Monday, July 11, 2011

Green Chicken

Green Chicken:
AKA South East Asian macaroni cheese comfort food!

Curry paste:

• 2-4 cloves of garlic
• 2 large stems of lemon grass, (white section, finely chopped)
• 1 piece of ginger, (size of a large male thumb)
• 1-2 chunks of palm sugar (could substitute with 1 heaped tablespoon of brown sugar)
• 1 dessert spoon of fish sauce
• 1 teaspoon of sesame oil
• Red and or green chillies de-seeded and finely chopped.
• Bunch of basil

• Coconut cream (can do a low fat substitute with carnation evaporated milk, coconut flavoured; but do not boil-will separate, or philly cooking cream with a few drops of coconut essence)
• 2 large onions sliced.
• 0.5-1 Green and or red capsicum
• Green (or any coloured)vegetables for stir fry.
• 0.5-1 Kg chicken thighs (can use breast, just simmer for less time so they don’t get tough)
• Steamed rice.

The correct way is to grind all ingredients in a mortar and pestle, but this is hard work. I now just chuck it all in a blender. (NB chilli, lemon grass and ginger are quite fibrous so you need to finely chop, so you don’t get chunky bits).

Add the chillies to your taste, my kids will eat this with 6-10 hot large chillies, but start yours off with just 1-2 to give flavour with no heat.
In a large pan, fry onion and capsicum in veg oil, remove and reserve.
Add more oil and brown chicken thighs over high heat with 1/3 of curry paste. Lower heat and lightly toss in stir fry vegetables plus onions and capsicum. Add in remainder of curry paste. Add in coconut cream and simmer over really low heat until vegetables are soft to your liking.
Serve with steamed rice.

• I use fresh ingredients, they all grow in my garden; jars would be ok, but powdered....yuck nearly as bad as packet food!!!!!
• I double or triple the fresh paste ingredients and freeze in a zip lock bag. It is so easy to defrost add to some chicken. It also makes a great present!
• Real coconut cream is the best, low fat substitutes are good as long as you are very careful not to boil.
• Chicken thighs are juicier and more flavoursome for simmering, but breasts are good for a quick stir fry.
• Broccoli, I buy the ones with the longest stems: my wonderful cook in Jakarta showed me how to slice the stem and make them look like pretty stars. I now prefer the taste of the stem to the floret (see photos) plus kids don’t recognise them as the dreaded vegetable.
• Chilli, I always have some fresh chilli paste to add to GJ’s meal to give him the kick he likes, you can personalise the heat of this curry easily.
• With kids, it is all in the name; I never call this curry, it is always Green Chicken and 98% of all kids I serve this to eat it and ask for more.
• If kids are not vegetable eaters, do the hidden trick...shred all veggies in the food processor until they are like bread crumbs: invisible goodness (it’s in all my meals!).

Hidden goodness: any vegetables you have put through the food processor

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