March 6, 2016

Pollo al curry  – Chicken curry

Recipe.34

This recipe is an exploration and appreciation of flavors which are very different from the Mediterranean ones I grew up with. The first time I went to England I was eighteen year old and I spent the entire Summer in a very small village, not too far from London. I still have imprinted in my mind the memory of a very strong smell of  curry and other spices coming from the little streets next to the house where I was living back then. Among many things I discovered about English culture, I learned that English people love curry! After colonizing India, the British developed a taste for curry and  indian food in general,  which has been permanently absorbed by British cooking. In Sicilian cooking you will find many other spices such as saffron, nutmeg, clove, cinnamon, which are the result of the influence of the Arab culture that once dominated Sicily. They in fact ruled Sicily for  over two centuries. Many of the most popular Sicilian foods trace their origins to the Arab period.

I learned how to make this delicous dish from my mother in law many years ago. She used to cook it for us everytime we would visit her in Ireland. Even Irish people adopted some Indian food in their cuisine. To reduce the spiciness of this dish, Pat used to serve it with some sliced banana.

IMG_6500

© 2016 Iose’ Cocuzza All Rights Reserved

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 chicken (you can either use the meat from a bought roasted chicken or sautee some chicken breast cut into bite sizes in olive oil )

  • 1 cup of coconut milk

  • 1  yellow onion sliced

  • 1 clove of garlic crushed

  • 1 red bell pepper sliced and cut in 1 inch pieces

  • 1 or 2 dry bay leaves

  • A handful of raisins or dry currants

  • 1 unpeeled apple, cut in small pieces – seeds discarded

  •  2 to 3 tbsp curry powder  (medium to hot)

  • 1 tsp of cocunut sugar (or any other sugar of your preference)

  •  A few basil leaves (to add at the end – this is optional – my personal touch)

  • salt and pepper

  • olive oil

  • short grain brown rice to accompany the dish

 

IMG_6493

© 2016 Iose’ Cocuzza All Rights Reserved

Start by sauteeing the chicken breast pieces or roasted chicken in a large pan with the onions and the garlic in some olive oil. After a few minutes add the red bell pepper, raisins, bay leaves and cook for  10 to 15 minutes. Add the cococnut milk,  curry powder, sugar and the apples pieces.  Cover and simmer for another 20 minutes. Add some broth or water if needed.  Season with salt and pepper and add basil leaves at the end. Serve with some  rice  on the side.

 

IMG_6495

© 2016 Iose’ Cocuzza All Rights Reserved

 

Advertisements

INSALATA DI POLLO AL PESTO E VERDURE ARROSTITE – CHICKEN PESTO SALAD WITH ROASTED VEGETABLES

Recipe n. 17

In one of our recent trips to Ireland we went to visit some friends of ours who live in a lovely little village in the middle of the countryside. They have two great kids and their mum Lynn besides being a beautiful mom, is also a great cook. She cooked lunch for us and I totally fell in love with this dish. It was so tasty, fresh and different from the Irish cuisine, that I am prepared for when in Ireland. I almost felt at home, in Sicily. The way all these ingredients and colors complement each other is absolutely great! As soon as I came back to the States I started to make this dish over and over again. Unfortunately I never wrote down the recipe and the ingredients, so it might not be exactly the same. This version is what is left in my mind from the memory of the flavors, which inspired me so much.

As I said in my last post, I made pesto and cooked extra roasted vegetables to be added to this dish, which looks elaborate but if you  roast your vegetables  as well as making pesto a day in advance,  at the end it’s all  about ‘assembling’  and it’s all well worth while!

Ingredients

  • 1 fresh bunch of basil (about 2 cups)
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 lb chicken breast cubed
  • 10 shallots roasted
  • 1 yellow or red roasted bell pepper
  • Mesclun salad
  • Edible flowers for garnish or thyme flowers  (optional)
  • Good quality extra virgin olive oil
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and pepper

Roast the pepper and shallots according to my previous post ‘ROASTED VEGETABLES – Recipe n.16 ‘. In a food processor place 1 garlic clove and pulse until chopped. Add the basil, pine nuts, salt and pepper and pulse a few more times. Add the olive oil slowly until you obtain a creamy pesto. Transfer to a bowl and mix with Parmesan cheese.  Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a medium skillet and cook the chicken through until crispy brown on the outside.  Transfer the chicken to a dish with kitchen paper to absorb the excess oil. In a large salad bowl place the mesclun salad, chopped roasted shallots and bell peeper and dress with 1 tbsp of balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper.  Mix the chicken with a ¼ cup of pesto sauce and transfer to the salad bowl. Add the flowers for garnish and you can enjoy your salad!

%d bloggers like this: