Monday, November 1, 2010

176. Chicken with Potatoes, Peas and Green Curry Sauce

I used to live within a ten minute drive of an amazing grocery store called Trader Joe's where they  featured a monthly calendar of specialty cooking events. Various chefs would come to the store and create wonderful meals using products from stock on the shelves. It was a taster's delight. The recipes were always shared so shoppers could buy the ingredients and make the same dishes for family and friends. It was a win-win arrangement...the store sold food and the shoppers went home happy.

 Because of an ordinance, these cooking events are no longer held.

I remember the day I tasted this simple dish and its unusual sauce...the flavors were amazing. I loved the blend of ingredients and the 'heat' created by the peppers in the Tai Green Curry Simmer Sauce*. I feel fortunate to have sampled green curry sauce and then actually kept the wonderful recipe that uses it.

A side panel on the jar label says that in Thailand, green curry is not only considered a national treasure, but that it is one of the most complicated to make. This particular sauce is a blend of coconut milk, soy, cilantro, pureed chili peppers, lemon grass and ginger...I am very happy to leave the blending to the experts and just open the jar!

*(Specialty sections in most groceries carry variations of green curry sauce).

 Chicken with Potatoes, Peas and Green Curry Sauce

6 petite red potatoes diced with the skin on (or cut into bite-sized pieces)
(If serving over rice, omit potatoes)
2 T olive oil
2 frozen, boneless chicken breasts
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 large sweet onion diced
3-4 large fresh mushrooms, sliced (optional)
1 jar Trader Joe's Tai Green curry sauce*(or another brand)
1/2 small bag of frozen petite peas
Cilantro, minced

In a pot, cover potatoes with water and cook until tender. Set aside. Heat oil in a large skillet on medium-high heat; place frozen chicken breasts in pan and braise with the pan lid partially on to prevent the oil from spitting. Turn the breasts a few times until the meat is soft enough to slice through. The center of the meat will be raw and partially frozen.

Cut the chicken on the diagonal into bite-sized pieces and return them to the pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Stir while cooking for a few more minutes. Lower heat to medium and add onions and mushrooms. Continue cooking and stirring until meat is no longer pink and vegetables are crisp-tender. Add drained potatoes, curry sauce and peas. Heat through. Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with minced cilantro.

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