Cooking is one of those things that can simultaneously be super simple and ridiculously complicated. Being the chronic over analyzer that I am, I tend to do a pretty good job of making it the latter. Especially when it comes to cooking at home. I put pressure on myself to make complicated, time-consuming, restaurant quality meals with lots of steps and ingredients when really all I need to do is get a healthy, home cooked meal on the table. Intimidation, or weariness, or even laziness overcomes me and we end up grabbing takeout or eating peanut butter sandwiches four nights in a row.
My husband will tell you that the times I’m producing the most beautiful, delicious food for Bird is the Word are also the times he’s surviving on cereal and nachos. Both have their charms, don’t get me wrong, my point is it’s not always glitz and glamour in a chef’s home kitchen. In fact, it rarely is. Cooking for hours on end and then coming home only to spend another hour or two at the stove; just the thought of it makes me want to cry sometimes. But this pressure is unnecessary. With a bit of forethought, planning and resetting my expectations, I can cook, and more importantly enjoy cooking simple, healthy, delicious meals. And there is nothing more satisfying than coming home after that long day in the kitchen and finding one of those meals already in your fridge.
This dish is simple, nourishing and downright soul warming. I was on a major soup kick all winter, in retrospect probably because it involves minimal dish washing, and this tasty two-pot meal is along the same lines. Though it’s not all local, seasonal ingredients, and not the most refined dish I’ve ever composed, it was the perfect thing to make a big batch of on a Sunday afternoon. Here’s to cutting ourselves some slack and having something in the fridge to eat on all week long.
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour (or whichever flour you prefer)
- 2 tbsp curry powder
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
- 2-4 tbsp olive oil
- 3 chicken breasts, diced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 red onion, chopped
- 1 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 4 cups chicken broth
- ¼ cups raisins/currants
- 1 can diced tomatoes
- 1 mango, pitted and diced
- 2 fresh limes, juiced
- 3 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
- 3 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
- 2 cups short grain brown rice
- Mix together flour, curry powder, salt and pepper. Cut chicken into small pieces, and toss with mixture until each piece is well coated.
- Heat 2-3 oil over medium heat.
- Cook chicken pieces just until brown and crispy, remove from pan. Set aside.
- Add a bit more olive oil. Combine onion, red pepper, garlic and ginger.
- Add chicken back to the pan and lower heat.
- Add 4 cups chicken broth. Simmer until the broth reduces by about ¼.
- Add raisins, tomatoes, and mango until they are heated through.
- Remove from heat, and stir in lime juice, cilantro and basil.
- Serve over brown rice.