved preparations are just out of the question. I’m sure a lot of you are in the same boat, and if you are, my Thirty Minute Thursday posts are perfect for keeping things hassle-free in the kitchen on busy nights. If Rachael Ray does one thing well in the cookbook I’m cooking my way through, it’s providing recipes that go from stove to plate easily. Not all of the recipes are actually 30 minutes or less, but they are all simple and stress-free.

This chicken curry is one of the really great options for time-crunch dinners. It was sweet and just a little spicy – and I mean, not very spicy at all. Even people who don’t like heat – including kids – will be able to enjoy this one. The flavors are simple and the colors are appealing. I added a little bit of yogurt to make it look and feel more like a real curry (or what I imagine a real curry would be like, anyway), and I used fresh mango instead of chutney to make it a little fresher and less sugary. I also added in scallions, peanuts, and fresh bell pepper (use a hotter variety if you like spice), and ate it without the rice. I actually scooped some of the curry into an ice cream cone to eat. Don’t judge me so fast! I recently researched some creative ways to use up ice cream cones, since I don’t tend to eat enough with ice cream to go through them before they get stale, and one of the suggestions was to fill them with things you’d normally put in a sandwich – chicken salad, tuna salad, etc. The curry reminded me of that, so I figured I’d test it out, and it was pretty nice! The cones don’t stay crunchy for too long, so you might not want to use it as an appetizer idea that will sit out for a while before people get around to eating it, but it’s a fun and different way to mix things up otherwise.

One Year Ago: Drunken Apple Cake

Chicken “Curry in a Hurry,” adapted from Rachael Ray’s Classic Thirty Minute Meals
Yield: 4 servings

The Ingredients
2 pieces boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into chunks
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 medium yellow Spanish onion, peeled, halved and cut into ¼-inch strips
2 inches fresh ginger, peeled and grated
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 orange or green bell pepper, coarsely chopped
15 ounces no-sodium broth or bouillon
3 tablespoons curry powder
¼ cup golden raisins
1 mango, chunked
¼ cup plain greek yogurt
3 tablespoons peanuts
3 scallions, sliced on an angle
optional: rice (or ice cream cones!) for serving

The Method
Place the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the chicken, cooking to brown, 4 minutes per side. Remove from the pan and set aside.

Add the onion, ginger, pepper and garlic to the pan and sauté until the onion is tender, roughly 3 minutes. Pour in the chicken broth, scraping up anything that has stuck to the bottom of the pan before stirring in the curry powder, raisins, and chicken. Bring the mixture to a boil, stir around the pan once or twice, and reduce the heat to medium-low. Stir in the fresh mango and allow to simmer 5-10 minutes to thicken slightly.

Remove from the heat and stir in the yogurt, then top with the peanuts and scallions before serving. 

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