It’s been a while since I popped an Easy Dinner up on here. I got myself into a rather unhealthy routine in the run up to Christmas. There was an abundance of tasty choices in the fridge – namely a cheese board-worthy selection of fromage. I discovered the deliciousness that is blackcurrent jam and creamy stilton on toast. SO GOOD – my mouth is watering at the sheer thought. But munching the volume of cheese that I was on a daily basis just inevitably “bulks” one out somewhat!
And here we are again in January. The month of healthy habits. Everyone ups the exercise, eats rabbit food and avoids alcohol like the plague. That is, until February, where everyone gives up on the exercise, quits salad, and drinks more than they did before Christmas! Apologies to you gym bunnies out there who manage to maintain a level of healthiness year-round. Bravo. I applaud you, I do.
I, I must admit, am not one of those. But I have decided to take a slight different approach. A little more sustainable in my mind. “Dry January” is a disaster waiting to happen. So I’ve gone for “dryer January”. If I’ve had a particularly hectic week at work, and want a gin and tonic, then a gin and tonic I shall have. The same mindset works for the diet – I’m not cutting out carbs or cheese or chocolate, I’m just eating less of them. Salads and soups for lunches through the week, something reasonably delicious, yet balanced, for dinner (not a cheese board), and whatever I fancy at the weekend.
Which brings me back to Easy Dinners. Bit of a long-winded story, I apologise. But what I’m getting at is the fact that I need to have a selection of simple meal recipes to hand, or else I just won’t bother cooking on a week night. It’s too easy to fall into bad habits if you make it too difficult for yourself. So don’t! You’re far better off cooking something straighforward to pull together, than falling down the black hole of snack-dom.
I first tried this curry at a Christmas party a year ago. The hosts had made a huge pot of the stuff and, not unlike my trusty bean chilli, it’s an excellent way to feed lots of people with minimal effort. The recipe was passed on to several people after that party. Shona (future SOL) had a go at it a few months ago, but we found far too spicy. It was quite funny – we were sitting next to each other – both clearly struggling , until finally one of us made the point that their mouth was on fire, and we agreed that it was ok to give up! Curry – 1, Harry/Shona – 0. But lesson learnt – we’ve whipped it up twice since with half a teaspoon of chilli flakes rather than a whole one and it was fabulous. If you have a much higher spice tolerance, then by all means add as much as you dare!
Quickly before we get to the recipe – the other point to note is that in the original ingredient list, it says to use chicken breast, but I have always found that thighs work much better. Chicken breast tends to dry out quite easly.
There are lots of spices in this, but don’t be intimidated by it! I figure once you’ve bought them once, you’ll have them in your cupboard next time. Easy. Serve with rice. And a perhaps a cheeky naan. Enjoy!
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 teaspoons curry powder
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon chilli flakes
2 teaspoons ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 large onion, chopped
3 large garlic cloves, finely diced
500g chicken thighs diced
1 large tin coconut milk
120ml chicken stock (1 cube)
1/2 tablespoon cornflour, mixed with a little water to blend
salt to taste
1/ Heat oil in large pan. Add in all the spices and mix until blended.
2/Add onion, garlic and diced chicken breast and cook for about 7 minutes until chicken is well coated and cooked on the outside.
3/ Stir in the coconut milk and chicken stock.
4/ Reduce heat and simmer for about 40 minutes.
5/ Add a little cornflour mixed with a little water to obtain required thickness. Season to taste with salt.