With everyone sheltering in place, one of the directors in our department at my day job suggested we do a weekly cooking class together, and it has become a highlight of my week! The first week, we made a really quick and easy tomato pasta dish—which you can find the recipe for on my Instagram, but linked here for your convenience!—and this week, we made a Chicken & Veggie Coconut Curry. It was SO, SO good, and made everything in the kitchen smell AMAZING! The best part about these classes is that folks from all areas of our department can come together to spend some time with each other while doing something that is either something we already love to do or something that “shelter-in-place” has kind of forced us to get better acquainted with. Thankfully, the leader of this endeavor chooses recipes that are not super difficult or takes too much time (our calls are usually about an hour, though with curry, we had to stay on a little longer). It’s just incredible to see how excited everyone is for that week’s gathering and recipe, how eager everyone is to share photos of their plated masterpiece. And not that I don’t love my happy hours with my friends, but sometimes, these moments are really just too much fun!
So that’s my newest suggestion for all those who are looking for something to do. Get your family or a group of friends together on Zoom, or FaceTime if you all have Apple products, and just send a recipe around that you think will be enjoyed by most, then cook together! Send the ingredients list to everyone ahead of time, let them know what they can prep ahead of time, then just spend an hour drinking a beverage and cooking together.
Next week, we are going to be making risotto! The recipe will call for salmon, but that’s not a fish that’s really welcome at our house, so instead, we’ll be making use of a couple frozen lobstah tails instead. I mean….lobstah and risotto (and green peas)?! That’s a bonafide classico right there!!! Stay tuned, I’ll share when I can!
Additional Hobby Update: I am REALLY enjoying Duo Lingo and recovering a lot of my forgotten Italian. One of these days, when I’m feeling extra confident, I will write a paragraph in Italian, but for now I will leave you with this: Io leggo il libro The Wangs vs. The World. (I read the book The Wangs vs. The World, which is our next virtual book group pick – also did I mention virtual book group? VIRTUAL BOOK GROUP!!!! What are you currently reading? What should I be adding to my want to read shelf on Goodreads?) (Also, also, my Goodreads username is mmsulliv if you want to be friends! I’m currently sticking to reading 20 books this year as my challenge, which doesn’t seem like a lot, but if you’ve kept track of all the various hobbies I surround myself with, I find it very easy to occupy my time efficiently. Looking forward to maying seeing some friend requests come in from my fellow avid readers!)
Hoping all of you reading this are staying safe and well!
— Cooking Maggie
Chicken & Veggie Coconut Curry
Cooked with Coworkers
Ingredients – Serves 4
- 2 chicken breasts, cubed into 1″ pieces, seasoned nicely (or generously) with salt & pepper
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 red pepper, cut into thin strips (about 2″ long)
- 1 container of cherry tomatoes, halved
- 3/4-1 cup green peas, frozen
- 1 5oz bag of baby spinach
- 1/2 cup chicken bone broth
- 1 can unsweetened coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 tablespoons of oil
- 1-2 tablespoons red curry paste (or curry powder)
- 1-2 teaspoons of chili powder (optional!)
- Salt & Pepper (to taste)
- Rice or Noodles to serve
- In a frying pan (with high edges as we’ll be adding liquid to this), put in 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium-low heat. Add in onions and cook slowly till translucent.
- Add in your tablespoon of butter, let it melt all the way. Then only add in 1 or 2 teaspoons of your curry paste. (See Note 1 & 2) Mix it all the way through your onions, then push your onions to one side of the pan. Add in your chicken, turn your heat up to medium/medium-high and cook chicken till you can barely see any pink left. Once your chicken is almost cooked through, mix your onions and chicken together, continue cooking on medium for another minute or two.
- Add in your chicken bone broth, and bring up to a gentle bubble (medium / medium-low heat), then add in your coconut milk. Mix well and bring back up to a gentle bubble (feel free to turn heat to medium for a few minutes).
- TASTE TEST TIME! If the broth is not spicy enough for you, add in another teaspoon, combine fully, let bubble for a minute or two, then taste again. Repeat until you have reached the desired heat level, but after adding two tablespoons worth of the paste (if you get that far like I did), add in a teaspoon of chili powder, combine, cook, taste, repeat. I do not recommend adding more than 2 teaspoons of chili powder on top of your red curry paste. (See Note 3)
- Once your broth is at the desired heat level, add in your peppers. Push them under the liquid, and let simmer for about 4-5 minutes. Stir occasionally.
- Add in your tomatoes, again pushing them below the liquid, and let simmer for another 4-5 minutes. Stir occasionally.
- Add in your peas, let simmer for about 1 minute. Add all your spinach to the top, wait for them to wilt, then gently stir to incorporate the spinach into the curry.
- To serve, place a scoop of rice on a plate, and scoop curry alongside, OR in a bowl, put rice/noodles in the bottom, top with curry. Serve hot and enjoy!!! (See Note 4)
- As our group leader mentioned, with curry you want to do a slow add towards the beginning so the cooking process brings out some of that heat. You can always add more before the end, but you won’t be able to take it away once it’s there.
- Do not add any more curry paste at the end of your cooking process as there will not be enough time to cook it through.
- If you’re cooking for others who are more sensitive to heat/spice, have THEM try your broth before you keep adding in more curry or chili powder.
- Curry is a fantastic dish because you sub in any preferred veggies you would like! Potatoes, baby corn, broccoli, zucchini, cauliflower, you name it, you can add it! Meat (or meatless options) can be easily exchanged as well! Feel free to experiment!